Monthly Recipe: Yatsuhashi (八つ橋)

When I first came across this recipe on JustHungry.com (which is a fantastic website, by the way), my initial reaction was that it would be way too hard for me to make. But the idea of making yatsuhashi – my favourite treat from Kyoto – was too tempting by far, and I just had to give it a go. How hard could it be?

Erm… hard!

I don’t know if I got some of the ingredients wrong, simply didn’t knead the dough enough, or something else, but I have to say this wasn’t one of my best creations! Anyway, here it is, and if you think you can do better please do have a go! ;)

Yatsuhashi

Ingredients (makes 12)

Dough:

  • 100g mochiko or glutinous rice flour
  • 60g raw cane sugar or light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85 ml water

Other ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp kinako (ground toasted soybean flour)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 tbsp tsubuan (sweet red beans)

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Method

Mix the dry ingredients for the dough together. Add water and mix very well. (I was worried that I got the wrong kind of glutinous rice flour, but the packet said it was glutinous rice flour…)

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take out and mix well again.

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Put back in the microwave and cook on high for 1 minute 30 seconds. Take out and mix again. At this stage it will form a rough ball and more or less clear the sides of the bowl.

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Spread a large piece of cling film on the work surface and turn the dough out on to it.

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Wrap the dough in the cling film.

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Knead the dough several times, using the cling film as a heat barrier and to prevent sticking between you, the work surface and the dough. Knead until smooth and shiny. (This is probably where I went wrong. It was quite hot, and I just wasn’t sure how to knead it or how long for.)

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Mix the kinako and cinnamon together and use as dusting flour to roll out the dough as thinly as possible. (Good luck with rolling it out thinly! I found it just bounced back as hard as I rolled it!)

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cut the dough into 10 to 12 squares. Wet two sides of a square and fill with about 1/2 tsp of red bean filling. Fold up into a triangle and press hard to seal it.

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

Serve with green tea!

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

JustHungry.com suggested that if you had little bits left over you could bake them and make yatsuhashi cookies. I baked my left-over bits at about 170°C for about 15 minutes (as suggested), but look what happened! I think I’ve created some little monsters… but they’re tasty little monsters!

Cooking: Yatsuhashi

☆★☆

I’ll be back in October with a new recipe. If you have any suggestions, or perhaps you would like me to try one of your recipes from a book or website, please leave a comment below or get in touch! All the recipes I try on this blog have some connection to Japan and, because I don’t eat meat, they need to be vegetarian or pescetarian. I’m particularly interested in helping to promote Japanese recipe books, so do let me know if you have one I might like!

6 thoughts on “Monthly Recipe: Yatsuhashi (八つ橋)

  1. Yatsuhashi is the best! The first one I ever tried I was bit so-so on but it grew on me quickly – I wish they sold them in Oz. I didn’t realise the soft kind and the crunchy kind were the same product for ages either.

    I don’t know if I’ll be able to get all of these ingredients here but if I can find them I’m definitely going to have a go at this one!

    Awesome post :)

    .K.

  2. Reblogged this on JaPlanning and commented:
    Hi guys,

    Just yesterday I noticed Haikugirl’s (Ali’s) recipe post featuring none other than: Yatsuhashi!

    Considering that I just made a competition post for JaPlanning to win some authentic Yatsuhashi, I thought I just had to have a go at it. You can find the recipe below the following comments.

    I found all of the ingredients Ali lists below easily at a local Asian food grocers and it took me about an hour from start to finish. Here are my thoughts on this recipe:

    Some recipe’s call for a 60/40 split of mochiko and joushinko but joushinko can be hard to find outside Japan. Substitute joushinko with potato starch for an authentic ‘mouth feel.’

    I couldn’t find any kinako so I dusted my dough with 2 tbsp of rice flour and 1 tsp of cinnamon – it worked perfectly.

    Once the dough is cooked and you’re ‘ready to roll’ (so to speak!) take a moment to soak your microwaveable dish and mixing implement in hot water – the left over dough will turn into a tough glue otherwise!

    Commit to kneading the dough and to rolling it out as thinly as possible. I think this is what makes or breaks the recipe. As Ali suggests, cut your dough into halves or quarters and keep rolling to get it as thin as possible.

    As a happy accident would have it, I discovered that or sealing the yatsuhashi dipping a pastry brush in water and then into the mix of rice flour and cinnamon really helped to keep them sealed.

    If you roll your dough very thinly cook your left-over pieces at a cooler temperature or for less time – mine burned a little. If I was to cook them again I’d probably do them at 160 C for 10 minutes with another 10 minutes in the oven after the heat is turned off.

    My yatsuhashi turned out awesome and are very delicious. Thanks Ali for the great recipe!

    I do have a lot of left-over bean paste though – any suggestions what to do with it?

    .K.

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