They call me Sam the Destroyer. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve baked something that tasted good and was aesthetically pleasing as well. Which is why when I miraculously pulled off my recent rose-shaped matcha-cinnamon pull apart bread (this needs a snappier name, I am open to suggestions!) I took a billion photos because I didn’t think it would ever happen again.
The purpose of this activity was to fill the void on the internet for bread which incorporated both matcha and cinnamon. I also envisioned creating a round bread that was also kind of cake like in prettiness. I typically hate baking cakes and love baking bread so I wanted bread that would beat the crap out of cakes and steal the spotlight at any tea party. I’m pretty sure for the nights leading up to this I fell asleep trying to figure out how to make it this way so when the time came, it was almost like I’d already made it before.
I even took heaps of the bread during it’s second rise. I think for two reasons. I still couldn’t believe that *I* single-handedly made it and in case it failed in the oven I would have still have a semi pretty photo.
This recipe is honestly just a butchered version of my go to bread recipe, which in itself is a variation of the original Peter Reinhart classic white bread recipe I found on Brown Eyed Baker over a year ago. Yes all my standard loaves and even herb and garlic ones have its foundations built on top of this.
I was hesitant about sharing this because I have only attempted it in this variation once, so there’s no guarantee it will work for you or even for me the second time round. But a couple of people have asked me how I made it and I decided that many pairs of hands is better than one, perhaps we could all work together in perfecting it? This is my first time writing a recipe from scratch. Combined with the fact that this is quite labour intensive, prepare for a lot of steps.
1 cup self raising flour
3¼ cups regular flour
1½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 heaped teaspoons of matcha powder
3 tablespoons honey
1large egg, slightly beaten, at room temperature
¼ cup butter
1½ cups of milk. (I used Almond milk)
1 large banana
¼ cup browned butter
Matcha syrup: (These measurements are an estimation, play with the ratios)
1 teaspoon matcha powder
2 tablespoons of hot water
1 tablespoon of honey
For the dough:
- Mix flours, salt, yeast and matcha powder together in a large bowl. I used the bowl of my electric mixer
- Melt butter in a microwave. If it’s really hot you might want to let it cool before adding anything else in
- Add honey, egg and milk to the butter
- Mash up a ripe banana and add to the butter mixture
- Using a dough hook attachment, turn your electric mixer on slow and slowly trickle in the wet mixture into the flour mixture
- Turn it up and knead for about 10-12 minutes. It should be really soft and supple, coming away from the sides and sticking a little bit to the bottom of the bowl
- Once done kneading, oil another bowl. I usually do some gymnastic move with my dough by lifting it up and oiling the same bowl I kneaded in, because I’m lazy and I don’t like washing up too many things.
- Oil the dough and shape it so that the surface is smooth. Leave the dough in the oiled bowl to rise for one hour. Make sure to cover with a tea towel
For the filling:
- Melt butter in a pan on low heat. You can swirl it around if you like, but really you just want to heat it until it turns brown and starts smelling deliciously nutty. Keep an eye out to make sure it doesn’t turn black/burn otherwise you’ll have to start again
For the syrup:
- Add water to the matcha powder and mix well
- Add honey to the mixture
- Play around with adding more water/honey until you get your desired consistency
- Oil the bottom and the sides of a cake tin.
- Flour the surface you’re going to be rolling your dough in
- There’s a lot of dough so you may want to divide it into two lumps and leave one in the bowl first
- Using a rolling pin (or a whiskey bottle..) flatten out the dough into a rectangle shape.
- Slather on as much brown butter as you hate your diet
- Pour copious amounts of cinnamon sugar
- Then using a knife, divide it into half on the short side, then half the halves, and half those halves. You should be left with 8 strips of dough.
- Stack your strips on top of each other and divide them into six pieces. You should now have 48 pieces of dough!
- If the above steps makes no sense, here is the inspiration for it, which has pictures. You can follow this completely if you want to make regular pull-apart bread. Note that her pieces are a bit on the large side if you are wanting to make the rose shape
- Take the longest piece of dough you have and roll it up. Place it in the middle of the cake tin, this will be the centre of the rose. Grab some shorter pieces and stick them to the sides of the piece in the middle. Remember to be as spontaneous with the placement as possible, you don’t want it to look mechanical
- Keep adding petals, because they are oily from the butter they won’t meld into each other but push them together enough to make them stick to each other
- You need to have your dough fill up the entire cake tin, repeat the steps above with the extra dough you have set aside if required. Let it rise for another 30 mins to 1 hour
- It should look like the first two photos of this blog post. Brush the top with more browned butter, more cinnamon sugar, and feel free to dust with matcha powder
Bake at 170°c for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let it cool.
If I were to make this again I’d try and figure out a way to make it a bit more crumbly and light. I think omitting the banana might help with this. Towards the middle I believe it got a bit chewier. But where it lacks in texture, it makes up in incredible flavour. Matcha lends that beautiful aroma which is light enough to not compete with the cinnamon. The flavour is also so slight that it doesn’t interfere with the sugar. I actually didn’t end up putting that much sugar (Joy the Baker’s pull apart had at least double my amount) so it wasn’t too sweet either. I brought it into work the next day and despite its shortcomings, it got demolished by my esteemed colleagues well before the end of the day.
This recipe makes a lot of dough. I had some spare dough which was already all sugared up so I made mini muffin versions. Then I also had some plain matcha dough which I thought would be pretty fab steamed. The texture of the steamed buns is much, much better. So if you wanted an unsweetened loaf, just omit the filling.