The best part about baking is the creative freedom of making something one of a kind with your own hands. Choosing your favorite fresh ingredients and trying new things leads to delicious discoveries about taste and health. Adding green tea or matcha to baked bread is a great way to incorporate a tasty superfood that you already know and love to your diet. Fresh tea leaves are not usually what comes to mind when choosing ingredients to bake bread, but many bakers across the world have already found the pleasure of baking with tea. Although an uncommon bread ingredient for most, green tea can lend not only benefits of a unique earthy flavor, but also incredible health benefits as well. The versatility of this superfood ingredient in bread baking alone is almost as impressive as the complete nutrition it provides the body and mind.
A suggestion for balancing out the earthy, sometimes bitter flavor of green tea or matcha is by adding sweetening. Raw sugar, honey, agave, and maple syrup all compliment the flavor and aroma that green tea presents and are easy to add to a bread recipe. This tip can be used in sweet or savory bread alike.
Adding a pinch of extra salt along with a sweet component to a savory bread recipe will allow the flavors to bring out the best in one another, adding complexity and depth to a fresh, homemade baked bread.
Whether you only have matcha on hand or simply prefer to use loose tea leaves, either can be incorporated into a freshly baked bread. Great matcha often comes with a large price tag, and loose tea leaves is more likely to be affordable. Be aware of the potency in both aroma and flavor of the amount of tea you choose to bake with, taking into account the matcha provides a more robust flavor in the finished bread. If you usually cook with fresh tea leaves, using the same amount when baking with matcha would not be wise! You will end up with a rich aroma but an overwhelming, unpleasant flavor! The best way to get the most delightful flavor is by using the freshest green tea or matcha available. Use according to your personal preference when baking for friends and family.
Matcha is subtle enough that it can be mixed in directly without causing issues with bread texture if done carefully and correctly. The most simplistic way to incorporate matcha into freshly baked bread is by mixing it in entirely with the dry ingredients. On the other hand, matcha can be known to slump significantly. Whisking the soft powder into a liquid is a little tip that will discourage heavy clumping that results in uneven flavor distribution throughout the bread. Whichever method you use, be sure that the matcha is wholly mixed in or dissolved. Although matcha is flavorful enough to not necessarily need to
be steeped or infused, attempting this in your baking process cannot hurt and may even yield satisfying results so feel free to give it a try.
When it comes to baking, infusing green tea or matcha does not have to compromise the soft, chewy texture of fresh bread. The following methods are helpful in achieving perfect bread baked using green tea. Loose green tea leaf can be ground but may come out too coarse and noticeable in the finished bread. It should be noted that powdered green tea is interchangeable with fresh ground green tea in a bread recipe, but the powdered tea will be much smoother and possibly more concentrated than regular green tea, affecting the overall flavor and outcome of your bread. If coarsely ground leaves are the only option, add them to the dough through brewing and straining through a cheesecloth to remove any possibility of grit. Steeping or infusing the fresh tea leaves is a better way of adding the benefits of tea into your baking.
Taking the above in thought, here is one recipe that you can try out yourself.
Yield: One standard (8½” x 4½”) loaf
Above is one chapter and recipe from my newly published book Cook with Green Tea. This recipe book has more visual images for baking matcha bread, cakes, smoothie, cocktail and a whole lot more. The book is an ultimate guide for cooking with matcha and green tea.
If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an ìacquired tasteî or that it is ìtoo bitterî to enjoy, weíre here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.
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Bento Box Magazine features Kei Nishida's article in three months sequence series titled "The Matcha and Green Tea Trends in Japan".
Bento Box Magazine is Toronto based and Canada’s first Japanese culture and entertainment magazine which is published in English. Bento Box authors include companies such as Ito En, Calbee, Acura and Muji.