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Matcha Braided Loaf
A freshly baked breaded loaf bread filled with delicious matcha filling. It is one of the best ways to enjoy quality matcha.
Lately, I see so many people in one of my FB groups showing off yummy looking bread, and they all use the same bread recipe. Although I already have my favorite bread recipe, I finally give this bread recipe a try, and it is delicious.
I highly recommend the bread dough recipe, and you can use it with all sorts of bread filling, and even plain one is a delight. Have fun!
Hand Knead vs. Electric Mixer
This bread dough is a bit like brioche, so although you can knead with hand, it is better if you let your electric mixer does its thing for you. If you use your hands, you will tend to add too much flour and the bread will end up not as soft as it can be.
When I use an electric mixer, I start with 320 grams of flour, and at most only need to add 2 tablespoons of flour.
If you must use your hands, one trick I learn is to knead the dough a bit into a shaggy mass, walk away for 10 minutes or so, then continue kneading. If you do so, you tend to not add too much flour since the dough has time to develop enough gluten.
When I am lazy but still want to impress, I make a braided loaf. It looks super complicated, each bite is filled with delicious filling, and everyone looks at me like I am a master baker. :D
It is not hard to make a braided loaf. I have a super complicated step-by-step instruction written out in the recipe, but just refer to my photos as guide. I think the photos do a much better job at explaining the step.
Warning: Filling Might Drip During Baking
This one is based on my own experience. As great as the filling is, it tends to bubble and drip during baking.
So if you have an extra baking sheet, and your oven has 2 racks, set up one rack at middle and place your loaf of pan there, and set up another rack at the bottom and place an extra baking sheet lined with aluminum foil as a precaution in case the filling drips.
Trust me, in case your filling does drip, the baking sheet is going to catch that dripping instead of your oven and making a smoky mess. And the aluminum foil means you can just toss away the mess instead of trying to clean it off from the baking sheet.
Matcha Braided Loaf
- Bread dough
- 7 gram (1 packet, or 2 1/4 teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 5 gram (~ 1 teaspoon) sugar
- 200 ml (13.5 tablespoon) milk, lukewarm (38 Celsius/100 Fahrenheit)
- 320-360 gram (~ 3 cup) all-purpose flour
- 75 gram (~ 6 tablespoon) sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 35 gram (~ 2.5 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- Matcha filling
- 60 gram (~ 4 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened
- 100 gram (~ 1/2 cup) sugar
- 1 tablespoon matcha
- Egg wash
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Mix together active dry yeast, 5 gram sugar, and lukewarm milk. Set aside to bloom, or until foamy and frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well, then add in egg yolks, butter, and yeast solution. Knead until smooth and soft, only adding a bit of flour if necessary. Kneading time is about 20-30 minutes.
- Place bread dough in a bowl, cover with a wet kitchen towel/saran plastic. Set aside to proof until volume is almost doubled, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
- Meanwhile, let's make the matcha filling. Beat together unsalted butter, sugar, and matcha until well mixed. Set aside.
- Once the bread has finished proofing, punch down to remove air bubbles. Then transfer the bread to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then roll into a rectangle of about 10-inch by 15-inch.
- Spread matcha filling on the rolled dough, leaving 1-inch uncovered around the edges. Roll the bread from the short end into a log. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 2, place the two-half-logs side-by-side so the filling is facing up, then braid into a braided loaf. (Probably easier to refer to the photos!)
- Tranfer the braided loaf into a 9"x5" greased loaf pan. Cover the pan with a wet kitchen towel/saran plastic and proof again until the dough fill the pan, about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
- Preheat oven to 170 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit). Brush the top of the bread with egg wash (mix together egg yolk and milk), and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. At around 25 minutes or 30 minutes mark, if you see that the top of the bread is browning too much, you can use a sheet of aluminum foil to tent the loaf.
- Remove the bread from oven. Let it rest in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes, then gently remove the bread from the pan and cool on a wire rack. It is best to serve the bread warm.
Sara Welch says:
I could have some fun making this bread, and eating it too! Looks delicious!
