How to make Japanese multi-layer marble bread

Japanese Multi-layers marble chocolate bread

Step-step instruction to really tasty and good looking bread!

When I saw this layer bread a while back, I was hooked. But it did take me a long time to research the bread thoroughly and start making my own version.

The concept of this bread is quite fascinating. You will need to make the chocolate sheet first, which consists of chocolate, condensed milk and flour. The mixture is ‘cooked’ in the microwave to become pliable. To achieve the multi layers and marbling effects, think puff pastry! The technique is exactly the same. This came to me while I was reading a book on how to make puff pastry. Whoever thought of this must be a genius, really.

I got the recipe for the chocolate sheet from a Japanese blogger. Thanks to a friend of mine, the recipe was translated with ease. For the dough recipe, I modified the lovely Hokkaido milk loaf, which has been a hit among Asian home bakers.

The final result is lovely. The marbling effect is quite good for a novice like me, yes? The bread itself has the hint of chocolate throughout. And if you like soft, Asian-style bread, this is definitely for you.

Japanese Multi-layers marble chocolate bread

I have included a step-step instruction. I was alone when making the bread, so the pics were a bit blurry (it’s hard to handle a DSLR with hands full of flour!). Hopefully it helps you to get the idea.

Japanese Multi-layers marble chocolate bread

I have not baking new bread for a while, so this is a perfect occasion to join the weekly Yeast spotting!

Japanese-style chocolate multi-layer marble bread

Quantity below is enough for one loaf.

For the chocolate sheet

30g dark chocolate
55g milk
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
15g plain flour
1.5 tbp corn starch
15g sugar
2 tbps condensed milk

For the bread dough (adapted from this recipe)
220g bread flour
30g cake flour
1tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast
70g sugar
1 egg
100ml milk
45ml whipping cream
15g melted butter


Prepare the bread dough first!
1. Put all ingredients into the bread machine as per instructions for your machine in the dough cycle. (If you do not have a bread machine, simply knead the dough
with an electric stand-mixer. Remember separate the yeast from salt and sugar to avoid the dehydration. Knead until gluten is fully developed and the dough is elastic, smooth, non-sticky and leave from sides of mixing bowl. Cover with a damp towel and allow the dough to ferment until double in size, about 60 minutes).
2. When the dough cycle is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air and let it rest for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Prepare the chocolate sheet
Put the chocolate in a bowl, and microwave on High for 40s. Take out, stir. If the chocolate is not melted, continue to microwave at 5-10 seconds increment. When the chocolate is melted, mix in the other ingredients. Mix well to combine and avoid any lump.

Put the bowl onto the microwave again. This time for 50 seconds. Take out, give it a good stir. It should be sticky and forming a dough by now. Keep stirring until everything combined.

Spread the chocolate sheet onto the cling wrap. Roll out thinly, store in the fridge while waiting for the bread dough to be ready.

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Forming the bread layer
After the dough has rested, roll the dough onto a floured surface to a rectangular around 30x40cm. Place the chocolate sheet on top. The chocolate sheet should be well inside the bread dough. Wrap the bread dough onto the chocolate sheet. Use your hand to pat down and flatten the dough.

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Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin rectangular shape, 20x40cm. Fold the dough in three lengthwise.

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Turn 90 degree. Repeat the above step. Roll the dough thinly, then fold in three lengthwise. The more ‘turn’ you make, the more marbling effects you will have. I turn the dough around 4 times.

Finally, roll the dough into 20x40cm rectangular. Cut the dough into three long strips. Braid them together, put into a greased loaf pan. Cover with cling wrap, and let them ferment in a warm place until doubled (around 40-60 mins depending on your room temperature).

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Preheat the oven to 170C. Sprinkle the bread with some extra sugar if desired. Bake for 35-40 mins or until the bread is done. (The bottom of the bread sounds hollow when knocked). Cool on a rack. Enjoy!



Rosa's Yummy Yums 7:05 AM  

Marvelous! A beautiful bread!



The Food Librarian 8:42 AM  

Beautiful! I would have never known that was the technique! Thanks for the details!

Peter G 9:18 AM  

Oh! this looks divine...I must give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

Johanna 10:24 AM  

that is gorgeous - too pretty to put anything on this bread (although nutella comes to mind) - I love the sound of the chocolate layer with condensed milk - yum

Ravenous Couple 12:40 PM  

gorgeous--this looks like a work of art!

jasmine 1:17 PM  

Absolutely gorgeous! Love the striations.


Jo 2:00 PM  

Hi Anh, this looks absolutely beautiful and so soft. I'm definitely going to give it a try soon.

Elle 2:55 PM  

What a gorgeous braid and lovely looking bread! I can smell the chocolate and see the tight crumb and great softness...mmm. Interesting technique, too.

NQN 4:44 PM  

Ooh very pretty! I love the marbling detail :)

Arwen 5:03 PM  

The bread has a beautiful pattern! I like the look of your rolling mat too. It would be very handy for making pastry the right size for your pan.

Happy cook 5:27 PM  

I have never see a more beautiful bread. Gorgeous and delicious

Debs 5:57 PM  

Oh yum, we are having friends over soon for a sushi day. Will have to include this on the menu too, thanks for sharing.

Agnes 6:23 PM  

It looks gorgeous! I can just imagine how good it would be slightly warm. Yum!

shaz 8:04 PM  

Oh my goodness, I am drooling already! Thanks for the step by step - this is definitely bookmarked, I think the kids will go ga-ga when they see it:)

Cakelaw 9:45 PM  

What wonderful looking bread - I have never seen anything like it before. I am also intrigued by the idea of the chocolate sheet - I must give this a go sometime.

diva 10:01 PM  

this looks wonderful and very professional! i love getting this particular bread from my japanese bakery and they come in little bite-sized bits so it's the perfect snack. now that u've posted up a recipe, it just might b time for me to give bread-making a go! x

ABowlOfMush 11:01 PM  

Fantastic bread! Its so beautiful, your pictures are lovely!

bittersweetblog 1:58 AM  

WOW, simply breathtaking bread! I can't even imagine how gratifying it would be to slice into this beauty and see those perfect swirls.

Mandy 2:52 AM  

what a gorgeous loaf of bread. I love the step by step picture intructions too!

Marta 4:40 AM  

Oh this is great! Thanks for showing those step-by-step photos! I've just returned from Japan and those loaves were ubiquitous. I wondered how they made them, now I know :)

rick 5:12 AM  

that looks so exquisite! i wonder if this method could be used to make red bean or taro bread..

Faith 7:15 AM  

This is absolutley stunning! I love everything about it...the chocolate, the lovely braid, the gorgeous marbeling! Beautiful!

Megan@Feasting on Art 8:41 AM  

So beautiful! I will have to try this one. Thanks so much for your tutorial!!

Tangled Noodle 11:58 AM  

This is amazing! I'll be content just to admire your work - my baking skills are not quite up to this level yet! 8-)

Gloria 1:19 PM  

Anh, this look amazing, wonderful, lovely, what can I say? and lovely pictures, tres belle!!! gloria

Belle@Ooh, Look 1:34 PM  

I'm normally hesitant when it comes to making bread, but with your instructions and great end result, I might just give it a try!

Ellie 2:25 PM  

Beautiful swirls!!! I wish I could grab it off my computer screen!

Mrs Ergül 3:25 PM  

This looks very tempting!! I will have to bookmark it!

Mrs Ergül 5:37 PM  

By the way, is there any way to substitute the condensed milk? I wouldn't want to open a can for 2 tablespoons when we don't favour having it with anything else....

Anh 10:30 PM  

Ergul, I think you can omit the condensed milk and put more sugar and chocolate? Just make sure that the mixture is stiff at the end!

ChichaJo 11:16 PM  

That bread looks gorgeous Anh! What an interesting technique! And yes, I love soft Asian-style bread :)

Rene ala Carte 1:55 AM  

Looks like something I going to have to try.

The technique is not much different than the way you make croissants, only there it's butter and not chocolate, and you don't braid them, you just keep folding, rolling, and chilling.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen 2:24 AM  

It looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

Natashya KitchenPuppies 8:24 AM  

Oh my goodness, that is wild!

Callipygia 8:44 AM  

It is so beautiful I can't believe it is relatively simple. The idea of a milky bread laced with chocolate... Reminds me of a chocolate babka.

Cynthia 12:00 PM  

What a feast for the eyes. I really appreciate you taking the time to take step by step pics.

Emi 2:15 PM  

What a beautiful bread! It looks so delicious.

pigpigscorner 11:45 PM  

This is beautiful!

eatme_delicious 12:23 AM  

Mmm I love soft Asian style bread. And love the marbling! Gorgeous.

veron 1:01 PM  

This bread is absolutely gorgeous! And thanks for all the research you did on this. Might attempt this soon!

Susan 10:38 PM  

Wow, that looks really spectacular!

Xiaolu 2:10 AM  

What a show-stopper!

Hillary 3:26 AM  

That's so pretty! What a beautiful bread. With the braiding, it's also very similar to challah. I should try this!

Y 9:09 AM  

I really must try this! Thanks for the recipe and the pictorial as well.

bee 2:54 PM  

gorgeous bread!!!

Peabody 3:59 PM  

That looks sooo cool. I so need to make that. Very impressive.

muffinsareuglycupcakes 12:52 AM  

really impressive!
ive tried this before..
but it didnt turn out as nice as yours!
should try it again soon :)

Arabic Bites 8:18 AM  

So beautiful :)

zainab :D

immortallylost 9:10 AM  

Okay, this may be a dumb, dumb, question, but I can't find an answer to it anywhere so I'm finally asking.

I don't have a bread maker so I used an electric stand mixer, but my dough was thin and runny despite triple checking the ingredients. I let it knead for five to ten minutes but it didn't seem to be doing anything. I eventually gave up, but does the dough eventually thicken if left knead for... ever? I can't imagine it thickening any more since nothing really happened after my attempts... Any help would be wonderful, as your creation is lovely and has made every person I've shown drool :) Thank you much!

Anh 12:44 PM  

immortallylost, the dough for this loaf is a bit wet indeed, but not runny. I have people reported back that it is runny, which is strange. I will make it again this week and post the result back, ok?

As for the runny dough, sometimes the flour we use has different absorption properties, so you may want to add some flour until the dough keeps together. Hope this helps!

Cookie baker Lynn 9:58 AM  

Wow, that is amazing looking bread!

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A culinary journey of a Vietnamese girl, who loves to cook. From her tiny kitchen in the middle of Sydney, Australia. You can contact me at anhnguyen118[at]gmail[dot]com

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