Apr 162012

This is a very fun and simple bread recipe using the water roux method. The texture of this bread, due to the water roux,  is very soft, almost cotton like and the bread stays soft for more than 3 days. It is not very sweet because sugar was not added to the chocolate layers…

My husband was a little disappointed because he expected a sweeter chocolate layer…and he was like “looks like chocolate, but does not taste like it”. Once I explained to him that I used unsweetened cocoa powder, he settled for “Oh! So the chocolate color is just for  looks”. Anyway, to boost the flavor you can always spread jam or Nutella.

I used my bread machine, but this simple recipe can be easily done manually. I made them into three mini bread pans; they came out very “cute”.


Water roux
1/3 cup bread flour
1 cup water

Main dough
2 ½ cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons milk powder
100 ml of water plus 2 tablespoons water
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons butter


Water roux

In a small pan, mix all the ingredients of water roux, place in a low heat and stir constantly until the temperature reach 65oC (150F), or if you do not have a thermometer, cook until ripples form. Set aside to cool by covering with a plastic film.

Main dough

In the bread machine bucket, add the water roux, and all the other ingredients, except for the butter, water and cocoa powder.
Turn the machine to knead mode until it forms soft dough. Add the butter and let it knead until the butter incorporates into the dough.

Divide the dough in approximately 2/3 and 1/3 portions. Remove the small portion and set aside by covering with a plastic film.

Knead the bigger portion until the dough is smooth and elastic. Remove from the machine and set aside in a bowl by covering the dough with a plastic film.

Place back the small portion in the bread machine and add cocoa powder and water as needed and let it knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover the chocolate dough and set aside in a bowl by covering with a plastic film.

Let both dough proof until the dough doubles to its original size.

Knock back both dough and let it rest for 5 minutes on the counter, cover both dough.

Flatten the chocolate dough into a rectangle shape of approximately 6 x 9 inches and the white dough to 12 x 6 inches. Layer the chocolate rectangle in between the white rectangle. Flatten the rectangle and cut in 2 equal portions. Layer one piece on top of the other and flatten again. Repeat this procedure a couple of times.

Cut the flatten dough into 3 equal pieces. Then again cut into 3 equal strips. Gently roll the strips and place 3 together and make a braid. Place the braided bread in the tins. Cover the tins with plastic film and let them rise in a warm place until the dough has almost tripled its original size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven at 350F. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter. Remove from the tin and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If you enjoy this Asian style bread you might want to check on red bean buns or cinnamon rolls.

Have a great week and thank you for stopping by Simple Recipes!

  76 Responses to “Chocolate Marble Asian Bread”

  1. What a beautiful bread,Juliana! I love the colors! Delicious!

  2. Hi Juliana,
    I am captivated by these marbled loaves—they are some of your prettiest ever! I imagine that my husband would be a little disappointed too, expecting a sweet chocolate taste. But the cocoa would add an interesting depth to the bread—I think I’d like a lot. Thanks!

  3. They look colorful and delicious Juliana! They true look like marbles! I love them!

  4. Wow! This bread is so pretty!

  5. AMaZing! The bread looks lovely with the swirls. As you mentioned, it would be great with Nutella.

  6. Hi Juliana, how are you? hope you still remember me. Heeeee. The bread looks so soft, neat and pretty!! Like you said, with nutella would be nice. But im sure without it, is equally nice! GREAT JOB! (:

  7. I LOVE this! What a creative and beautiful bread you’ve put together Juliana. I’ll admit, I probably would have anticipated the chocolate flavor as well, but I really like the idea of a lower sugar, healthier version.

  8. wow, this is so impressive!! really beautiful!! even without the strong chocolate flavour, i still love it!

  9. How gorgeous is this! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bread so beautiful!

  10. Holey Moley those look fantastic. NIIIICE Job!

  11. wow your marble bread look so creative and pretty! I like how you used the water roux method. If I understand it correctly, the use of water roux makes bread super soft and fluffy like the one sold at Asian bakery stores! Thanks for the wonderful recipe and have a great week!

  12. Lovely! Looks like you made enough to share : ) .

  13. This looks really amazing! Have a super week 🙂

  14. Juliana this looks beautiful. I suppose this water roux is the same with tangzhong starter. I discovered it a couple of years ago and really loved anything I have made using it.

  15. oh wow! look at that! Fantastic! I am in awe Juliana.

  16. It looks gorgeous. I can imagine why your husband was a little disappointed he couldn’t taste the chocolate though – mine would be just the same!

  17. They’re so pretty!

  18. This is a sight to behold; I am in awe Julianna. Of course I am saving, printing it for my grand daughter’s next visit; this will be fun to bake. I kind of like that it is not sweet. I have never heard of this beauty before.

  19. OMG Juliana! Those loaves of bread are gorgeous!
    I would love to try your recipe one of these days. But I’m pretty sure that mine won’t come out as beautiful as yours!

  20. Gorgeous! Your breads look amazing and so soft. I really have to try that interesting method.



  21. wow Juliana, i LOVE how you braided this bread! wow, i’m so impressed. i like the unsweetened chocolate bread flavor. i don’t like it when bread is that sweet. 🙂

  22. juliana! this is definitely the most impressive marbled bread i’ve ever seen–the braid is a lovely touch!

  23. Oh my god, Juliana! I love these breads. They look like beautiful sweet marbles. They are really beautiful and I can’t over it. Wow! I hope you are having a very nice week, Juliana! 🙂

  24. That is beautiful perfect marbling on the bread 😉

  25. How super fun and pretty! I’ve been wanting to make a braided loaf for awhile, but this looks really fun with the chocolate “swirl”. Fantastic post!

