Sweet New Zealand Māori Bread is pure, light, and delightful. This is a traditional bread from the island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, though this recipe is adapted to be a little more modern. When I first read about this Maori bread, I was intrigued. It sounded like heaven on earth–indeed like New Zealand itself. I’ve added my own twist of richness to the recipe using some sour cream and milk powders as well as a touch of salt, making it closer to a Hawaiian sweet bread. It doesn’t take very long to make. Traditionally this bread is baked in a deep pot. I use a #10 can, or a gallon-sized deep pot (used for the solar oven). The original recipe doesn’t call for salt, fat, or anything but the yeast, water, sugar, and flour.
My recipe is adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks: Sam Choy’s Polynesian Kitchen
Chef Tess Sweet New Zealand Māori Bread
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water (no hotter than 110 degrees)
1/2 cup pure honey
4 cups Honeyville organic bread flour or Honeyville California’s Best Bread Flour
1/2 cup Honeyville Powdered Sour Cream
1/2 cup Honeyville Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk
1 tsp salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast water and sugar. Add flour all four cups at once. Mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Grease a #10 can very well. I personally prefer using organic coconut oil for this particular loaf. It adds just a hint of coconut flavor. Oh heaven!
Form the dough into a round ball and place in the can.
Cover lightly. Let rise until doubled, about 2 1/2 hours.. Preheat oven (or solar oven) 350 degrees. After dough has risen sufficiently.
Cover can with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The aluminum-foil hat will keep the bread from being subject to alien-mind-control rays. Err…Um…Okay…maybe it will just keep it from getting too brown and also help it steam lightly and impart a tender thin crust. Just in case there are alien mind control rays though, make sure you have an extra cap for yourself while baking the bread. Safety first my darlings.
Open oven, remove foil, and let the oven brown the bread an additional 15 minutes.
The crowning touch of this culinary delight is to serve it warm with a glorious drizzle of this Spiced Citrus Vanilla-Bean Honey-Butter. It adds a fresh, lightly-sweet, kiss of happiness to the bread and is just what we need on a cold winter’s evening!
Tropical paradise, here we come! Oh…and take the foil cap off your own head now. It looks ridiculous.
Chef Tess Spiced Citrus Vanilla-Bean Honey-Butter
1 tsp fresh orange zest, fine grated
1/2 tsp Chef Tess Wise Woman of the East Spice Blend
Slather generously all over your divine perfection-of-a-bread. Try not to pass out from happiness.
Have a taste of paradise today and enjoy a fun way to use an empty can! Oh, by the way, putting the cooled loaf back in the #10 can is also a great way to keep the loaf moist and tender…er…um…hide it from the rest of the family. Grin.
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess