Macadamia nuts are one of the less widely used nuts among bakers and manufacturers, which is probably why the The South African Macadamia Growers’ Association enlisted three UK artisan bakers to come up with some ideas and chivvy things along.
Ian Martin, bakery consultant and production manager at Martin’s Bakery near Manchester, Paul Merry of Panary in Dorset and Peter Cook of Prices of Ludlow happily obliged, coming up with three bread recipes. The project aims to increase awareness of the nut’s taste profile, health benefits and USPs. To test the recipes in a commercial retail environment, the breads were trialled at Prices of Ludlow on every weekend throughout the month of June. They were positioned and priced in line with the bakery’s artisan bread selection.
"On a weekend, the top seller from our speciality loaf selection is usually our olive and pumpkin bread," said Peter Cook from Prices of Ludlow, which was one of Rick Stein’s Local Food Heroes and winner of the 2008 Waitrose Made in Britain Food Producer of the Year Award.
"The Macadamia loaves were similarly priced and were received extremely well by consumers, who are continuing to be adventurous in their bread selections, with each variety selling between 10-18 loaves per weekend." Consumers commented on the luxurious look, taste and texture of the bread, he added.
Fruited Cornbread with Macadamias
By Ian Martin
To make nine loaves or approximately 80-90 small rolls
Flour (strong wheat) 2kg
Raw sugar 160g
(use in these proportions: 1g polenta to 7.5g of water, bring water to the boil and whisk in the polenta, then leave to cool before use)
Macadamia nuts 500g
Jumbo Raisins 800g
1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt, raw sugar, polenta and milk to form a dough
2. At the last stage, add the macadamias and sultanas and mix in well, so they are evenly distributed throughout the dough
3. Bulk prove for two hours and, when doubled in size, scale into 450g portions
4. Leave for a short intermediate proof of approximately 15 minutes
5. Take each portion, flatten the dough and then fold over length-ways before rounding into a smooth ball
6. Place the dough in a prover or leave in a warm, draught-free place for about 45 minutes
7. Dust with flour and slash three cuts in each direction at 90 degrees
8. Bake in a bread oven at 220-225°C for 25-35 minutes
Note: To make small rolls, use approximately 50g portions and mould in the same way.