  26. That is the prettiest bread I have EVER seen Juliana! Love the marbling. I would be like your husband, though and would want a little sweetness, but I love the idea of spreading Nutella over it.

  27. Beautiful bread Juliana! I have never seen bread made this way so I enjoyed reading and seeing the pictures of your very creative bread;-)

  28. This bread is sensational – ASAP I will be adding you to my blog page due to your amazing skill 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  29. I am not a huge bread eater, I will admit that, but this bread can definitely change my mind before I even make it. I love how this bread looks. Very nice

  30. What a stunning looking bread!!!
    Trust me as soon as I saw the 1st pic I was in love!!!
    Beautiful!!!, It will be hard for me to slice this beauty….

  31. Your bread is beautiful, love the marbled effect! And looks soft and delicious! Lovely with a cup of coffee!

  32. simple bread Juliana? I think this look absolutely georgeous and nice! I remember well you made amazing breads LOL

  33. The bread is beautiful. It sounds yummy too. Hope your week is going well.

  34. The stripes are so fun! And who doesn’t love an excuse to put some chocolate in some bread? 😉
    I wonder if you can up the amount of cocoa powder to give the chocolate more presence in the flavor?

  35. This bread is so impressive! It’s absolutely gorgeous and I’m sure it’s just as delicious as it is beautiful!

  36. Juliana, that is one of the prettiest breads I’ve seen. And I bet it tastes just as delicious as it looks!

  37. Stunning bread! And what a unique method. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  38. Baked this before and I love how beautiful yours has turned out.

  39. Simply beautiful and the bread looks so soft too!

  40. Oh my goodness. I can’t believe how gorgeous this looks! I’m always looking at delicious food late at night, and just want to bake!!

  41. What a gorgeous bread! Love the marbling effect!

  42. This is a gorgeous bread!

  43. Oh my goodness! Look at those beautiful stripes! 😮

  44. beautiful swirls and marbling… and I will this not-so-sweet version 🙂

  45. Wow! Those are gorgeous loaves, Juliana! Butter and a bit of honey on top takes care of the lack of sweetness. Definitely copying this recipe!

  46. I love the presentation of this bread. It looks so gorgeous the way you have combined the two colours and then done the plaiting and then added the glossy finish – it’s incredible. Well done! Looks amazing xx

  47. Dear Juliana,
    What a fantastic looking bread and how delicious must be. Amazing!!!
    Cheers and hope you’re having a fantastic week,

  48. Simply stunning! Your breads are works of art! Pinning so I can try these when I get brave enough 🙂

  49. What a fantastic idea! I love how shiny and poofy and SOFT your bread looks! I would definitely love nutella on it! You can never have too much chocolate! 🙂

  50. I’m speechless! I say this about all of your baked goods, but this one truly is a stunning work of edible art! I’ve never made a loaf using the water-roux method, but I’ve been curious for a very long time… Next chance I get to bake for fun, I want to take this one on!

  51. Wow.That looks absolutely beautiful!

  52. Oh my God! this look so impressive. This does look a work of an art.

  53. Juliana, it looks so beautiful and so impressive! Congratulations for the perfectly shaped and braided loaves!

  54. wow this bread is simply stunning adore it thanks for the kind congrats on my talk

  55. This is perfection Juliana. Love it!

  56. I love the beautiful look of this bread! Now that I have a bread machine I’d love to try it some time.

  57. I love the marbled look Juliana, beautiful!! Hope you’re having a great week!

  58. What a gorgeous loaf of bread! Looks tender and delicious inside too!

  59. Hi Juliana,
    The bread looks beautiful! I love the step by step method shown. Very impressive.

  60. I have seen this in other blogs and admired the beautiful layers of marble effect, yours are so cute and look so soft and fluffy! Gotta try to make these too!

  61. What a beautiful and perfect marble bread Juliana! I’m impressed to see how the chocolate part is mixed in so beautifully… I like that it’s not so sweet. I can eat even more. Or also love the idea of nutella… either way, this bread looks so good!

  62. Wow! How lovely! I’m with your husband though- I like my chocolate to be chocolatey. Wonder if you could sub sweetened cocoa?

  63. Wow, this has to be one of the most beautiful breads I’ve seen! What a cool method for getting the swirls and striping. It looks outstanding!

  64. Absolutely gorgeous!

  65. Stunning looking bread! Love the knots. And funny hubs wants it even sweeter! Classic manisms!

  66. What satisfaction you got from looking at this bread…not to say how incredibly delicious it must have been.
    I’m truly envious…especially since bread making has not been too promising in my kitchen.

    Juliana, your tutorial is a keeper and I will one day try to accomplish your masterpiece ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  67. This bread looks absolutely amazing! SUPER COOL!!

  68. This bread is just beautiful! I’ve never heard of a water roux… very interesting. I’m going to check out the cinnamon rolls now 🙂

  69. This is stunning. What beautiful presentation! I have always been intimidated with bread making, but this braid is gorgeous! Love it!

  70. How neat!! I must try this lovely loaf!

  71. This bread looks amazing, I have to try it, maybe adding a little of coffee to the dough will make the flavor more pronounced? So many wonderful ideas I get from your blog ! Keep it up, I look forward to your recipe!,

  72. Gorgeous! I’m sure it tastes great too!

  73. Very, very pretty! I’ll have to give these a go.

  74. My first thought when i saw this bread was simply that looks amazing how is it made. Then i find out how simple it is and im extremly excited to make it for me and my bf. Thanks for sharing this recipe.! it looks Sooo goood….

  75. good very good ..could throw in a few rasins