Glazed Harvest Chai Bread

Recently I made the banana butternut butterscotch muffins I wrote about last fall (you can find the recipe here: https://anticipatingadventure.com/2020/10/04/banana-butternut-butterscotch-muffins/), and since I had some leftover roasted butternut and have also been toying around with the idea of making a bread using chai tea, I decided to try to combine the two to make chai-flavored bread.

Unfortunately, my first attempt was not too great. My family enjoyed it with the cream cheese frosting that I smothered on top of it, but the bread wasn’t sweet enough to enjoy on its own. That didn’t stop me from continuing with my attempts, however, and since then, I’ve created this bread.

Although this bread does not taste like chai per se, it is made with black tea and chai spices, giving it a taste reminiscent of autumn. The combination of applesauce, roasted butternut, and pumpkin puree only adds to those traditional fall flavors, creating a delightfully moist and sweet bread fit for having “harvest” in its name.

Not only does this bread make for a delicious fall treat, but it will bring all the coziness of fall to your home with its warm scent and is sure to quickly become a favorite. It already has become one of mine. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe for Glazed Harvest Chai Bread, and as always, please let me know if you make it and how it turned out for you!

GLAZED HARVEST CHAI BREAD

Ingredients

For the chai buttermilk mixture:

• 1 ½ c milk
• 4 tea bags of black tea
• 1 t cinnamon
• ½ t ginger
• ¼ t cardamom
• ¼ t cloves
• 1/8 t pepper
• 1 ½ T lemon juice

For the bread:

• ½ c chai buttermilk mixture
• 2 eggs
• ½ c applesauce
• ½ c butternut squash, roasted
• ½ c pumpkin puree
• 1 t vanilla extract
• 1 ¼ c light brown sugar
• 2 c flour
• ½ t salt
• 1 t baking soda
• ½ t baking powder
• 1 t cinnamon
• ½ t ginger
• ¼ t cloves
• ¼ t cardamom
• ¾ c white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, almonds, or walnuts (optional)

For the glaze topping:

  • ¼ c chai buttermilk mixture
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ t honey
  • ¼ t baking soda
  • 2 T butter
  • ½ t vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  2. To make the chai mixture, combine the milk, tea, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium low until warmed and thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to let cool slightly, around ten to fifteen minutes. Once lukewarm to slightly warm, add the lemon juice and let sit for an additional ten minutes.
  3. While the buttermilk mixture is forming, mix the eggs, applesauce, butternut squash, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, and brown sugar in a blender. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom together. Add the baking chips or nuts, if desired, the blended ingredients, and the ½ c buttermilk chai mixture. Mix to combine, then place in the loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted through the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  4. While the bread is baking, make the glaze by combining ¼ cup of the chai buttermilk mixture, ½ c sugar, ½ t honey, ¼ t baking soda, and 2 T butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a boil, then stir in the vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Once the bread is finished baking, pour the glaze over the it while it is still in the pan (just use what is needed to cover the top surface of the loaf), then bake an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before removing from its pan. Slice and enjoy! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

NOTES

*You may have additional chai buttermilk mixture leftover by the time you have finished baking the bread and making the glaze. The amount of milk used in this recipe is to allow for any reduction of liquid that may occur during heating.

**The chai mixture may or may not become like buttermilk in consistency. It did for me my first attempt, but not the second attempt. Either way, the varying consistency did not noticeably affect the end product.