Let’s celebrate Halloween this year with the super fluffy and soft purple and yellow pull-apart Japanese bread with cute Halloween decorations!
Halloween in Japan?
Halloween has become very popular in Japan and people really love it! I am not sure though, if they know what Halloween really is for. Nowadays in Japan, towards October, Halloween supplies can be found everywhere and many confectionery companies sell Halloween themed sweets.
Naturally purple and yellow
When I went back to Japan a few weeks ago, I was browsing the underground floor of a department store (called “Depachika”) in Tokyo and there I found purple sweet potato powder and kabocha pumpkin powder, which is what I’ve used to naturally colour this bread.
Purple Sweet Potato : Purple colour
Purple sweet potato has purple skin and purple flesh. It does not just have a striking colour but it also is high in Anthocyanin, which creates a nice purple colour for this bread.
Kabocha pumpkin : Yellow colour
Kabocha pumpkin is my favourite type of pumpkin. They are not the same as Kent pumpkins although many shops call Kent pumpkins “Japanese pumpkin” in Australia. Kabocha contains anti-aging agents such as vitamin C, E and β-carotene.
Why in powder form?
I found both vegetables in powder form. It is good because
- It is hard to find fresh ones outside of Japan (well in Australia, I rarely see those vegetables)
- Powder form is great for baking sweets and bread.
Where to buy those powders?
Online is probably the best option if you don’t live in Japan.
Purple Sweet Potato Fine Powder
Pumpkin Fine Powder
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Tips to use those powders in the pull apart bread
Add the colour to the divided pieces of knead dough. It is better to add some water to the powder to make a paste before adding it to the dough in order to avoid making lumps.
Alternatively, you can add the powder to the flour before making the dough; however, with this method you will have to individually measure all the ingredients for both the yellow and purple dough and make them both in separate bowls.
How to draw and decorate the bread?
I used a little gadget called a “Decopen” from Daiso. You could also use piping sheets filled with the decorative chocolate/icing. I used chocolate to decorate but icing can be used too.
Here is my instructions for Halloween pull apart Japanese bread and if you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment or any questions below. And don’t forget to check out other Halloween recipes such as Halloween Pocky and Halloween Mont Blanc Cup Cake.
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Halloween Pull-Apart Bread
- 50 g Bread flour/Baker's flour
- 40 ml boiling water above 90 degrees celsius
- 150 ml milk lukewarm
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 g dry instant yeast
- 200 g Bread/Baker's flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 g unsalted butter
- 10 g purple sweet potato powder
- 20 ml water
- 10 g kabocha pumpkin powder
- 15 ml water*
Melted white and milk chocolate for the decoration on top of the bread
- Make Yudane the night before. Place the bread flour in a bowl and add boiling water and mix well. Put cling wrap and refrigerate overnight. *1
- Add all bread ingredients to the bread machine.
- Knead them for 20 minutes.
- While the bread is being kneaded, make the purple sweet potato and kabocha pumpkin paste.
- Place each powder into two separate small bowls and add water and stir. Set aside.
- When the surface of the dough becomes shiny, take the dough out of the machine and divide the dough into three (to make white, purple, and orange dough).
- Knead the purple sweet potato paste into one dough and the kabocha pumpkin paste into another.
- Spray some oil in three bowls and put each dough in the centre.
- Cover each bowl with cling wrap and leave them somewhere warm (or leave them in an oven for 1 hour at 30 c).
- Once the dough has been left for an hour (or doubled in size) take each out of the bowl and place onto a floured bench or chopping bread. Preheat the oven to 180 c.
- Punch each ball of dough down and divide them into 6 even-sized pieces. Shape each piece into a nice round shape and place it in a baking tin lined up next to each other.
- Cover the baking tin with cling wrap and leave it in warm place till the size of the dough doubles.
- Bake it for about 20 minutes. Occasionally check the bread to see if it has become browned (you need to cover with aluminium foil to prevent further browning or burning).
- Take the bread out of the oven once it has cooked, allow it to cool down a little, then have fun decorating it with a deco-pen filled with melted chocolate.
- Serve the bread on a plate for everyone to pull apart.
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