The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tea Bread?

Guyandhisbread's picture

Tea Bread?

Hello i have tried to make a tea bread lately and i tried to cook it like my normal sourdough, but apparently it is very different and more rich thenn normal so it bakes differently. if anyone else has tried this plz tell me the temp and time. and if u have any other unique ingredients tell me :)

BettyR's picture

I've never heard of it. I have a recipe for some tea cakes but I have a feeling that it's not the same thing.


English Tea Cakes


1/2-cup shortening

1/2-cup (1 stick) butter

3 tablespoons cream

1 1/2-cup sugar

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2-teaspoons salt


Pre-heat oven to 350°


Cream sugar, shortening, and cream until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add eggs beating well after each addition.


While you are waiting for the creaming mixture to finish, mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and stir well to mix the ingredients.


Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and beat on medium low speed for about 2 minutes or until the dough comes together well and is smooth and easy to handle without sticking to your hands.


Using a #20 ice cream scoop to measure out the dough; roll the dough into 22 little balls about 2 ounces each and roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets; 6 balls to a sheet.


Bake at 350° for 18 minutes then remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Lift the parchment paper off the pan and onto the table and allow the little cakes to finish cooling.


Store at room temperature in an airtight container. 


Makes 22 little cakes.

BettyR's picture

I guess my back woods Cajun upbringing is showing.

copyu's picture

I think it's one of those "meaningless terms" that we use in English.

Probably, there's something called 'tea bread' or 'tea-bread' and something else called "TEA bread"...who knows?

I've been asked by dozens of my Japanese students (especially those with ovens at home and who know that I love baking) about this very issue. I followed a class with a new, but unfortunate, British teacher who was totally 'flummoxed' by this question about how much tea to put into "tea cakes". ["The recipe was from England, but it didn't mention how much tea to put in!" was the complaint.] He tried, valiantly, to explain that tea was the drink and the cake/bread was the food...for the 'tea'... [I'm really glad he talked to me before I took that class!]

When Japanese see 'tea bread' they expect that either powdered, Japanese green tea (matcha) or "English" [Indian or Ceylonese/Sri Lankan] tea (kocha) will be featured in the recipe...They probably expect a nice piece of 'cake' when they buy it, though...The Japanese don't distinguish between 'cake' and 'bread' quite as clearly as Europeans do...if it's from the bakery, it's usually labeled "bread" or "pan" ['Melon-pan' (melon-bread) is just one clear example...]


PS: having "tea" was also the British equivalent for having "dinner" in most former British colonies a few decades ago...Americans called the same meal "supper" when I was a kid...The Brits had more than six 'meals' per day:  breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner/tea, supper...Don't ask me what a "high tea" was...PLEASE!


copyu's picture

No sooner had I pressed "SAVE" than my wife, who is Japanese, started to talk to me about Camembert cheese. She said she was going to enjoy some for lunch tomorrow with "butter-bread".


When I was a kid, that meant a piece of New York ('German' or 'Jewish') rye or a square, white, fore-runner of 'Wonder-Bread" spread with butter.

She meant "butter rolls"...Not QUITE what I imagined...

English is the 'international language' and we have to put up with that, even if we don't understand it!



EvaB's picture

into now English, it can be fun. I grew up with a southern Grammy and we have words in our vocab that simply aren't in the local English, of course there are many native Canadain words in the area that aren't in the southern lexicon either!

However High Tea could be what was searved when one was at home, or recieving visitors (upper classes really) so it would be an afternoon tea, that consisted of tea sandwiches, tea cakes, biscuits, tea for the ladies and probably sherry for the gents if they were of the right nobility, otherwise it would be tea for all. It might include things like Vitoria sponge, seed cake, cucumber sandwiches, cress sandwiches and many other things, of course the idea of a day like that was you came and had a cup of tea with the hostess, and ate a few dainties, and then went off to the next hostess, so they were light, and usually fast visits.

BettyR's picture

We are such a mixture of so many different cultures. When I was a kid we would go to "la vee" with my grandparents. Which simply meant we were going to visit and sit in the formal living room on the "nice" furniture. Coffee was served and it was very strong and sweetened in the pot and served black in small cups with a sweet "bread" that was really a cookie...and placed on the saucer next to the coffee cup. The kids got coffee too but it was mostly milk.

copyu's picture

My posts are always too long...

An excellent description of 'high tea' at Kingsbury Park...thanks!



Patf's picture

Eva - where I come from (NE England) high tea was a sort of supper eaten at about 6pm. We had something light and savoury, eg fish, ham and eggs, sausages, with bread and butter , followed by cakes and biscuits. This was also the custom in Scotland.


The type of meal you describe was called afternoon tea, and tended to be more dainty and genteel.

I make tea loaves sometimes, and just use my normal white flour yeast dough recipe, with the addition of some dried fruit and mixed spice.