Hello, friends! It’s been a little while since I’ve been on my blog, because I was visiting my parents in Hawaii! (Stay tuned for the best hikes, beaches and food spots!) It was actually on my last trip to these tropical islands that I was inspired to make a recipe with matcha. I fell in love with Liliha Bakery’s poi mochi donuts on Oahu. So I made my own matcha mochi donuts last year to bring a taste of the island back home. Since I still had some fragrant matcha powder in my kitchen, I figured now was an opportune time to test how it would taste after being baked into sourdough matcha swirl bread.
Last year I dove head-first into learning how to bake sourdough bread at home. The nutritional benefits and rich taste of sourdough bread just can’t be beat. This sourdough matcha swirl bread was inspired by cinnamon swirl bread from the cookbook Magnolia Table Volume 2. But using a sourdough starter instead of store-bought yeast alters the other ingredients as well as the rise and proof times. While this bread takes a longer to make, the sourdough flavor and chewy texture are so worth it.
What is Matcha?
Matcha’s history goes far beyond the milky green drink offered at hip coffee shops. Matcha is made from powdered green tea leaves, and it can be traced all the way back to 8th century China. A Buddhist monk found that drinking matcha benefited his meditation practices. Therefore he brought seeds from China back to his home in Japan in the late 12th century to grow the tea leaves and make his own matcha. And then in the 16th century, a formal Japanese tea ceremony was popularized, with matcha taking center stage.
Matcha has a deep earthy flavor yet it’s also light with hints of natural sweetness. And its natural green color can act as a beautiful food dye. And while baking matcha into bread is not traditional, it’s a fun way to incorporate this ancient powdered tea into a delicious loaf of bread.
Matcha Swirl Sourdough Bread
This bread isn’t the easiest or quickest bread to make. But the swirl of natural green color from the matcha is mesmerizing. It’s almost too pretty to eat. Almost. The slightly tangy flavor of the sourdough is harmoniously complimented by the earthy, sweet matcha. Slice it up while it’s warm, and slather a bit of butter or jam on top. Or if you want to get really crazy, you could make matcha swirl French toast! Or matcha swirl peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!
Let me know how you like to enjoy your bread best! 🍞
Sourdough Matcha Swirl Bread
- 50 grams active sourdough starter
- 100 grams warm water
- 100 grams all-purpose flour
Matcha Swirl Bread
- 100 grams sourdough levain
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp culinary-grade matcha powder
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp milk or non-dairy milk
Make the Levain
- Mix together the three levain ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest at room temperature for 3-4 hours, until it doubles in size.Measure out 100 grams of the levain for the sourdough loaf.
Make the Sourdough Bread
- Grease a bread loaf tin and a large bowl with butter or oil. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the ½ cup sugar, 3¾ cups flour, and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix in the 100 grams of the levain along with the 4 tablespoons of softened butter. Knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or 6 minutes with a dough hook in a stand mixer.
- Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 4 hours, until it doubles in size.
- Divide the dough in two equal portions. Put half the dough back in the oiled bowl and cover with a towel to prevent it from drying out. Knead two tablespoons of matcha powder into the other half of the dough.
- Roll out both portions of dough into rectangles that are 8 inches by 16 inches. Place the green matcha bread rectangle on top of the other dough rectangle. Trim the edges if needed so they are the same size.
- Roll the two dough rectangles together into a tight log, starting at a longer end. Place the rolled-up bread loaf into the greased loaf tin with the seam facing down in the loaf. Cover the loaf with a clean kitchen towel and let proof for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.Mix the egg and milk in a small bowl, then brush onto the top of the loaf. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Enjoy!