Australian Native Herb Bread
Banyula Bread literally means Bread of Many Trees; This bread pays homage to the land we dwell on and the Indigenous Culture that has been the custodian of this great land we call home – Australia.
The Australian Native Herbs in this bread, give the loaf a fresh and light lemon and berry tang. Strawberry Gum powder, made from the leaf of Eucalyptus Olida is native to the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. When Indigenous Australians travelled through this region, they would often chew the leaf of this native tree as a type of sweet gum. The leaves of this tree were also burnt to release fragrant oils to help calm stomach ailments. The leaves are known to have anti-fungal and antibiotic properties and include antioxidants.
This bread also has the perfect amount of Sourdough bite without the need of a starter. The poolish (a simple wet dough made half a day ahead) adds a sourdough kick without all the fuss of a starter culture. The addition of Diastatic Malt powder (the bread baker’s secret ingredient) helps to create a strong rise and a brown crust. For the enthusiast, Diastatic Malt powder can be made at home from sprouted and dried grain, or it can be purchased as a powder ready to use.
Poolish (make 12-18 hours before needed):
- 330 grams plain flour
- 330 grams water
- ½ teaspoon dry instant yeast
- 635 grams plain flour
- 300 grams water
- 2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
- 3 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Strawberry Gum powder
- Add all of the poolish
- Start making the poolish 12-18 hours ahead of time. 12 hours in a warm climate and 18 hours if cooler.
- Combine the flour, water and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Stir thoroughly and set aside covered with a tea-towel until surface begins to bubble (at least 12 hours and up to 18 hours).
- When the poolish is ready to use, combine all of the bread dough ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. Attach the dough hook and mix on low-medium speed for 8-10 minutes. To check if the gluten is fully developed, stretch your dough at this stage and look for a ‘window’ or sheer piece of dough to appear. If the dough breaks rather than a window appearing, return the mixer at low speed for another 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea-towel. Let stand for 1¼ hours until doubled in size.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured bench and divide the dough into three portions. Roughly shape dough into the size of your Bake Master proving baskets. Cover and let the gluten relax for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the dough into lightly floured proving baskets, cover with a tea towel and proof for 1¼ hours until doubled in size.
- Fifteen minutes before proving has finished, turn your oven to 245 degrees C. For conventional ovens, fill a small ovenproof bowl with water and place in the base of oven – this will create steam which helps to develop a deep crust.
- When dough has finished proving, gently turn out the dough from its proving basket onto your Bake Master Baking Sheet. Transfer to the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 230 degrees C. Cook for 10 minutes with steam, carefully remove the bowl of water, cook for another 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- Serve warm with butter or olive oil and Australian Native dukkha.
A note about Strawberry Gum (Eucalyptus Olida):
The leaves of this tree are commonly known for their sweet berry/passion fruit like flavour. Strawberry Gum powder is a delicious flavour enhancer in fruit desserts, cream desserts such as crème brûlée or crème caramel or the quintessential Australian dessert – Pavlova. This herb pairs beautifully with savoury cheese dishes and sweet or savoury baked goods.
Breadmaking is one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells… there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour ofM.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
meditation, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
We have teamed up with Mason Cash and Bakemaster to bring you this Australian Native Bread recipe.
Find out more about Bakemaster’s range of proving baskets.
Find out more about Bakemaster’s range of baking trays.
Words, recipe and images by Rachel Potter
Find the original recipe here.