In a lot of blog posts, and especially on Foodgawker, everyone's green tea treats always look so bold, vibrant, and green. Delicious. Inviting. And then I try out those same recipes to get a completely different shade of green. It would be discouraging, if it weren't for the fact that the things usually at least still tasted great. But I'm trying to figure out what it is I'm missing. Is it the powder that makes a difference? Do people add green food coloring secretly and not tell me about it? I just want to know what I'm doing wrong with my green tea! I hope for that bright green color just as much as everyone else who loves green tea, you know?
So I decided to challenge myself, and use green tea powder even though I knew that my results wouldn't look as deliciously green. I ended up getting drawn in by a particular recipe for green tea brioches. It looked exciting, and I was itching to try something new apart from the standard loaf of bread - even the directions seemed a little bit more difficult compared to what I usually followed... Like, what the heck was a tour double? I had no idea, just that it involved a lot of folding, and a lot of rolling. Oh well, what better way to find out what they meant...by testing it out?
The entire process was simple enough, but it kept me bustling about the kitchen for almost the entire time. I thought I'd have enough time to sit back and relax while the dough was in for its first rise (2 hours!) I ended up having to make the matcha filling, and by the time I was done with that, I had to clean the mess of dirty pots and pans that had accumulated. As soon as all of that was over, the two hours I had intended on using to relax was gone, and I had to get back to work again.
This was my end result. A far cry from the pictures on the blog that I was following, but at least it still tasted good. And a tour double wasn't as intimidating as it seemed, even if I did such a poor job on it. Maybe the swirls of green tea and bread would have been more evident if the green was brighter, but we all know that's a problem I've yet to solve right now.
The recipe calls them brioches, but I'm not sure if they're really a brioche, or a wassant, or a weird hybrid of both. So if someone could actually clear that up for me, that'd be pretty neat. But for those who want to give this a shot, here's the recipe:
Green tea brioches (Recipe from Foodbeam)
- 300g strong flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 1 tsp dehydrated yeast
- 125g whole milk
- one egg
- 50g butter diced and at room temperature
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the butter and mix until it forms a rough dough.
- On an unfloured surface, start kneading the dough incorporating the butter as you do so until it forms a smooth ball; around 8 minutes.
- Place the dough back into the bowl – covered with a cloth – and leave in a warm place for 2 hours or until double in size.
NOTE: When forming the dough, it is going to be really sticky. It was a monster trying to knead this dough. What I found effective was this method of kneading the dough that.... really isn't kneading, but more like beating your dough up on the table by slapping it on there for like, 15 minutes or more. But for me and my lack of stamina and not-so-strong wrists, it was a little suffering, so I cheated a bit and added some flour... I couldn't handle how sticky it was... Oops.
Green tea filling:
- 80g milk
- one egg white
- 50g caster sugar
- 20g flour
- 20g matcha green tea
- 10g butter
- Bring the milk to the boil. While it’s heating, mix the white and sugar in a bowl until combined. Mix in the flour and matcha green tea, and beat until homogeneous.
- When the milk is boiling, pour it over the matcha mixture, whisking as you do so.
- Transfer back into the pan, and cook on medium heat until thick. Mix in the butter.
- Spread it on a baking tray lined with cling film, around 20×15cm. Chill.
Shaping the Brioche:
- Remove any air from the brioche dough by gently patting it down, then roll it into a 30×20cm rectangle.
- Place the matcha filling in the middle, then fold the dough over it, sealing the extremities together.
- Roll into a longer rectangle, then make a tour double.
- Repeat the folding one more time, then roll the dough back into a 30×20cm.
- Roll the dough onto itself to form a log.
- Trim the ends, then using a sharp knife, slice into 3cm-thick segments.
- Butter 12 5.5cm-wide rings, and place the slices into them, cut side up. Or if you’re making a loaf, arrange six slices into a loaf tin, and the remaining slices into rings.
- Cover loosely with cling film, and allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
NOTE: View the tour double image that Foodbeam provided if you're a little lost! It helped me a lot when I was trying to figure it out. Also, if stuff starts leaking and oozing out, it's really not a big deal. It might be a little sticky to work with once the matcha filling starts to gush out here and there, but I think it's pretty normal. I was a little too nervous to roll my dough out too thin, so I didn't have that problem the first time around, but the second time, I had stuff oozing out everywhere... it's just a messy experience.
As you can tell, I decided to just cram them all together in a little loaf pan instead of putting them each in their separate metal rings like you'd normally do for brioches. I kind of liked them all sitting in their loaf pan, all nice and snug. And they tasted good! I wasn't so sure that they were going to taste of anything but just bread, because I wasn't sure how the green tea filling was going to work its flavor in there, but there was just a...a tiny hint of it, somewhere in there. I wish the green tea had a stronger flavor in the bread, but that might just be me and my love for green tea.
...But I still want to know why my green tea baked goods are always a poopy green. :(