Earl Grey & Citrus Peel Bread

In Japan "tea" generally means "green tea" however black tea is also very popular. 

We have lots of tea rooms, serving Afternoon Tea, and Earl Grey tea is one of our favourites. 

In my bread, I used both dried tea leaves and tea infused water to maximise the tea flavour, and added citrus peels to maximise citrus flavour, too.  It takes a while to bake this bread but it is totally worth it.  Simliar to other Japanese bread, they are soft, fluffy, buttery, rich and sweet, you can eat them as weekend breakfast, at tea time, or for dessert like a cake. This bread is my signature bread to represent a marriage of East and West, creating delicious treats.

<Ingrdients (10 knotted rolls)>

Very Strong Bread Flour           300g

Dried Yeast                                       6g

Sugar                                              45g

Salt                                                   4g

Earl Grey Tea Bags                  2 bags

Unsalted Butter                            40g

Milk                                              100g

Hotwater                                       80g

Citrus Peels                                  45g

Egg (for egg wash)

<Drizzling>

Earl Grey Infused water, Icing Sugar

<Methods>

  1. Weigh all ingredients. 
    Chop the peels very fine with a knife.  Empty one of teabags in a jag, then add 50ml hot water and make a strong tea.  Leave for few minutes, and add the milk into the jag to make Earl Grey milk tea.

  2. In a big bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and empty another teabag to add the bowl.  Pour the milk tea that you made earlier into the bowl.  Knead for 8-10 minutes until it comes smoother and bouncy, then add the butter.  Knead bit more, then add the chopped peels in it.   If you have a stand mixer, let the all hard work do the machine (knead for 5-6 mins first then add the butter, knead further 2-3 mins, then add the peel and knead until it comes together). Do not forget to reduce about 10% of liquid amount when you use the machine.   Once it is done, make a big smooth ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl to prove in a warm place for at least 60 mins until it gets about a double the size.

  3. Knock back the dough, then make 10 small balls.  If you are precise, please weigh and divide into 10.  Leave them for another 15 mins, then flat the balls to a 10cm round disk with your fingers or small rolling pin.  Tightly roll them like a cigar shape and close the edge.  Leave them further 15 mins.  Roll the dough with your both hands to stretch it to 30cm long.  If it is difficult to stretch, leave the dough little bit longer which makes it relax and you can handle easier.

  4. Make knots. Tie each rope into a knot, tucking the loose ends into the centre.  Place the knots on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and let them rise for 60-75 minuets until very puffy looking (2nd proof).

  5. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan 170˚C/gas 5.  Egg wash the knots then bake for 15 mins until golden brown.

  6. Cool on the wire rack.  Make icing.  Mix cold Earl Grey tea and icing sugar and make a soft paste. Once the buns are completely cold, drizzle the icing with a spoon. 

  7. Enjoy!  No preservatives in there, so please eat them fresh.

 Petit Bonheurs / Pimlico, London