Around the late nineties, the French rediscovered bread — not just any old bread […] It’s a short journey from the quest for good bread to making it yourself […] “People today are seeking authenticity in all kinds of things, ” [Éric Kayser] explains. “And what could be better than bread, when it is made honestly, with no trickery or artifice, to convey this feeling of authenticity?” -foreword, “The Larousse Book of Bread” by Éric Kayser, p.9
March came in like a snow lion this year. I was almost (“almost” being the key word) glad we were still in a strict “stay at home” order. …we’re still in a “stay at home” order, but now it’s not quite as strict. We can now enter hardware stores, masked of course. But after more than a year of this, it’s old and boring news. Let’s move on, shall we?
Amazingly, the snow that blanketed Toronto at the beginning of March disappeared a few days later and it really did seem that spring had arrived. There are even the points of crocus and day lily leaves peeking up through the bleakness!
Cleverly, Cathy (Bread Experience) decided we should celebrate spring and at the same time, St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, with bread made with candied orange peel and green tea.
Powdered green tea. Matcha.
That HAS to be good for us, doesn’t it?
Green tea has more health benefits than black tea, which can be attributed to its lack of processing. Green tea is higher in protective polyphenols […], which function as powerful antioxidants.
[…] Matcha is made from green tea leaves grown in the shade. The leaves have a higher chlorophyll content which makes them a vibrant green colour. To make matcha, the entire leaf is ground down into a powder.
– Jo Lewin, BBC Good Food | Is green tea good for you?
Here’s what I did to the BBBabes’ March 2021 bread recipe:
BBB Green Tea and Oranges Bread diary:
1 February 2021 at 20:35 Looking at Cathy’s photo: Wow!! It really is green! We’ve never tried matcha, but we have lots and lots of green tea that one of our Japanese friends gave us (it’s not very green though….)
This will be fun!
2 February 2021, 11:22 I’m green as far as matcha is concerned as well. …I’ve heard of it.
I found this page that reviews several brands.
There is a dedicated tea store that is walking distance from us. According to their website, they do sell matcha tea. However, their tea is really really expensive. Not that we’re opposed to paying if the tea is good. But when the shop opened, we bought some of their loose Earl Grey tea. It was dreadful – overly perfumed…. But it may be a moot point. According to the tea shop’s website, they are sold out of matcha tea that is listed at Cdn$18 for 30 grams
Suddenly that seems decidedly inexpensive when compared with to Cdn$36 for 30 grams of Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Matcha GOLD on Amazon Canada, or $65.50 for 30 grams of Kenko Organic Ceremonial Grade – with “free” shipping on both. I should hope so at those prices!
There is also a Japanese grocery store that is an easy bike ride away (if there is no snow on the road) – I can’t tell from their website if they sell matcha powder, but they must, mustn’t they??
But who knows if the store is still open? There have been many businesses that have permanently shut down because of the COVID-19 restrictions. Also, even if the store IS open, the Japanese market’s matcha may be prohibitively expensive.
As soon as it gets warm enough to bicycle freely again (I’m guessing sometime mid to late February, we’ll ride over to see if the store is still there.
I found Jade Leaf… Cdn$31.95 for 30 grams. Hmmmm, are we worth it? And do we really want to be making a loaf of bread that costs at least $10?
18:25 Next time we venture into the supermarket (I really am growing weary of these line-ups, masking up, and otherwise having to stay at home…) I’ll see if there is some sort of matcha tea that doesn’t require us to take out a bank loan.
Or perhaps I’ll end up just using actual green tea and trying to imagine the green colour.
22 February 2021, 10:15 Tanna pointed out that there are four (4!) loaves to be made with this recipe. Ha!! This is what comes of actually reading through the whole recipe. I never noticed that part when I skimmed. In fact, I didn’t even manage to notice the part that said to divide the one ball into four!
I think I will halve the recipe. There is no way our oven will fit four loaves.
11 March 2021 at 9:57 I haven’t forgotten about making this bread in time.
When I was explaining to T about the need for matcha powder, he suddenly said, “but we HAVE green tea powder that you got for me to make green tea ice cream.”
Duh. He’s right!! I completely forgot. We got it at the Japanese store. And I am right; it wasn’t cheap. The small tin cost about $13! In around 2007…. (Does green tea powder go off? There is no “best before” date)
Sure, it’s not matcha powder, but it is Japanese green tea powder.
I was also going to be lazy and use some of T’s seville orange marmalade. Of course I asked permission, because his marmalade is like gold! He said I could, but that he would be happy to make candied peel for me. What a guy!
Also, I got a copy of “The Larousse Book of Bread” by Éric Kayser out of the library. I cannot believe that every single “sourdough” recipe in the book calls for adding some commercial yeast! I’m so glad that Cathy has already proven its presence just isn’t necessary.
11:43am The little container we have in the cupboard is labelled “green tea powder” and the ingredients are “Japanese green tea”. Maybe, to boost the green tea-ness of the loaf, I’ll make some green tea from the green tea leaves we have and use it in place of water.
We’re not sure when we bought the green tea powder. We think it was in the summer of 2007 when we got our ice cream machine. But I cannot find any record of the green tea ice cream in my mixed up photo files. It’s entirely possible that we didn’t take any photos. As I recall, green tea ice cream is not exactly the most attractive and appetizing colour.
The green tea shortbread made with the same tea powder were equally unappetizing.
[Green tea shortbread are] quite spectacularly ugly to look at: a sort of grey-green colour […] The cookies tasted pretty good though. But perhaps not quite good enough to make them again…. (That colour! brrrrr) – me, blog from OUR kitchen | Ts Shortbread Revisited, 10 January 2019
I was so excited to read the intro to Éric Kayser’s book, and then so disappointed when he said he didn’t mind adding yeast to his sourdoughs. I think it might be something to do with running a bakery and not being able to afford the risk of having the bread fail, or be slightly flatter than last time. So, it’s not a matter of the sourdough starter not being good enough. It’s a matter of having no faith in it.
Our starter is working fabulously right now. I made stamp bread the other night – Tartine recipe, except I added a bit of yoghurt. It. Was. Fabulous.
14 March 2021, 14:23DST Here’s hoping the US Senate comes through to abolish DST once and for all, and that this is the last time we will be switching the clocks! (Ontario will not abolish DST unless the US does – something about fear of having the stockmarkets out of sync. Or something.)
I suddenly comprehended that it’s only two days before the 16th. We’re making pizza tonight. But I had way too much leavener for the dough. It seems like a perfect opportunity to make one small green tea and orange loaf.
Of course, I transgressed. Amazingly, it turns out the transgression was not with the Matcha! It turns out that the insanely high priced container of green tea powder we have in the cupboard for T’s green tea ice cream is indeed Matcha. Or, as it is spelled on the container: maccha.
And look at the price!! If we really did buy that in 2007, imagine how much 40 grams would cost now! But, once again, I’m getting distracted from what I did to Éric Kayser’s and Cathy’s green tea and orange loaf recipes, aren’t I?
My transgression …errmm… (okay okay – we’ll call a spade a spade) transgressions were to use Seville orange marmalade in place of the candied orange peel and orange blossom water. I also added a tiny bit less olive oil.
Wow, the tea aroma is amazing! But the colour is a little unfortunate. It really does look rather mildewed now.
Fingers crossed that the leavener leavens.
14:44 I just looked at the Ujinotsuyu website. Perhaps we can add another transgression. It looks like I probably used expired tea:
Canned Matcha. Hagoromo #750 is very good ingredient for beverage, confectionary and cooking. Our Japanese Matcha has 1-year expiry dates -UJInoTSUYU Seicha Company: UJINOTSUYU Series | Matcha Hagoromo 750
There is no “Hagoromo” marking on the container we bought. And the little blue flag on our label is now a red flag. The English spelling is “maccha” rather than “matcha”. All of this indicates that our tea is old old old! And judging from the price of the red flag tea now, in comparison to the prices of the organic green teas I looked at, it appears not to be “organic”.
Yet, in spite of its age, it still smells very tea-like! It’s not very green though.
18:12 Shriek!! I cannot believe I didn’t notice that the light in the oven was turned off! What an idiot I am.
Neither the pizza dough, nor the BBB dough has budged. Because, of course, it isn’t warm in the kitchen again. Yesterday, it was 15C outside (and probably 15C inside too, but let’s not dwell on that…). Today, it’s -2C outside with a stiff north wind whipping through all the crevices in our 100 year old house. Hence it is ridiculously cold outside and in. Way too cold for bread to rise without a little help from the warmth of the oven light.
I turned the light on. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be having pizza tonight after all.
20:15 Well, THAT didn’t work. I took both bowls and stomped them into the unheated section (where it stays around 10C in winter) between the kitchen and the back door. Maybe, by a giant miracle, the doughs will rise. Maybe.
My hero, T, is presently making saffron rice with peas to have for dinner. We’re pretending that Daylight Saving starts tomorrow so we won’t be dining ridiculously late.
15 March 2021, 08:15 Miracles do happen. The BBB dough actually rose a little – the grey green colour isn’t quite so pronounced now. And the aroma of the tea is still present but not quite so powerfully as yesterday.
I’ve moved the bowl into the oven with only the light on to continue rising. I hope. (I left the pizza dough in the cold room. It has hardly budged. But I’m not quite ready yet to toss it and start over….)
17:43: Here it is one day later than planned, and at last the little loaf is shaped. I really hope it turns out. The dough is quite stiff in comparison to what we usually make. But that can only be good for the slashing, can’t it? Maybe I’ll slash it the same way that Éric Kayser suggests. Then the loaf might look sort of the same as it should.
Initially, I was going to use the small wooden handled stamp to put an indentation in the middle.
Hmmmmm. What to do. What to do.
Oh yes, before I forget: I’m happy to report that the pizza dough has risen after all and we will be having last night’s pizza for dinner tonight. Even though I was the only one who was really screaming and yelling at myself, quel relief that I won’t feel compelled to be in the dog house again.
18:23 Oven on!!
18:45 Scoring was fun. But but that colour. Oh My. It’s definitely not the green colour that Cathy’s bread was, or the colour of the dough in Éric Kayser’s book!
19:30 Look at that oven spring!
Ooops!! I just noticed yet another transgression. I see from re-reading that a full recipe is supposed to make 4 loaves. Therefore, this should have made 2 loaves.
How beautiful. Dare I say that it looks even more beautiful than Éric Kayser’s green tea & orange loaves?
We tasted the bread this morning. Can that colour really be described as green though?
The tea flavour came through faintly – I’m not sure I would do this again. It lends a slight bitterness. This could have something to do with the brand and/or age and/or non-organicness of the matcha used. But being the cheap-skate I am, I’m not willing to experiment by buying more matcha. The marmalade also adds lovely hints of orange from time to time.
What a beautiful, moist – but not too moist – crumb. With only a hint of the dreaded grey-green colour.
In spite of the trouble it gave us, we actually ended up really liking this bread. Toasted, it is delicious with extra marmalade.
Thank you, Cathy. That was fun!
Here is the March 2021 BBB recipe that we were given. And here is what I did to it:
Green Tea and Marmalade Loaf
based on Éric Kayser’s recipe for ‘Green Tea and Orange Loaf’ in his book, “Larousse Book of Bread: Recipes to make at home”, and Cathy’s (Bread Experience) take that same recipe
This naturally leavened Green Tea and Orange Loaf, infused with matcha green tea powder […] has a distinct green color before baking and a lighter green after baking. – Cathy, Bread Experience
makes one smallish boule
- kitchen spoon (about 15 grams) Jane Mason whole wheat starter from fridge
- 25 grams “no additives” 100% whole wheat flour [the BBB recipe calls for “all-purpose flour”]
- 25 grams water, at room temperature
- flour [the full BBB recipe calls for “500 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting”]
» 240 grams unbleached ‘no additives’ all-purpose flour
» 10 grams wheat germ
- 125 grams water, at body temperature [the full BBB recipe calls for “250 – 300 grams water, divided 125, 125, 50”]
- Zero orange flour water [the full BBB recipe calls for “25 grams orange flower water”]
- 5 grams green tea powder (maccha) the full BBB recipe calls for “10 grams (2 tsp)”
- 50 grams Seville orange marmalade the full BBB recipe calls for “150 grams candied orange peel, chopped or finely diced”
- 10 grams olive oil the full BBB recipe calls for “30 grams”
- all of the leavener from above
- 5 grams seasalt + 10 grams water
- leavener: In the evening of the day before making the bread: Put the starter, flour and water into a smallish bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside overnight in the oven with only the light turned on (because even in March, it’s quite cool in the kitchen).
