This not-too-sweet tea bread recipe could easily become your newest favorite treat. Enjoy it with jam or au naturel for breakfast. For an afternoon tea snack or as part of a light lunch, top small squares with thin rounds of goat cheese and watercress sprigs or cucumber wafers. When spread with cream cheese and apricot preserves, the bread becomes the ultimate tea sandwich.
Powdered green tea leaves give this loaf its distinctive color; ginger and lemon add flavorful accents. Finely ground green tea, called matcha, can be purchased for use as part of a ritual Japanese tea ceremony. It is very strong, expensive, and unsuitable for this recipe. A clean coffee mill or spice grinder is all that’s needed to pulverize the leaves. You can process the tea in a food processor, but the leaves will not be as finely ground.
Makes one 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13-cm) loaf
10 oz (2 c)/280 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp/10 g ground ginger
1 tsp/5 g baking powder
1 tsp/5 g salt
¼ tsp/1 g baking soda
¼ c/60 g green tea leaves, such as sencha, finely ground
¼ c/60 g finely chopped candied ginger
Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
4 large eggs
1 c/250 g superfine sugar
¾ c/175 ml mildly fruity virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 tbsp/30ml fresh lemon juice
2 tsp/10ml vanilla extract
To make the bread:
Position a baking rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly oil a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (23 x 13 x 8-cm) loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, ginger, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a bowl. Stir in the green tea, candied ginger, and lemon zest. Set aside.
Break the eggs into the bowl of a food processor and process until light in color and frothy, about 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the sugar through the feed tube in 3 stages, allowing about 30 seconds between each addition. Combine the oil, lemon juice, and vanilla in a small glass measuring cup and drizzle through the feed tube onto the egg mixture while the motor is running.
Remove the processor top and add the dry ingredients all at once. Pulse until the mixture is just blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cake rest for at least 30 minutes on a rack. When cool, remove cake from pan and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. To serve, slice with a serrated knife.