Cooking with tea: Chai Tea Loaf

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After a small attempt at cooking with tea in January by swapping my usual Mediterranean herb mix for Japanese Sencha on my roasted salmon (more in the last post), it was time to be a bit braver. For February, I’m very excited to share with you the idea of using tea in a loaf. As with the salmon recipe, the tea flavour is subtle but noticeable and I was really pleased with the result!

And to spice things up a bit, I’ve made a video walking you through my attempt at a chai tea loaf; a recipe from my The Great British Bake Off everyday book. If you don’t have the book, I’ve shared the ingredients and instructions in the video along with my progress. But if you know how to make a regular loaf, this inclusion of tea will work with most recipes!

Why does it work?

I love experimenting with food, but for the sake of persuading you to try including more tea in cooking, I’m going to explain why this works so well. When you bake a sweet bread or tea loaf you always use warm milk anyway, so infusing that milk with chai tea doesn’t deter from the process in any way. It doesn’t alter the chemical magic that turns an elastic pale yellow ball into a warm and comforting loaf. It simply enhances the flavour with a subtly spicy taste. Which is why I said above that you could pretty much try this with any sweet bread recipe.

In this particular case, I think it works even better because of the sweet cinnamon butter filling which enhances the spices that were in the tea. And of course, it works perfectly with a cup of tea!

Please let me know of your results and share pictures if you want, too! You can tag me on Instagram or Twitter @whiteduckling.

Happy baking!

Anca

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