Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Health Bread - Green Tea

The finish product always leaves me breathless; I love the sight, the smell and the sound of it-- the mellow crackling of the crust, its light wheaty fragrance permeating the air and the occasional flecks of falling crumbs.
Today, I made bread using green tea. I'm an avid drinker of this healthy brew and it only logically follows that I would one day make myself my signature healthy bread-- which will be made solely with water steeped with green tea leaves.

I like how the dusted flour sort of makes little alleyways.

Look closely and you'll see brown sugar crystals sprinkled on top, along with a dust of flour. This bread is made with a slack dough, meaning they are very sticky, hard to handle, and could not stand on its own, unless you plan on having them ciabatta style. So, along with my dough scraper, I heaved a handful of flour and dusted everything: the table top, scraper, my hands, and of course, the dough. Gentle folding of the dough would make sure that their temperature remains equal all throughout.

I put some green tea leaves in hot water and let it steep, while stirring occasionally to make the flavors come out. Wanting to make it even healthier, I included some of the leaves to the dough. But this is entirely subjective, of course. I learned from a tea leaf manufacturer/distributor from China, that digesting the leaves itself is very beneficial to one's health. But the leaves were hardly discernible in the finished loaf, the wheat kernels were the primary giver of texture.

The bread was light and the crumb very moist. They give the slightest resistance before surrendering to each bite. The texture was nutty, due to the wheat kernels, and the taste was so fresh. The green tea flavor wasn't so strong, but the bread carried a whole different taste. There wasn't a milky aftertaste, much associated with white bread, instead it tasted like the freshest of water! Their rustic appearance added to their charm and the brown sugar gives a surprising sweet crunch with every bite. Heavenly.

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