Last week’s technical challenge was… something. I had never heard of that pudding thing they did but given that it is made with a lemon inside (and I’m allergic to citrus) and all the alternatives didn’t really spark an interest on me… So what I decided to so is mix some of the previous challenges and try something completely different. My own take on today’s technical (which could be considered a dessert, a snack or breakfast even) is a vegan braided matcha loaf!
Here the full video recipe:
How I decided to make this braided matcha loaf
Honestly, I was quite impressed because I came up with this recipe on my own and I realized that after 5-6 weeks of doing the technical challenges and putting myself and my baking a bit out of my comfort zone, well, I have acquired certain baking knowledge. I’m still far, far, from the bakers or anyone that is actually super good at this, but for a beginner level 1, I am impressed and we should all celebrate small wins!
To come up with this recipe I gathered inspiration on my favorite technical challenge which was the chocolate babka. I then used the matcha for filling (instead of just chocolate) and well, I applied some of the things I learned while doing the babka (mainly, because I didn’t get a swirl the first time) and the result is quite pretty!
Ways to improve this braided matcha loaf?
The aesthetics were there, the taste was there BUT I feel like I rushed a bit too much and didn’t allow the dough to rise enough. I also didn’t use the same flour as with the babka because I wanted to have more of a brioche kinda feeling which is why it didn’t puff as much.
I don’t really enjoy matcha (I know, I keep making matcha bakes but I’m trying to get used to the flavor!), I find it too bitter and the thing is, I know most people use white chocolate to make their bakes sweeter and more balanced, but my boyfriend doesn’t really like white chocolate and I always want him to enjoy the bakes I do! If I had to redo this exact loaf, I would swap the dark chocolate (bitter) and add either white chocolate (and eat it all by myself) or milk chocolate (i guess it’s a good in between option).
Other vegan bake off challenges
Vegan Braided Matcha Loaf
- 2-3 cups flour all-purpose
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1 pack active dry yeast 5-7g
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 pack vanilla sugar (10g)
- 3 tbsp vegan butter Melted
- 1.5 tbsp matcha powder
- 10 g dark chocolate But it's better if you use white and more quantity (50g)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- In a bowl, add the flour (2 cups), the yeast on one side and the salt on the other.
- Make a hole in the middle and add the milk and agave syrup. Mix thoroughly until you have a ball of dough (sticky).
- Put that dough onto a floured space and start kneading, keep adding flour and knead till it's smooth and no longer sticky.
- Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damped tea towel till it has doubled in size. Mine took roughly 2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, put it out on a floured space again and roll it to form a rectangle the same length as the bread pan you are going to use. Mine was 24 cm in width and 15-ish in length.
- In a bowl, melt the butter and mix the sugar (brown and vanilla) with the matcha powder to make a paste. Spread that paste onto the rolled out dough, leaving 2-3cm paste-free on the edges. Chop the chocolate in small bites and sprinkle it on top of the paste.
- To roll the dough, grab it on the edges and roll it as tightly as possible towards the other end of the rectangle. If you don't roll it tight, the swirl will burst later when baking. When you have the rolled dough, cut it in half (in length) so that you have two rolled doughs.
- Tip: twist each log on its own and then start braiding the two together. This will ensure a better swirl.
- Put some parchment paper in your bread pan and then place your braided loaf in it. If your loaf is already at the max height of your bread pan, you can start baking it. If it isn't, leave it to proof till it has reached that height.
- You are going to bake this braided loaf in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 30 to 40 minutes or until it starts to gold on the outside. When it's ready, take it out of the oven.
- The last step is to prepare a quick syrup. Boil the 3 tbsp of water and add the sugar. Boil it for a couple of minutes then brush the syrup on top of the loaf.
- Now you can enjoy it! Breakfast, snack, dessert, anything you want !