At Haute Appetite we are always conscious of other cultures, and in celebration of Passover that just passed, we made a delicious challah bread with a twist! Matcha is a green tea powder from Japan that is becoming all the rage in food trends, not only for its health benefits (think anti-oxidants) but also for its interesting taste in classic desserts. We almost love this bread as much as our Babka recipe – and that’s a tough one to beat! This bread is incredibly delicious, not overly sweet, and perfect in the morning for breakfast. Try making French Toast with this bread !
Matcha Challah Bread
by Elizabeth Minett
- 1 packet rapid-rise instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 Tblsps matcha powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk (reserve the white for the egg wash)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Activate the yeast: Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl, and add a healthy pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let stand until you see a thin frothy layer across the top. This means that the yeast is active and ready to use.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the eggs, yolk, and oil: Make a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs, egg yolk, and oil. Whisk these together to form a dough, pulling in a little flour from the sides of the bowl.
- Mix to form a shaggy dough: Pour the yeast mixture over the egg mixture. Mix the yeast, eggs, and flour with a long-handled spoon until you form a shaggy dough that is difficult to mix.
- Knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes: With a dough hook attachment, knead the dough on low speed for 6 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 10 minutes.) If the dough seems very sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time until it feels tacky, but no longer like bubblegum. The dough has finished kneading when it is soft, smooth, and holds a ball-shape.
- Let the dough rise until doubled: Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place somewhere warm. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Separate the dough and roll into ropes: Separate the dough into three or six equal pieces, depending on the type of braid you’d like to do. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope roughly 1-inch thick and 16 inches long. If the ropes shrink as you try to roll them, let them rest for 5 minutes to relax the gluten and then try again.
- Braid the dough: Gather the ropes and squeeze them together at the very top. If making a 3-stranded challah, braid the ropes together like braiding hair and squeeze the ends together when complete. Don’t worry if your braid isn’t perfect! E for Effort.
- Let the challah rise: Line a baking sheet with parchment and lift the loaf on top. Sprinkle the loaf with a little flour and drape it with a clean dishcloth. Place the pan somewhere warm and away from drafts and let it rise until puffed and pillowy, about an hour.
- Brush the challah with egg white: About 20 minutes before baking, heat the oven to 350°F. When ready to bake, whisk the reserved egg white with a tablespoon of water and brush it all over the challah. Be sure to get in the cracks and down the sides of the loaf.
- Bake the challah: Slide the challah on its baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The challah is done when it is deep golden brown.