- Check the starter: In the morning of the day you will be making the bread: If a small forkful of the leavener floats in a small bowl of cool room temperature water, you can go ahead and mix the dough. (If the leavener does not float – it may have has used up all its food in the night, stir in 10 grams each of whole wheat flour and water (ie: even amounts by weight) and cover with a plate and leave for another hour or so. Check to see if it’s floating. If it is not, wait a little longer. When it floats, proceed with mixing the dough.
- Mix the dough Sift the all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl, stir in the wheat germ and green tea powder. Spoon the marmalade on top and pour in the olive oil. Check the water on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is baby bottle temperature, then pour the water into the flour. Use a dough whisk or wooden spoon to mostly mix in the dry ingredients. Don’t worry if there is a little flour still at the bottom of the bowl. Let the mixture rest for 5 or 10 minutes. Then add all of the leavener, and using the dough whisk or your hands, mix everything together to make a rough dough. If the dough still seems a little dry, put in a little splash of water. (The whole wheat flour in the starter might make things drier – whole wheat flour is more absorbent than all-purpose flour.) Cover the bowl with a plate and leave for about 30 minutes in the oven making sure that only the light is turned on. (Do as I say not as I did….)
- Add the salt: Put the salt into a little bowl and pour a little splash of water over top. Swirl it around before adding the super-saturated salty water to the top the dough.
- Kneading: Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than separated glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Stretching and folding Turn the bowl as fold and re-fold the dough into the center until the dough is smooth. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave in the oven with only the light turned on for about 30 minutes.
- Stretching and folding again: Repeat the folding step about 2 more times at 30 minute intervals. You’ll notice that after each time, the dough will feel significantly smoother . After the final time of folding, cover with the plate, and leave the dough until it is smooth, shiny, and is showing signs of beginning to rise. (Again, do as I say, not as I did. If the light is turned on in the oven, the dough will not too remain impossibly cold for the yeasts to do their work.)
- Pre-shaping: Scatter a light dusting of all-purpose flour on the board and gently place the dough on the flour. Wash and dry the bowl. Fold the dough over in half, gently patting off any extra flour that might be there. Continue folding in half until it is shaped into a ball. Be amazed by the smell of the green tea to distract you from the somewhat frightening colour of the dough that looks like a terrible case of mildew has occurred. Cover the dough ball with the overturned clean mixing bowl to let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Prepare the brotform: Liberally coat the insides of a brot-form with rice flour.
- Shaping: Scatter a light dusting of flour on top of the dough ball. Lightly pat it to make sure there is no excess flour. With the palms of your hands, gently press the ball down to form it into a disc that is 3 to 4 centimeters deep. Without breaking the skin on the bottom, use the dough scraper to fold the dough in half. Turn the dough a quarter turn and continue folding until a ball is created. Now carefully put the shaped loaf seam-side UP, pinching the seam again for good measure, into the brotform. Cover with the overturned mixing bowl and let sit for an hour or so to allow the loaf to almost double. “Almost” is the key here….
- Preheat the oven: If you have been proofing the bread in the oven with only the light on, take it out NOW and put it on the counter! (Don’t ask; the memories are still too painful….) Place a baking stone on the middle rack, along with a large stainless steel mixing bowl that can be used as a hat for the bread. Turn the oven to 450F.
- Scoring and Baking:
- To know when it’s time to bake, flour your index finger and gently but firmly press it on the side of the bread. If the dough springs back immediately, recover the bread and leave it on the counter for another 15 minutes of so. If the dough gradually returns back after being pressed, it’s ready to bake.
- Make sure the oven is thoroughly preheated before proceeding. Using a lame, sharp knife, and/or scissors, score the bread in the pattern you like. I used the criss-cross pattern suggested by Éric Kayser. Then, because I couldn’t stop myself, I used the scissors around the edge to try to create a frill.
- Using a peel, put the bread onto the hot stone and immediately cover it with the overturned stainless steel mixing bowl. Turn the oven down to 400F (because the sugar in the marmalade may cause the bread to burn on the bottom) Bake for about 20 minutes with the hat in place, then remove it. Be thrilled at the oven spring as you quickly close the oven door to bake for another 30 minutes, or until the bread is beautifully golden and sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom. Be relieved that the grey-green colour is significantly less apparent.
