Anpan – Sweet Red Bean Buns

Anpan – Sweet Red Bean Buns

There’s something about eating Anpan that takes me back to high school in Japan. On days where I didn’t have a bento ready, I would eat an anpan (sweet red bean bun) and chat with friends during lunch time.

Although I love going to asian bakeries to buy anpan, I love baking even more! So today, I decided to make anpan at home. The anpan tasted better than the bakery kind and turned out warm, extra fluffy, and super FRESH.

The only thing I recommend when making the bread is using Saf-Yeast Instant Yeast. It’s my favorite instant yeast. It’s usually not sold in stores, so you’ll probably have to get it online, but it’s worth it. No warm water or proofing required, and your dough rises faster (I learned about this yeast while attending an asian bakery class. Not the typical instant rapid rise yeast that’s sold in stores).

Serve with milk or warm green tea~ Enjoy!


This recipe makes 8 Anpan


  • 200 grams all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Saf-Yeast Instant Yeast
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 60 grams water
  • 20 grams milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

For the filling and topping:

  • 250 grams red bean paste
  • black sesame seeds (optional)

Things You'll Need

Cooking Instructions

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and Saf Instant Yeast together. Then add water, milk, and the lightly beaten and form a messy dough. Add the melted butter. Now knead for 5 to 8 minutes using a Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer with dough hooks. You can also knead by hand (it will take a long time). When the dough is smooth and elastic, move to a clean bowl. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour (until doubled in size).
  2. Split the dough to 7 to 8 pieces (about 50 grams each). Roll each into a smooth ball. Cover and let it rise for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Roll the red bean paste into a ball (about a large tablespoon in size). Now take the dough and flatten it (not too much). Add the red bean paste and wrap the dough around it and seal.
  4. Flatten once more. Use a rounded tablespoon to make an indention in the center. *This part is optional: use sharp scissors and make 5 deep cuts around the dough to make a flower shape.* Now cover and let the buns rise another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees F. Instead of egg wash, I like to brush a little bit of olive oil on the bread after it’s done baking to make it shiny. I also like to add some black sesame seeds. Enjoy!!

  • Emi

    I like your blog. It makes me want to make some Japanese pastries. Emi

    • MamaLoli

      Thanks for visiting :) 

  • Mo

    any kind of yeast work?

    • MamaLoli

      Any kind of yeast will work, but proofing the yeast is required. I use the SAF-yeast because no proofing is required and my bread always turns out great compared to other yeast I’ve used.

  • Susan

    This recipe came out much too sticky when I tried it. I measured out all of my ingredients properly. Do you have any idea of what I might have done wrong?

    • MamaLoli

      Depending on where you live and what kind of humidity level you have, you might have to add more or less flour. The dough works better when it’s on the sticky side. 

  • Empty Book

    this recipe is delicious!
    (and your second how-to photo taught me what those spiral attachments for the beater actually were. Easiest knead I ever did! Also, your contact form is a broken link).

    • MamaLoli

      Thanks for visiting :) I’m glad you liked the recipe!

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  • Violet Annie

    Mu husband made these this weekend and they turned out perfectly. I have linked to them on my blog The Paper Wallflower – hope that is ok! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • MamaLoli

      Yay, I’m glad they turned out nicely for you!! Thanks for visiting ^_^

  • jammers

    saf yeast is sold at whole foods

  • Constance

    May I use a tablespoon of oil in place of butter? I’m a bit short on ingredients at the moment…

    • MamaLoli

      I recommend using butter for this recipe. It really does make a difference in flavor and aroma of the bread.

  • Grace

    I love your blog so much. I have been looking forever for a anpan recipe, thank-you :D

    • MamaLoli

      You’re welcome ^_^ Thanks for visiting~

  • K. Harris

    I did not know this existed….why did I not know about this…must try this…must…..
    But I don’t have a food scale…..*sigh* :(
    I love anko + anything. XD

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