Crisp outside yet super soft and fluffy inside with ginger, cardamom and a sticky chai glaze. A bread that is feast for eyes and tastebuds!
First, I would like to share some exiting news with y’all or make that two – My Cranberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl has been published in Elle.es, a leading Latin fashion magazine and my Spice roasted edamame has been published in Paper.li, a newspaper publication in US. These are my very first publications and I’m really excited. It has been about 7 months since I started actively blogging and I ventured having zero-knowledge on a food blog. These articles are an assurance that I am headed in the right direction 🙂
Now, let us talk about this bread, shall we? Isn’t is pretty? I love the way it turns out every time. This is such a lovely bread to impress your overnight guests for breakfast or if you are just in the mood to spoil your family.
A genius blogger came up with this creative cinnamon braided bread that is just captivating. You can check out her post here. Though I have not tried her version, I adopted the braiding technique to my basic enriched bread dough and gave it a chai twist!
This bread is so soft and fluffy whereas the outside gets crispy and all that chai flavors…. this is my new favorite braided bread folks!!
There are a few different components to the recipe and it all comes together – bread dough, spice sugar mixture and chai glaze.
Kitchen aid is my go-to trusty mixer for all types of bread. Attach a dough hook and you have a homemade yeast dough in about 3 minutes. Add all dry ingredients into the kitchen aid bowl and stir together. Attach mixer with a dough hook and knead until smooth. Cover bowl and let dough double in size.
Risen dough…(do you see all those tiny bubbles? That means the bread is going to be super soft and fluffy, YAY!)
Stir together butter, sugar, ground ginger and cardamom.
Divide dough into 4 equal portions. roll each into a thin square, spread some spice sugar mixture evenly, roll into a log, split in half, exposing the layers, braid, pinch ends together and form a circle. Let rise and then bake.
Steep chai tea bags in hot milk until it cools to room temperature. Discard tea bags and then stir some chai along with confectioners sugar to make glaze.
-melt butter in the microwave and let cool until it gets warm
-Milk has to be lukewarm (about 105 degrees F ). Any hotter or cooler then yeast will not get activated. The simplest method that I use – place a drop of warm milk inside my wrist and it should NOT feel hot or cold (thanks to all those baby bottle experiences)
Chai Spiced and Glazed Braided Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablepoons sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablepoons unsalted butter, melted and lightly cooled
1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (whole or 2% or 1%), lukewarm
Chai spice sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cardamom powder
1 1/2 tablepoons ginger powder
3/4 cup mik
3 chai tea bags
2 cups confectioners sugar
To make dough,
1. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir in melted butter, beaten egg and lukewarm milk with a spoon, just until all the flour is moistened.
2. Attach bowl to the mixer and knead with a dough hook on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, until dough is soft and smooth.
3. Form dough into a ball, place in a lightly greased large bowl, cover tightly with a clean kitchen towel, place in the warmest spot in your kitchen and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
To make chai sugar,
1. Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl, until well combined (it might look lumpy in the beginning, but continue to stir with a spoon and it well come together).
To make braided bread,
1.Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2.Divide risen dough into 4 equal portions.
3. Roll a portion into a 8 x 8 inch square (approximate), spread 1/4th of chai-sugar-mixture evenly, roll tightly into a log, split into half lengthwise (a sharp serrated knife works well), open slightly to expose layers, braid gently (making sure that the layers are exposed on the outside), pinch both ends together to form a circle, gently transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
4. Repeat with remaining 3 portions of dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing evenly apart.
5. Cover loosely with the kitchen towel and let rise for about 15 minutes. (Now is a good time to prepare chai)
6. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake breads in the middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes or until it is deep golden in color.
7. Place baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.
To make chai glaze,
1. Place milk in a small sauce pan and heat into until it comes to a boil. Take off heat and add the tea bags and let steep until milk has cooled to room temperature. Remove and discard tea bags.
2.Place confectioners sugar in a medium bowl and whisk in about 1/4 cup prepared and cooled chai to get a smooth consistency (adjust the amount of chai based on the consistency you prefer).
Drizzle chai glaze over the breads and serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 4 medium breads
To make into one large braided bread,
Roll the risen dough into a 12 x 12 square (skip dividing dough into 4 portions). Spread chai-spice-mixture, roll and adopt the same process and make into one large circle. Let rise for 30 minutes and the bake for about 28 minutes. Cool and drizzle glaze.
Makes 1 large braid