- Cooling: When the bread has finished baking, remove it from the oven and allow it to completely cool on a footed rack before serving; it is still cooking internally when first removed from the oven! If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely: To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.
Leavener: The leavener is made with our 100% hydration whole wheat starter. It took about 5 days to create. (See our take on Jane Mason’s Natural Starter made with Wheat Flour.) Note that Éric Kayser’s recipe calls for adding commercial yeast — either dry or cake — to the natural starter (!), calling for “2 g (1/2 teaspoon) fresh baker’s yeast” in his recipe for green tea & orange loaf. Sure, that isn’t a lot of yeast. But it is completely unnecessary. Here is what he has to say:
If used in the correct proportion, yeast need not be avoided entirely. […] I add a small quantity to most of my sourdough recipes. Yeast can be used if you need to fine-tune the fermentation time -The Larousse Book of Bread, p28
Many bread bakers, including the BBBabes, are in complete disagreement with this notion, and have omitted the commercial yeast entirely from this recipe.
Marmalade: The BBB recipe calls for “candied orange peel, chopped or finely diced” and “orange blossom water”. I was too lazy to candy the peel, and forgot to buy some when we went grocery shopping. Neither of us are wild about the flavour of orange blossom water (even though we were very excited about it when we first tried it). So I stole some of T’s marmalade.
Proofing Times: Because our kitchen is so chilly right now, it took two and a half days to make this bread. The proofing time after mixing on the first day was 8 hours. (Yes, it’s true; someone who shall remain nameless – suffice it to say that her name begins with “E” – neglected to make sure the light in the oven was turned on) In that time, the dough hardly budged at all. I moved the bowl into the unheated green section by the back door (essential a fridge), and left it there overnight. In that time, the dough began to rise a little but it wasn’t until being transferred back into the oven, with the light turned on, and left there for about 6 hours, that the dough finally doubled.
In his recipe for green tea & orange loaf, Éric Kayser foolishly give times for proofing, rather following his own advice to take different environments into account.
The first fermentation can last between 1-3 hours (mmore in some cases), depending on the flours used and the ambient temperature. […] My advice is to use a mixture of knowledge and instinct. […] The second fermentation comes after the dough is shaped and just before baking. As with the first rise, the dough is covered with a damp cloth and left at room temperature in a draft-free area.
-The Larousse Book of Bread, The Two Stages of Fermentation, p.30
[After mixing:] Shape into a ball and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise for 2 hours […] The dough will have increasd in volume by the end of the rising time. […] [After shaping:] Leave to proof for 1 hour 15 minutes.
-The Larousse Book of Bread, Green Tea & Orange Loaf, p.176
Bread Baking Babes Green Tea and Orange Loaf
Cathy is hosting March 2021’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:
Since March 16th is the day before St Patricks Day, I wanted to make something appropriate. […] After searching through some of my bread books, I found this Green Tea and Orange Loaf in The Larousse Book of Bread by Eric Kayser, and I knew this was the one.
This is a naturally-leavened loaf made with matcha green tea powder and flavored with candied orange peel and orange blossom water.[…] It has a beautiful green color before baking and becomes a lighter green after baking.
– Cathy, in message to BBBabes
We know you’ll want to make green tea orange loaf too! To receive a Bread Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the bread in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 March 2021. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to contact the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.
For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:
- BBB Kitchen of the month: Cathy, Bread Experience, BBB March 2021
- BBBuddy guidelines
- about the BBBabes
Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ March 2021 Green Tea and Orange loaves:
- Aparna, My Diverse Kitchen
- Cathy, Bread Experience Celebrate Spring and go Green with this Green Tea and Orange Loaf (kitchen of the month)
- Judy, Judy’s Gross Eats: Green Tea and Candied Orange Peel Bread
- Katie (BBBBB), Thyme for Cooking: Bread Baking Babes Celebrate the Green
- Karen K, Karen’s Kitchen Stories: Sourdough Green Tea and Candied Kumquat Bread
- Kelly, A Messy Kitchen: Green Tea and Orange Loaf #BBB
- Pat (aka Elle), Feeding My Enthusiasms: Green Bread for March
- Tanna, My Kitchen in Half Cups: BBB ~ Green Tea and Orange Loaf