As you might have already guessed I am fascinated about foods of my two countries Brazil and Australia and that is why I chose to bake this bread for the blog. The Outback honey loaf is a bread served in a very famous Australian-style restaurant chain which also has restaurants in Brazil. In the past few years the so called casual dining has boomed in Brazil because this type of restaurants offer good value for money meals.
They serve the loaf as an appetiser with soft butter. This simple appetiser is so delicious that you almost get tempted to forget the rest of the menu and have only bread and butter! The funny thing is that I’ve been living in Australia for more than 12 years, lived in three different states and never came across this kind of bread here. They also have on the menu what is called ‘the Australian gigantic onion’, a deep fried crumbed onion served in the shape of a flower with a punchy sauce on the side. The onion is called ‘Bloomin’ Onion’ (thanks Olivia!) and its deliciously crunchy and flavourful. After a little bit of research I’ve found out what is called Australian onion in Brazil is actually an American recipe and that is why I’ve never seen this dish in Australia!
Anyway, every time I travel to Brazil I love to go to this place with my friends to have dinner. As soon as you sit at the table they serve the loaf with butter and that prompt us to order the super chilled Brazilian beer – irresistible! On the mains menu they have Australian-inspired pub meals which basically consist of a meat dish (fish, burguers, grilled chicken, etc), and some vegetables or salad and chips as accompaniment. My favourite meal is the grilled salmon with vegetables sautéed in butter.
I tested a few recipes, initially trying with rye flour, but I had to give up working with rye. Even though I love the taste of this flour it is very hard to work with it especially in winter. In my opinion bread recipes are some of the most temperamental to make. It is not difficult to end up with a bread that is horribly heavy and dense. Any little mistake like an ingredient you add in the wrong sequence or if the oven is not in the right temperature might jeopardise the end results. Furthermore in cold days if you don’t warm your kitchen that could be a problem as well.
This loaf is special and one of the highlights of this restaurant, therefore its recipe is kept closely guarded. On the internet many Brazilian food bloggers attempted to copy the bread. I also created my own recipe based on the flavours I remember and with a little bit of research. I am pretty happy with the results I achieved, my recipe gives a very light and fluffy bread which is slightly sweet and with subtle honey scent, just perfect with that soft butter.
I tested this recipe quite a few times and I learnt some secrets that I recommend you keep in mind when making breads:
– In cold days warm up your kitchen before you start the bread
– If your bread recipe has a lot of fat, add the fat after you mix the yeast
– Use the electric mixer to combine the ingredients, this helps with the activation of the gluten
– Eggs must be at room temperature
Re-heat a slice for a few seconds in the microwave to re-fresh the bread. Enjoy!
1 ½ cups (375 ml) milk
6 tbs brown sugar
450g plain flour
250g wholemeal flour
½ tsp ground cloves
3 tbs cocoa powder
½ tsp salt
2 envelopes (14g) dry yeast
60g unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, at room temperature
Melted butter to brush
Softened butter to serve
Superfine corn meal* to dust (optional)
*Available from selected supermarkets, South American grocers and online
1. Warm the milk, honey and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave), stirring until sugar and honey dissolve. Cool until lukewarm.
2. Sift flours, cloves, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour the milk mixture, the yeast and beat at low speed for about 3 minutes or until well combined. Add egg and butter. Beat everything for 2-3 minutes or until the dough comes together. In case the dough is too dry add a little extra milk or add a little bit of plain flour if it’s too sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a bowl and turn to lightly coat in melted butter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside in a warm draught-free place to prove for 1 ½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Pre-heat the oven 180oC. Grease two standard bread pans. Dust a clean surface with a little bit of flour, knead the dough for a further 5 minutes. Divide and shape dough into 2 logs. Transfer the logs onto tray, cover with tea towel and keep it in a warm place to prove for a further 30 minutes.
5. Brush the loaves with melted butter, sprinkle with corn meal (if desired) and bake for 1 hour or until golden. Remove from oven and wrap in a clean kitchen towel until cool. Store in plastic bags.
Makes: 2 loaves
Receita em Português
Pão de Mel do Outback
1 ½ xícaras ( 375 ml ) de leite
120g de mel
6 colheres de sopa de açúcar mascavo
450g de farinha de trigo
250g de farinha integral
½ colher de chá de cravo em pó
3 colheres de sopa de cacau em pó
½ colher de chá de sal
2 envelopes ( 14g ) de fermento para pão instantâneo
60g de manteiga sem sal, amolecida
1 ovo , à temperatura ambiente
Manteiga derretida para pincelar
Manteiga amolecida para servir
1. Aqueça o leite, mel e açúcar em uma panela pequena em fogo baixo mexendo até dissolver o açúcar e o mel (ou no microondas). Utilizar quando estiver morno.
2. Peneire as farinhas, cravo, cacau em pó eo sal numa bacia grande de batedeira equipada com uma pá de massa. Despeje a mistura de leite, o fermento e bata em velocidade baixa por cerca de 3 minutos até misturar bem. Adicione o ovo e manteiga. Bata tudo por 2-3 minutos ou até que a massa se forme. Se a massa estiver muito seca adicione um pouco de leite ou um pouco de farinha de trigo se a massa estiver muito pegajosa.
3. Coloque a massa sobre uma superfície levemente enfarinhada e sove por 10 minutos ou até ficar lisa e elástica. Coloque a massa em uma bacia e pincele com manteiga derretida. Cubra a bacia com um pano de prato e deixe em um ambiente morno sem correntes de ar local para crescer por 1 ½ horas ou até que a massa tenha dobrado de tamanho.
4. Pré-aqueça o forno 180oC. Unte duas formas de pão. Polvilhe uma superfície limpa com um pouco de farinha e sove a massa por mais 5 minutos. Faça dois pães e coloque nas formas. Cubra com um pano e deixe crescer em um lugar morno por mais 30 minutos.
5. Pincele os pães com manteiga derretida, polvilhe com fubá e asse por 1 hora ou até dourar. Retire do forno e enrole num pano de prato até esfriar. Guarde em saco plástico.
Rende: 2 pães