Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Maori Bread

This is a traditional bread from New Zealand. I would love to visit there someday and have always found the food to be so amazing. It was colonized by Europeans in the 1800's. It is well known for its lush and fertile land. It is certainly a land rich with remarkable Polynesian heritage, and European elegance. When I first read about this bread, I was intrigued. It sounded like heaven on earth--indeed like New Zealand itself. So, I tried it and found it to be a very delightful and sweet bread. Traditionally this bread is baked in a deep pot. I used a #10 can, and then found a deep pot used for camping (blue) that also worked really well. The original recipe doesn't call for salt, fat, or anything but the yeast, water, sugar, and flour. I added 1 tsp of salt to mine, but don't feel like you have too.

This recipe is from "Sam Choy's Polynesian Kitchen".
He got the recipe from Riana Mahe.

Maori Bread

1T yeast (I used 1 tsp and let it raise a lot longer which is more traditional)
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup honey)
4 cups flour, all purpose white (whole wheat use 3 1/2 cups)

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 deep pot. Place dough in the pot. Cover with a lid and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Mine took 4-5 hours. Preheat oven (or solar oven) 350 degrees.
After dough has risen sufficiently, place in oven cover pot with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Open oven, remove lid, and let bread brown for the last 15 minutes. Remove bread from the oven and take out of pan. The loaf will be shaped like the pot.
Wrap in dampened cheesecloth to keep the crust moist. Serve hot with honey citrus butter.

Honey citrus butter

2T orange juice concentrate
4T honey
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature.

Combine all until smooth and spreadable.



gramee said...

i would love to know what kind of pot you cook this bread in..

my great grandparents went to New Zealand on a mission, in the late 50's {just before i was born} to help finnish the temple there.
my grandfather was a carpenter.

i miss the tulips at temple square in the spring. i have only been in Arizona for 6 months, i love the weather here, but there are things i miss about Utah. and that is one thing.

Chef Tess said...

Grammee, your grandfather must have been amazing! To work on such a building requires perfection in skills.

Utah in the spring is heaven on earth. I miss it so much it hurts...especially here in the dirt. I think my dad would love to hear you miss the flowers. He works so hard...and is virtually unknown. I would love to shout his name from the rooftops...and yet his flowers do that for him. The pot I used was just a deep "camping" pot. I found it in the "outdoors" section of walmart. Looks like a #10 can, but with smooth sides. Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Hi the yeast that is used for maori bread is slightly different and can't be brought in a shop, it's potato based yeast and to keep it alive you add sugar and warm water. You can use an ordinary loaf pan as well, but when it says a pot, they mean just an old ordinary large pot!! that you can put it in an oven.

I"m a kiwi from NZ and love maori bread, my mum use to make it all the time, personally I have never made it! sad but true.

Chef Tess said...

Thank you for the added insight.It sounds like the yeast is a potato starter then in the original bread. I use that for other breads and it will change the flavor slightly. I have a recipe for that on my blog here. I'm assuming then that the recipe from Sam Choy is called Maori bread but has been made a little more user friendly for those who don't have access to the special yeast. Yes, any large deep pot that is oven safe will work. Here we have a lot of pots with plastic on the handles and when I give a specific size it helps with how long to bake as changing the pan will change the depth and size of the loaf. Thank you again for the added insight. How cool!

Anonymous said...

I was taught how to make Rewana bread (which is what your calling Maori bread, although Maori bread is different.) we used potato water, so the water left over from boiling potatoes is used with the yeast to allow it to do its thing, it's amazing, I learnt from the "older generation" and they don't use measurements!!

Chef Tess said...

I'm sorry, but I don't have any of the older generation to teach me, but I do have friends who make it this way who are from New Zealand, and this is what they use and call it.