*Anpan* is a sweet Japanese bread roll commonly filled with [azuki bean paste](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/red-bean-paste-guide) (red bean paste) and topped with poppy seeds or black [sesame seeds](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-are-sesame-seeds-learn-how-to-cook-with-sesame-seeds). Common variations of *anpan* include filling the buns with *shiro-an* (white bean paste), dyeing the dough green with matcha green tea, or garnishing the buns with a preserved *sakura* (cherry blossom).\n\nThis sweet Japanese bread recipe is widely attributed to Kimura Yasubei, whose bakery opened in Ginza, Tokyo, in 1869. To leaven his bread, Kimura used [koji](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-koji), a rice culture used to make sake, [miso](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/types-of-miso-paste), and soy sauce. The koji gave the bread a moister texture and sweeter flavor than bread leavened with Western-style baker's yeast. In 1874, Kimura debuted his bean paste-filled buns—likely inspired by [mochi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/mochi-recipe) filled with *anko* (another name for red bean paste)—and the sweet bread buns soon spread throughout Japan.\nLearn how to make Japanese bakery-quality red bean buns at home.