Adrianne Jamieson says:
This is such an impressive loaf! I am a huge fan of matcha and to see it used like this is awesome. Love the step by step photos along the way also. Looking forward to giving this a go!!
Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry says:
What a delicious looking loaf! I would never have thought to add matcha to a loaf.
What a gorgeous bread! I love all things matcha, but have never thought to add it to bread and now it's all I can think about!!
I'm obsessed with matcha lately and can't wait to try this gorgeous loaf! The braiding is so beautiful!
This bread looks so pretty! I haven't tried using matcha in baking but will give it a go. Thanks for the inspiration! :)
What an easy, gorgeous recipe! Can't say I would've thought to add Matcha to bread but this is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing :)
That's such a great way to use matcha.
Chris Collins says:
Matcha is my absolute favourite and it looks so delicious in this loaf! Can't wait to try the recipe!!
veena Azmanov says:
Love the gorgeous look of this bread. Definitely delicious and well baked too. Love the braiding option too. Interesting.
This bread came out so incredibly fluffy- I don't think I've ever experienced such a successful sweet bread recipe (granted, it's been a long time since I've made a sweet bread). You also weren't kidding about the dripping. I thought to myself "This fits right in my pan, how's it going to drip?" Welp, it did, lol. Aluminum foil to the rescue!
I mixed mine by hand, and even though I didn't wait the prerequisite 10 minutes (which is a good suggestion) I was cautious only to add enough flour so it wasn't trying to glue itself to the work surface. I also used one whole egg instead of 2 yolks (too lazy to come up with a use for extra egg whites).
The main substitution I made was I used cocoa powder instead of matcha- I had just recently made another baked good with matcha, and even though I enjoy it, there's really no one around me who is impressed with that flavor (sad face, sad face.) I used 2 heaping Tbsp of powder, but to be entirely honest, it hardly left a trace of chocolately flavor. That being said, if anyone is considering making a choco-version of this bread, I suggest trying chocolate chips instead. I bet cinnamon or any preferred melange like pumpkin pie spice or spekkoek mix would work, or maybe lemon zest... I figure since the bread worked out so well, as long as the filling has sugar and butter, it's going to be delicious anyway hahaha
So, even with my substitutions, it came out marvelous. The extra tips and common measurements were also very appreciated. I'd highly recommend this recipe for anyone in the mood to knead!
Thanks for the awesome feedback, Milky. If you want to create a chocolate version, I highly suggest using your favorite filling for chocolate babka. I love David Lebovitz version of chocolate babka, and it's using 100g unsalted butter, 150 gram sugar, 80 gram coarsely chopped bitter sweet chocolate, 40 gram cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped toasted nuts (walnut/almond/pecan).
To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved or almost completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Set aside. Once cool, use this as your filling. I guarantee you won't be able to stop eating the bread. :)
Fantastic, thank you for the babka chocolate filling. Will try it a post result as soon as I make. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Nart | Cooking with Nart says:
Love this so much. Matcha is one of my favorite things on earth. So, so good!
How unique!! I would have never thought of adding some matcha to a bread recipe. What a game changer!!
This is gorgeous! I never would have thought of that combination.
Marie Charlotte says:
This is just the prettiest color! I first thought it was pistachio! This must be so delicious with a cup of tea!
Danna Magbanua Gonzalo says:
great recipe! I did reduce the amount of sugar in the matcha filling and still it tasted great. I actually baked it a number of times already :)
So good! I should have cut the dough the long way instead of short ways so it wasn't so fat and you can see the swirl better (had to cook it a little longer because it was so thick). Overall great recipe if you love matcha.
Easy to make and turned out delicious. My version is slightly different from the original recipe in that I made the bread matcha flavor and used the chocolate filling as kindly given by Anita but only made half of the filling and that was enough. I'm sure I'll make it again. Thank you for sharing.😋
Can I substitute active dry yeast with instant yeast?
Hi Carol, definitely. Just incorporate the sugar and warm milk for mixing with active dry yeast into the main dough. :)
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