Tea Bread

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    1

    large loaves

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

In 2002, Mrs. Spendlove (Barbara’s cousin and owner of PamFram Bakery in Accra) agreed to teach me to make Ghana-style tea bread. She met me at Flair Catering to demonstrate quantities and techniques, but after returning to the U.S., my first attempt to re-create the tea bread failed miserably. Two years later I returned to be shown again, this time at her bakery, and realized her commercial mixers affected the texture of the breads. And also realized Ghana’s flour has more gluten. Here we give you two adapted versions of Ghana’s classic tea bread. They take basically a whole day or night to rise.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) margarine or butter, melted
  • 4 cups (1 pound) unsifted bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons gluten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon dry powdered yeast (preferably rapid rise)

Method

Directions for bread machine

  1. Put all ingredients in the bread maker container in the order listed. Set the timer on the “dough” setting, and wait for it to finish.
  2. Remove the dough and put in a greased bowl, lightly covered, and let sit for about 8 hours in a warm draft-free place.
  3. Punch the dough down. Shape into 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves with slightly tapered edges. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes (lightly covered with a dishtowel, if desired).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake the bread for about 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Directions for hand-kneading

  1. Pour the warm water into a cup. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid, mix gently and set aside for a few minutes to proof.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, gluten, salt, nutmeg, and remaining sugar. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and add yeast mixture and melted margarine or butter. Mix with a sturdy spoon and then your hands until you have a smooth dough. (Add a little more flour or water if the dough is too sticky or dry.)
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Form into a ball and proceed as from step 2 above.

To serve

This is called “tea bread” because it is a pleasant, not-too-sweet bread to enjoy with a hot beverage in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings.