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Matcha Bread Wreath

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I can’t believe Christmas is a week away. The time is just flying by and it makes me both happy and sad. The anticipation of the holidays is a whirlwind of excitement and fun, but once they’re over and we all must return to our daily non-xmas filled lives, the inevitable holiday blues sets in. THREE HUNDRED SIXTY FIVE DAYS LEFT. Poo.

But while we do have the Christmas spirit floating in the air and decorations galore around every corner, I have given myself permission to go matcha cray cray.

Have any of you tried making bread for the first time recently? While browsing Pinterest, I found a beautiful photo of a bread wreath from A Spicy Perspective. Sommer filled hers with nutella, cinnamon, and nutmeg–um, YUM. I figured I could be equally festive and creative by using matcha powder in a smiliar way to create a bread wreath with green swirls. This lead to me in the kitchen at 1AM, covered in splotches of flour, finally pulling a successful bread wreath from the oven.

I suppose it was just one of those days (or that’s what I keep telling myself). I was using my mom’s kitchen for the first time, I reason. I couldn’t figure out where all the pots, pans, whisks, and other kitchen knick knacks were, I claim. I was juggling quick glances at my recipe, kneading dough, and cooking the matcha filling over the stove all at once–an impossible thing! I know, I know.

The truth? Simple. Sometimes you just have one of those days!

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Bread making is no funny business. I guess I get the whole “the best thing since sliced bread” thing now. It’s no walk in the park, plus it takes hours to rise–a great learning exercise for the impatient person (me).

And those of you who already have dough hook attachments for your stand mixers, I’m jealous! This recipe can be made kneading the dough by hand, but if you are able to purchase a dough hook ahead of time it’ll make life much easier and save your palms/wrists from a few cramps too.

It took me some time to work through the recipe. I also obsessed over the fact that my bread wreath wasn’t perfect and there was matcha filling falling all over the place. But imperfections are perfection for the homemade cook, which I must remind myself constantly. What can I say, I’m a Virgo.

Please have fun with this recipe and happy bread making! Matcha doesn’t stain anyways (right?).

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Matcha Bread Wreath

For the dough:
3/4 cup milk, heated and cooled
1 packet dry active yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp melted butter

For the matcha filling:
2/3 cup milk
2 egg whites
1/2 cup caster sugar
8 tsp flour
8 tsp matcha green tea powder
4 tsp butter

1. Starting with the dough, heat the milk to a boil. Let cool to room temperature (you can put the milk in the fridge to cool quicker).
2. Place the warm water and sugar in a mixing bowl (of a standmixer if using one). Add in the yeast and let foam for 10 minutes.
3. Turn on the mixer of use a wooden spoon to mix in the cooled milk, egg, and salt. Add in the flour slowly, then the melted butter. Knead the dough until well combined. It should be smooth and tacky. Roll dough into a ball. Place inside the bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let rise for 2 hours.
4. In a small saucepan, bring the 2/3 cup of milk to a boil for the matcha filling. In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Add in the flour and matcha powder to the egg white mixture.
5. Pour the hot milk a little at a time into the egg white mixture, whisking continuously as you do so. Then pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat until it thickens. Add in the butter. Move the mixture to a bowl and let cool in the fridge.
6. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough to a 18 x 13 in. rectangle. Spread a light layer of the matcha mixture evenly on top of the dough, keeping a margin around the entire shape.
7. Begin rolling the longer side of the rectangle into a cylinder. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to even out the width/thickness of the dough.
8. Cut the cylinder lengthwise down the middle with a sharp knife. Twist the two pieces of dough together, over and under one another. Form into a circle and join the ends.
9. Preheat the oven to 350F. Let the dough rise again for 45 minutes. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

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