Cast Iron

Fennel and Lemon Loaf - Smoked with Earl Grey Tea Leaves

March 21, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Makes 1 medium size loaf
Author Notes

When I heard the theme ingredient was ' Fennel', smoked salmon was the first thing that popped into my head. I wanted to bake bread to go with it and I needed to find some way to infuse a 'smoked' element into my bread.
I ended up smoking my bread flour with Earl grey Tea and granulated sugar... a good accompaniment to many smoked ingredients, in this case, the smoked salmon.
I also used lemon zest, with its tangy refreshing flavor, to tie the smokiness of the salmon with fennel.
Making bread is sometimes very confusing, complicated and difficult to understand, but this method (No knead bread) is very simple and easy! I want everybody to try this bread and have fun with baking your own bread at home! —Yuko Ikeda

What You'll Need
  • Smoke Bread Flour
  • 1 1/4 cups Bread Flour (170 g )
  • 1 tablespoon Earl Grey Tea Leaves ( 6 g )
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar ( 5 g )
  • Final Dough
  • 1 1/4 cups Smoked Bread Flour ( 170 g )
  • 1 cup Bread Flour ( 136 g )
  • 1 cup Hot Water ( 230 g )
  • 1/8 teaspoon Instant Yeast ( 0.55 g )
  • 1 teaspoon Salt ( 5.5 g )
  • 1 piece Lemon Zest
  1. Smoke Bread Flour with Earl Grey Tea Leaves & Granulated sugar - Place Tea Leaves and Granulated sugar in the cast iron pan, onto the lined aluminum foil and set a round wired rack over the tea leaves and sugar. Heat it up with medium heat and when the smoke comes out, put bread flour on the wire rack and cover with the lid. After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and leave it for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, soak the Fennel seeds in the hot water to infuse the fennel flavor into the water.
  3. Mix Smoked Bread Flour, Instant Yeast and Fennel water into a lump of mass, cover and wrap it with plastic and leave it at room temperature (Autolyse) for 30 minutes.
  4. Add Salt to the dough, use hand to mix until roughly evenly distributed. Mix into lemon zest.
  5. Leave the dough at room temperature for 2-3 hours until the dough grows about third in volume. Do Stretch & Fold every half hour until the gluten has been developed. (It'll be 3-4 times.) (Please take a look at this video to see how to do "Stretch & Fold" ?
  6. Put the dough in the fridge for 18 - 24 hours.
  7. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave it about 1 - 2 hours or sometimes 3 hours until the dough has doubled in size. (The time depends on the room temperature or the season.)
  8. Roll the dough into the round shape and place it into a mixing bowl lined with well-floured tea towel, seam-side up.
  9. Let it proof for 30 - 60 minutes.
  10. 1 hour before you plan to bake, preheat the closed clay pot / Cast iron pot / Combo cooker to 500°F.
  11. After the dough has fully proofed, flip the bowl over so that the dough sits on the middle of a parchment paper. Score the surface and place the dough into the preheated pot. (Very very carefully open the lid. it’s HOT!)
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes with lid and then turn the temperature down to 460°F, 10-15 minutes without lid.
  13. Once the bread is nicely brown, take the bread out of the pot and turn the heat off, let it sit in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  14. Let it cool onto a rack.
  15. Enjoy!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sophia R
    Sophia R
  • QuasiSiciliana
  • NakedBeet
  • Yuko Ikeda
    Yuko Ikeda

6 Reviews

Sophia R. April 10, 2013
This sounds absolutely fantastic - I would love to have a slice of this right now! I can totally see it being a wonderful accompaniment with fresh salmon. Checked out your blog as well and really loved that too! So impressed by your baking skills!
Yuko I. April 10, 2013
Hi Sophia,
Thanks so much for your kind words! I wish I could send this bread to you right now! I love your blog, too :-)
QuasiSiciliana March 30, 2013
This recipe sounds delicious, but I've got a few questions. 1) What quantity of fennel seeds did you use? 2) by 'one piece of lemon zest', do you mean one strand or one lemon, zested? Finally, 3) have you ever done this with fresh yeast, rather than dried?
Thanks in advance for getting back to me. :)
Yuko I. March 30, 2013
Hi QuasiSiciliana,
I totally forgot to write of the amount of fennel seeds! Thank you for letting me know!
1) fennel seeds 2 teaspoons ( 4g )
2) 1 lemon, zested
3) Please use double the amount if using fresh yeast.
Yuko :-)

NakedBeet March 21, 2013
Smoking your flour? Intriguing... I have some salmon in my fridge right now. ; ) Love your blog, by the way.
Yuko I. March 22, 2013
Thank you so much for the compliment. You made my day! Smoking bread flour with tea leaves was a very interesting experiment to me. I tried with Jasmine tea as well and got more flavor :-)