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!

61 Responses to How to make Japanese multi-layer marble bread

  1. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Marvelous! A beautiful bread!

  2. The Food Librarian says:

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

  3. Peter G says:

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

  4. Johanna says:

    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

  5. Ravenous Couple says:

    gorgeous–this looks like a work of art!

  6. jasmine says:

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love the striations.

  7. Jo says:

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

  8. Elle says:

    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.

  9. NQN says:

    Ooh very pretty! I love the marbling detail :)

  10. Arwen says:

    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.

  11. Happy cook says:

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

  12. Debs says:

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

  13. Agnes says:

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

  14. shaz says:

    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:)

  15. Cakelaw says:

    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.

  16. diva says:

    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

  17. ABowlOfMush says:

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

  18. bittersweetblog says:

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

  19. Mandy says:

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

  20. Marta says:

    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 :)

  21. rick says:

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

  22. Faith says:

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

  23. Megan@Feasting on Art says:

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

  24. Tangled Noodle says:

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

  25. Gloria says:

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

  26. Belle@Ooh, Look says:

    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!

  27. Ellie says:

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

  28. Mrs Ergül says:

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

  29. Mrs Ergül says:

    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….

  30. Anh says:

    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!

  31. ChichaJo says:

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

  32. Rene ala Carte says:

    Looks like something I going to have to try.

  33. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    It looks and sounds absolutely delicious!

  34. Natashya KitchenPuppies says:

    Oh my goodness, that is wild!

  35. Callipygia says:

    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.

  36. Cynthia says:

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

  37. Emi says:

    What a beautiful bread! It looks so delicious.

  38. pigpigscorner says:

    This is beautiful!

  39. eatme_delicious says:

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

  40. veron says:

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

  41. Susan says:

    Wow, that looks really spectacular!

  42. Xiaolu says:

    What a show-stopper!

  43. Hillary says:

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

  44. Y says:

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

  45. bee says:

    gorgeous bread!!!

  46. Peabody says:

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

  47. muffinsareuglycupcakes says:

    really impressive!

  48. Arabic Bites says:

    So beautiful :)

  49. immortallylost says:

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

  50. Anh says:

    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?

  51. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    Wow, that is amazing looking bread!

  52. immortallylost says:

    Thanks Anh :-D I greatly appreciate it!

  53. Reuben Morningchilde says:

    Very cool, thanks for the neat how-to!

  54. tara says:

    That bread is stunning. Simply stunning. Well done!

  55. Alexandra says:

    Do you think the bread would turn out as well if I increased the chocolate layer by half? I'd like the chocolate flavor to be very pronounced, but would that have an adverse affect on the texture?

  56. Anh says:

    Alexandra, I think it should be ok… I think you may need to do a bit more turns just to get the chocolate to be more evenly distributed. Have fun!

  57. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh!! Thanks for the recipe and those informative pictures, that bread looks amazingly good:D im definitely making this!

  58. Katy says:

    I made this bread according to your instructions and the first time, it turned out very well! only thing i would say is that the dough is VERY sticky and will stick to the sides of the bowl. I let it mix in the stand mixer for about 30 minutes before it starts pulling away from the sides. the chocolate square sticks to the plastic wrap and can be difficult to get off. I’m making it for a 2nd time today and adding a bit more flour to the dough and also poured the chocolate paste onto parchment instead of plastic wrap. so far, it’s the same result. bread turns out fantastic! i turned it too many times the first time and the swirls are not as noticeable. I will stick to 3 or 4 this time.

  59. Daisy says:

    Hi Anh,

    This is a beautiful bread. I tried last night. Mine looks similar but a bit dry inside. What are the possible areas I did not get it right?


  60. Kin says:

    Hello, just a very short question…the 55g milk in the choc sheet is milk powder or liquid? thanks

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