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Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

The making of this matcha swirl loaf is definitely a project for a Sunday afternoon, preferably a gloomy drizzly one like the one we had last weekend, which proved perfect for staying in and making bread.

For years, I’ve been fixated with this desire to make my own bread at the start of each week, I think it’s a throwback from my childhood when we’d get a loaf or two on the weekend and have it throughout the week for breakfast. When we lived in Freetown, we used to go to this small bakery miles away from us, ran by a Ghanaian woman – I was obsessed with that bread, it was squishy, pillowy soft and chewy and so, so good slathered with salted butter. We still talk about that bread with reverence to this day.

Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf Matcha Swirl Loaf

Over the fall and winter months, I experimented with a variety of breads, from restaurant copycat versions and testing instant yeast to trying out homemade sourdough starter and the tangzhong method of imbuing bread with moisture.
I used the tangzhong method in this match swirl loaf. Tanzhong, Japanese bread-making technique, is basically water roux; it’s a combination (1 part flour to 5 parts water) of flour and water cooked to a paste and cooled – the tangzhong is then added to the recipe. The technique helps the starch in the flour absorb more liquid and retain moisture all through the baking process. Tangzhong baked bread is soft and tender, and keeps fresh longer.

The inclusion of matcha and use of this unique technique makes this an exceptional and fun bread to tackle.

The first time I made this bread (which was also when I took these photos), I used a smidgen of matcha powder because I didn’t want the flavour to overwhelm the bread. In subsequent versions I’ve found a nice balance in 1 to 2 tablespoons of matcha powder, the flavour is pronounced but not overwhelming.

Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

This is one of my favourite breads to make at the moment, it’s got a nice super-soft chewy texture, plus it’s visually pleasing; each swirly slice makes me smile. It requires a bit of preparation but it yields two loaves, you could freeze one for the next week, or give one to a friend or neighbour, they’ll love you forever!. A slice of this bread in the morning always feels a little special; it pairs well with coffee or hot cocoa, it’s great plain or with butter; we go crazy with nut butters and/or jam at home. You could also make toast, if it lasts that long.

A few notes on this recipe – I tend to use all-purpose flour for my breads but use bread flour if you have it, it’ll make your bread denser and extra chewy. I’ve substituted a cup white whole-wheat flour in the recipe a few times as well, and that has worked wonderfully. Additionally, don’t be shy about using your bread machine to prepare the dough.

Matcha Swirl Loaf Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf
Yields 2
Soft, delicious, beautiful and vibrant homemade bread with tangzhong starter and hints of matcha green tea, enjoy it plain or with a dab of butter, makes awesome toast as well.
Print
Water Roux (Tangzhong)
  1. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup water
Matcha dough
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  4. 3 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup almond milk, warm
  7. 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  8. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  9. 1/2 of water roux (tangzhong) mixture from above
  10. 3 tablespoons butter, softened
Plain dough
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  5. 1/2 cup almond milk, warm
  6. 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 of water roux (tangzhong) mixture from above
  9. 3 tablespoons butter, softened
Make water roux (tangzhong)
  1. In a small bowl, mix flour and water and whisk until smooth and there are not lumps
  2. Heat over medium heat, and stir constantly as mixture heats up and begins to thicken.
  3. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens to a paste or reaches a temperature of 150 degrees f.(~65 degrees c.)
  4. Remove from heat and let mixture cool completely and come to room temperature before use
Make dough using Bread Machine
  1. Add ingredients (including 1/2 of water roux mix) to the bucket of the bread machine in the suggested order per machine’s instructions (e.g. wet ingredients first then dry ingredients or vice versa), select the dough or manual cycle to prepare dough
  2. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 40 mins to 1 hour
  3. Repeat process with the plain dough
Stand Mixer
  1. Combine flour, matcha powder, yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
  2. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine milk and mix in ground flaxseed and vanilla extract
  3. Make a well in the center of flour mixture (in the bowl of the stand mixer) and pour in the milk mixture and water roux (tangzhong)
  4. Mix on medium speed until dough starts to come together, add butter and continue mixing until dough comes together completely, forms a smooth ball and is elastic when you pull at it. (You can also mix by hand in a large bowl)
  5. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 40 minutes to an hour
  6. Repeat process with the plain dough
  7. While waiting for dough to rise, lightly grease 2 9-inch or medium-sized loaf pans and set aside
  8. When dough has risen, transfer to a clean flour-dusted work-surface, punch it down, divide into two and roll out each dough roughly into an 8-inch rectangle at about 1/4 inch in thickness
  9. Place the rolled out matcha dough over the rolled out plain dough and roll both up together, tuck the ends underneath the dough and transfer into prepared loaf pan, repeat the same process for the remaining dough
  10. Cover loosely with a clean towel or plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour, until it doubles in size.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. When ready to bake, brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil
  13. Bake loaves for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown and baked through (bread should sound hollow when you tap on it)
  14. Remove loaves from pan by gently tipping it onto a cooling rack (you may need to lightly loosen the edges with a table knife)
  15. Let bread cool completely before slicing
  16. Enjoy!
the Whinery by Elsa Brobbey https://elsbro.com/blog/

Matcha Swirl Loaf Matcha Swirl Loaf

Matcha Swirl Loaf

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