I love the combination of matcha green tea and chocolate. I’ve made a few desserts in the past swirling the two and I’ve wanted to make a bread with these two flavors for a while.

So I recently made some matcha green tea and chocolate flavored breads using the tangzhong method, a natural method for creating a bread that is very fluffy and soft. You can read more about it here.

I ended up making small rolls rather than large ones. They look more like cake rolls rather than bread. The bread came out super soft. The chocolate flavor and matcha flavor was on the light side but still tasty. I like how the swirl affect looks on this bread. Next time I might switch the colors so that the chocolate one is on top because I don’t like how the green one turned brownish/yellow on top.

I am submitting this post to Yeastspotting.


Matcha chocolate swirl bread (base recipe adapted from two of Christine’s Recipes here and here,which she adapted from the 65 degrees book)

Yields Two 9 x 5 inch loaves

For the matcha bread:

2½ cups bread flour
3tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (click here for making tangzhong)
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
1 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder

Directions
1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, matcha powder and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading.  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic. I kneaded the dough for about 18-20 minutes. Each mixer may vary.

When the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it breaks. When it does break, the break should be form a circle. (Here’s a picture I took from another attempt without the matcha flavor)


2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into  greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

For the chocolate bread:
2½ cups bread flour
4tbsp+2tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
½ cup milk
120g tangzhong (if you make the tangzhong as described above, it should yield just about enough to make both loaves)
2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions
1. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar and instant yeast in a bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center. Add in all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong. Fit the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer and begin mixing on medium speed and knead until your dough comes together and then add in the butter and continue kneading.  Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not too sticky on the surface and elastic. I kneaded the dough for about 18-20 minutes. Each mixer may vary.

When the dough is ready, you should be able to take a chunk of dough and stretch it to a very thin membrane before it breaks. When it does break, the break should be form a circle.

2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Take a large bowl and grease with oil.  Place dough into  greased bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let it proof until it’s doubled in size, about 40 minutes.

Swirling the two breads:

1. Transfer doughs after they have doubled in size to a clean surface. Divide each flavor of the dough into the dough into two equal portions. Knead into balls.  Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
2. For each ball of dough: Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Take one end of the dough and fold to meet the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold to meet on top. (here are some pics from a previous attempt making this bread without the flavors)

5. Flip dough over with the folds facing down,and flatten dough with rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it forms a thin rectangle. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls, so that you should end up with two matcha rectangles and two chocolate ones. Make sure they are about the same size.
6. Place a piece of chocolate dough on top of the matcha one (or you can reverse the order) and begin rolling up the dough along the wide/long side of the rectangle, so you will end up with a long skinny roll rather than a short and fat one. Place each of the rolls into 9 x 5 bread pans lined with parchment paper and put a piece of plastic wrap over the rolls. Let them rise until double the size, approximately another 40 minutes.

7. Beat an egg and brush egg mixture on top to create shiny eggwash finish.

8. Bake at 325 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

The other day, BF and I were in the Chula Vista area, so we decided to stop by Zorbas for lunch. Zorbas offers a greek buffet, as well as a menu you can order from. I love that the lunch is served until 4 pm. You can read about my first visit here.

For $10.95, I think there is a good selection of items. Almost all my favorite greek dishes are available. The servers are very friendly too.

It’s always hard to take pictures of the buffet display, so I just took some pictures of the food that BF and I got.

Here is some lemon chicken, pork, tabouli, gyro meat, green beans cooked in a tomato broth. I really love the green beans. The pork was really tender. The lemon chicken was a little dry but BF really liked it.

Here’s some roasted chicken, mousaka, and the fish soup. The fish soup is one of my favorite things here. It has a tomato based broth and has chunks of fish, shrimp, etc. It’s like a seafood chowder. I also really like the mousaka which is like a vegetarian lasagna.

Here’s some more meat and rice pilaf.

Here is a sample of desserts. I always find the desserts to be too sweet, so I only took a small bite of each one. The hairy one reminded me of frosted wheat cereal.

Zorbas Restaurant
100 Broadway
Chula Vista, CA
(619) 422-8853
http://zorbasgreekbuffet.com/
Zorbas Greek Buffet on Urbanspoon

I’ve made soft pretzels quite a few times now and I love how easy they are to make. Now that I’ve got the regular soft pretzel down, I’ve been trying out variations. So far I’ve done turtles and salami and cheese pretzels. Last weekend I thought it would be cool to do pretzel bites. A perfect snack for superbowl, movie night, etc.

My first attempt didn’t come out so great. I didn’t shape the bites right and I undercooked them. So this weekend, I tried again. This time it worked out perfectly.

I chose to omit the salt because I don’t like salt on my pretzels. These little bites are perfect and a great solution for those who have had trouble making pretzel shapes.

Recipe: Soft Pretzel Bites

(adapted from Alton Brown)

(Print recipe here)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg

Instructions

  1. Combine the warm water, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl, and place the dough in a glass bowl oiled with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12 inch rope. Using a sharp knife, cut rope into 1 inch pieces.

  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Using a large sauce pan, fill with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda.
  5. Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  6. Beat one large egg. Brush the top of each pretzel bite with the beaten egg. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 6-8 minutes.