Clitoria ternatea, commonly known as Asian pigeonwings, bluebellvine, blue pea, butterfly pea, cordofan pea and Darwin pea, is a plant species belonging to the Fabaceae family. Wikipedia. Like green tea, the Butterfly Pea Flower tea is full of potent antioxidants, and has been studied for its ability to help protect the skin against premature aging (it fights against glycation, which is protein damage caused by an influx of sugar molecules).

Bread made using Butterfly pea extract. Hot out of the oven.

Having made Purple Sweet Potato bread, with all it’s healthy properties, I had the idea of carrying on with this by using the Butterfly Pea, which also is high in antioxidants. I read from Dr Mercola’s website that studies have highlighted the potential benefits of the butterfly pea extract, which may be passed on to the tea. So I used the liquid extract of the pea, instead of just plain water, for making the bread.

390gm Unbleached Bread Flour
30gm Semolina flour
40gm Whole wheat flour
​1 tbs Dried Butterfly flowers

1 tbs organic cane sugar

2 tbs Virgin Organic Coconut Oil
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbs chopped fresh Rosemary leaves
​100gm Sourdough starter 1:1

1. Boil water and pour1 1/3 cups of the hot water into a glass container containing a tablespoon of the dried Butterfly flowers and let this steep to extract the bluish purple dye. Leave this to cool.
2. In a KitchenAid bowl, mix in all the flours.
3. Add the cooled tea extract into a well made in the bowl of flour and cover this with flour from the sides of the bowl to autolysis the flour for 30 minutes.
4. To the rest of the cooled tea extract, add in the dried yeast and sugar and 100gm of the sourdough starter. Leave this to form active bubbles. The colouration becomes grey!
5. After about 30 minutes, I added the yeast/sourdough mixture to the bowl of flour and ran the mixer with a dough hook for 10 to 15 minutes till the dough became silky smooth and had a satin sheen. Add in the sea salt, the chopped Rosemary leaves and virgin coconut oil midway through the mixing.
6. When ready, transfer the dough to a floured surface and fold a few times before forming a boule.
7. Let this proof for an hour, and then fold a few times before forming a batard, which I placed on a floured baking paper to proof further for an hour.
8. During this time start up your oven and set the temperature to 240˚C. After the hour is up, score the surface of the batard and bake this in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes till brown, before removing the loaf to cool on a metal rack.

From left: My sourdough starter; dried Butterfly pea flowers; the tea extract; virgin coconut oil.

Proofing after the first folding and stretching, and formed into a boule.

Final proofing after folding and forming into a batard.

Sliced to show the crumb and the thin crust.

The crumb in detail. Soft, spongy and aromatic .

There’s been a suggestion on how to keep the crumb blue by adding food grade Ascorbic Acid to the water. I have not tried this yet.

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realise how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
​- Socrates –


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