Bread that tastes like an Anzac biscuit… Whaaaat? Btw, referring to the biscuit that is like a cookie here, not the one that uses actual dough! Just another New Zealand-ism for you… 😉 So Anzac biscuits/cookies are a New Zealand tradition, made around our public holiday called Anzac Day that was originally to honour the members of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in WWI against the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, we remember all those who have fought for our country and all those killed in war, much like Veterans’ Day in the States.
Sitting here writing this though, I realised that I actually don’t know the significance of the Anzac biscuit, just that people only general make them around April 25th and they’re really yum! If you want to read the full story, you can on the New Zealand Army Museum website here, but basically they were made during war time to raise funds for the war effort. They also use golden syrup instead of eggs as a binding agent which makes them full of energy and long-lasting, which would have been pretty important during war time!
Now there are a tonne of recipes out there for Anzac biscuits, especially in New Zealand cookbooks, but when I came across a recipe for a similar Anzac bread, I knew that’s what I had to make this year. It has all of the flavours of an Anzac biscuit but folded and twisted together into a buttery and delicious sweet bread. What makes it even more delicious is that it is smothered in golden syrup, so yum!!
Now don’t fret if you’re in the US and can’t get golden syrup, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a treat. All you do is substitute corn syrup and add a little more brown sugar to get that lightly toasted flavour of golden syrup. It may not be exactly the same, but it will be pretty close and just as yummy.
How could you not fall in love with those soft layers that are just bursting with sweet nutty goodness?? My dad was skeptical at first because he really wanted me to make classic Anzac biscuits and was annoyed that I was trying something new, but even he had to admit that this bread was pretty special! If you don’t have macadamias, you can also sub out almonds or even walnuts, but I don’t really like walnuts so macadamias all the way! I hope you enjoy this smothered in butter just like we did (4 or 5 times over, whaaaat?), happy baking!
- 3 tspn dried instant yeast
- ