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Chai-Tea Apple Bread

While I am a dedicated coffee drinker, I do love tea. One of my favorite coffee shops, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf carries over 40 original tea blends, one of which I picked up the very day that IMBB #17: TasteTea was announced by Clement of A La Cuisine!: Pomegranate Blueberry Tea. This tea makes a fabulous iced tea because it is a black tea filled with dried fruit. The natural sweetness really shines through when you brew it. I thought this was a sign that I was meant to use it for my entry. Alas, it was not to be. The tea, while lovely, is just a tad too fruity for what I had in mind.

Instead, I decided to use Stash Double Spiced Chai tea to make a tasty apple bread. I added powdered milk because I wanted the added bit of richness but didn’t want a milk flavor to overwhelm the tea, though this is a particularly spicy tea and I think it would have been fine.

Chai-Tea Apple Bread
1 tbsp yeast
1 cup stong chai tea, brewed and cooled until warm (105F)
1/2 cup powdered milk (nonfat is fine)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 – 3 cups ap flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped, plus 6-8 thin apple slices
1 tbsp brown sugar

Mix yeast, tea and 1 cup of flour in a large bowl. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, until foamy and the mixture has risen a bit.
Stir in powdered milk, cinnamon, salt, sugar and 1 cup flour. Add remaining flour gradually until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in an oiled, covered bowl and let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine apples with 1 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl.
Once dough has risen, flatten in gently onto work surface. Place apple mixture onto dough, reserving the apple slices. Knead apple pieces into dough gently, giving the bread about 4 turns. They will look almost ready to poke through. Shape into an oblong loaf and place on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet. Make 6 or 8 small slashes across the bread and tuck one apple slice into each one. Allow bread to rise until nearly doubled, 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400F.
Bake bread for 30 minutes, until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped and the loaf in nicely browned. If it starts to get too dark on top, just cover the bread loosely with a bit of foil.
Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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  • Nupur
    July 30, 2005

    This looks amazing…what a great idea. I love eating sweet bread dipped in tea and this is like pre-dipped bread!

  • Ana
    July 30, 2005

    This bread looks beautiful Nic. I like to see the apples in the batter.

  • Helen (AugustusGloop)
    July 30, 2005

    Yum! This looks sensational! I love any baked good with apple and cinnamon and your addition of chai… *drool* What a great combination!

  • violet
    July 30, 2005

    i am absolutely in awe.

  • FoodNinja
    July 31, 2005

    Very Nice… Mine will be done tommorow!

  • boo_licious
    July 31, 2005

    Yea for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf! I actually have one just downstairs where I live and I love the place.

    Your tea bread looks amazing especially those apples.

  • Fanny
    July 31, 2005

    You must read in my mind : i wanted to make some bread today but finnalive i didn’t have the yime; so your entry is a kind of compensation for me.
    It looks ver very yummy.

  • Nic
    August 1, 2005

    Thanks everyone. I was really pleased at how well this turned out and how well it worked with the apples. I was a bit worried that it would be too wet or heavy, but it turned out beautifully!

    Nupur – I agree. I love dipping bread or biscuits in my tea and this bread brings that to mind!

  • Mika
    August 1, 2005

    Nic- such a sweet way to use chai tea. I love those apples peeking out.

  • J
    August 1, 2005

    hi nic, what a lovely lovely recipe – can almost taste the combination of succulent apple pieces, warm cinnamon and delicious chai…mmm…cheers,j

  • Clement
    August 3, 2005

    Hi Nic, that looks wonderful! I rarely make breads, but I’d definitely like to give your’s a try. Thanks so much for taking part in this month’s IMBB.

  • mel
    October 1, 2005

    this looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  • Chloe
    January 5, 2006

    WOW… I was on here seeing if you have done any Cornbreads and stumbled across this… This looks so yummy!

    Any ideas on the Cornbread?

  • Nic
    January 5, 2006

    Hi Chloe. If you check my recipe index, you’ll find links to cornbread and cornbread muffins.

  • Meg
    December 22, 2008

    Don’t bother – Looks great – taste was so-so.
    I planned to make several for Holiday gifts – glad I tried just two for starters.
    The flavor was really disappointing. I used my favorite chai – Tazo, a good flour and the bread had a taste I will describe as almost plastic.
    I’ll try it toasted and maybe that will save it!

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