Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Green Bread For March

Although green bread struck me at first as being as appetizing as green eggs and ham, since the green isn't from food coloring, but from matcha, or green tea powder, it turns out that it is delicious. The tea imparts a slightly earthy note but it isn't overpowering, plus it adds the color of spring, green. Our Kitchen of the Month, Cathy of Bread Experience gave us a delightful bread that you'll want to make yourself. I found a nice powdered green tea packet on Amazon, but you can probably also find it in Oriental markets.

These days as I move around my neck of the woods, green is everywhere. Near the Laguna the trees are just leafing out and the bright, almost acid green is easy to see against the dark water. The meadows are covered with bright green grass. We have the luck of having eight new lambs in the pasture, with six of them being born within days of each other. The lambs mostly nurse the first day or so, then they start to eat the grass just like mama. The flowers of spring are also here and staying longer than usual since the days have been rainy and the nights cool. Their green leaves are a more subdued green, but they add to the overall green glow.

I made a half recipe of the bread since both Sweetie and I are watching our calories and warm bread is a weakness. I did let the bread cool, then reheated it, but I should have sliced it cold. I also made some changes as I often do. I decided on almond extract instead of orange water, and golden raisins instead of candied orange peel, since we are right near St. Patrick's day and the Irish love golden raisins in their bread. Because there was almond extract and because I had a piece of almond paste in the fridge, I also changed the shape, putting a band of almond paste in the center, rolling it up jelly roll style, then cutting the roll with a bench scraper and twisting the two resulting roll halves around each other, then curling the whole into a half curve. It made a fairly strange looking loaf, but Sweetie didn't care. 

I think he ate three pieces! We both liked the flavors and plan on toasting the rest in the morning to see how it is toasted.

Please go to the sites of the other Babes to see how the bread was supposed to be made. Also, if you wish to make this Green Tea and Orange Loaf and to be a Bread Baking Buddy, send and email to Cathy with your baking experience, a URL, and a photo by March 29th and she will send you a Buddy badge and include you in the round-up. The properly made bread is made into four round boules so you can even share if you want to. The following recipe is the proper one.

Green Tea and Orange Loaf

Adapted from The Larousse Book of Bread by Eric Kayser

Below are the levain method and the hand made instructions. If you want other directions, including with a stand mixer, go to Cathy's site, Bread Experience. You'll also need a scale for this recipe.


50 grams all-purpose flour

50 grams water

25 grams sourdough starter (I used 100% hydration starter)

In the evening of the day before making the bread: Place the starter, flour and water in a small bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is stirred in well.

Cover the bowl with a plate, or bees wrap, and let it rest overnight in a warm place.

Final Dough

500 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

250-300 grams water, divided 125 g, 125 g, 50 g (see directions)

10 grams salt + 15-20 grams water

25 grams orange flower water

30 grams olive oil

10 grams (about 2 tsp) matcha tea powder (1 teaspoon gave me 9 grams) 

150 grams candied orange peel, chopped or finely diced 

Pour 125 grams water, orange blossom water, and olive oil over the levain. Mix completely to break up the levain.

In a large bowl, add the flour and matcha tea powder. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour the levain/water mixture over the flour and mix to incorporate. Add the rest of the water, gradually, and as needed to fully hydrate the dough. Add the next 125 or less, work in, add more as needed. (I found that I needed less than the recipe called for.) 

Cover, and let the dough rest for 20-30 minutes, then sprinkle the salt over the top and dissolve it with 15-20 grams of warm water. Work into a dough.

Cover, let rest for 30 minutes, then fold in candied orange peel and knead the dough until peel becomes evenly distributed, and dough is smooth and elastic. Add more water if the dough starts to tear. Note: Cathy's dough was sticky after adding the candied orange peel. It was almost too dry up until that point. After the stretch and folds, it was fine. 

Shape into a ball, cover, proof for 2 hours. Stretch and fold the dough after 1st hour. Let rest for final hour. It should increase in volume by the end of the final proof.

Remove the dough to a lightly dusted work surface. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, about 260 grams each. Shape into balls. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough pieces between our hands to create tension, and form smooth and well-rounded boules.

Place the loaves, seam-side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let proof for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. with a baking stone on the bottom shelf, and place an overturned roasting pan on top.

Score the loaves in a crosshatch pattern (or the pattern of your choice).

Transfer the loaves on the parchment to the preheated oven. Remove the baking sheet. Place the roasting pan on top. Bake for 18 minutes. Don't burn them.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.


  1. You got such a nice, delicate color of green, love it! (It is fabulous toasted.) And spring lambs, awwwwwwww!

  2. Intriguing "twists" on the recipe! I was tempted to do raisins too.

  3. Your description of all the green in the meadows and woods is beautiful. I feel like I'm right there. (Lambs! Were they gambolling?)

    That is the kind of green I love. I'm not at all wild about green in food that isn't naturally green, particularly Chartreuse green, like the brand new leaves of a tree. New life green really is spectacular, isn't it?

    Your greenish bread looks great - I really like that you used golden raisins. Very clever.

  4. Well, having come from the classroom where every year we all endured the "get pinched if you don't wear green" war that the kids waged, the color of this bread does nothing for me at all (!!!), however, the flavor profile sounds really intriguing! I'm craving citrus desserts like made just now, and orange bread sounds stupendous (and a bit like all the Christmas cran-orange loaves I missed. I do have a bag of cranberries yet in the deep freeze... I should make this and a cran-orange loaf and do a comparison or something... *makes excuses to eat more*)

  5. Best taste and texture yet

  6. What fun changes you made!
    And, yes, It is wonderful seeing all the beautiful greens this time of year - even in bread!

  7. I do not like green eggs and ham, but I do like the shape of your loaf. Love your substitutions as well. I bet it tasted wonderful!