The next challenge is to make a tea loaf. This is a sweet, yeasted bread, best made in a loaf tin to ensure structure and even baking.
Several of the varieties that were made by contestants were really inspiring–gosh, wouldn’t you know it, several made CHAI FLAVOR! Did I mention I love chai?
I found a Paul Hollywood recipe on the BBC Food site here that I thought would be a good place to start. His recipe adds raisins, cherries, cinnamon and orange zest to add flavor, but I think I might roll it out, add a sweet filling and make a babka-like loaf. I could use Nutella…I’ll dig around and see what I’ve got in the pantry.
Easy start–add flour, salt, sugar, butter, yeast, milk, and water into a bowl and pop it into the mixer. The recipe says to mix with your hands and then knead until smooth and pliable. But why not use the machine? So I went that direction, then kneaded it by hand for a few minutes. I didn’t take any pictures of this stage…it’s a lump of dough in the mixing bowl. You all know what that looks like.
Cover with cling film. Then let it rise an hour….
Roll or stretch it out into a rectangle. Then brush with a couple tablespoons of melted butter–although the butter was soft enough, I probably could have spread it on with just a palette knife. Heck, it might be easier since I never liked the silicone brushes.
Then sprinkle on spices as you like it…cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cardamom, then a half-cup of brown sugar.
Roll up into a long sausage and snake it into a buttered bread tin. Let rise again for an hour, covered (Hollywood recommends putting it in a plastic bag to stop the drafts).
Then bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes. I was concerned that it was going to burn the outside and leave the inside raw, so I actually put it in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes. Not exactly sure. I really should keep track of that.
Delicious. Absolutely delicious!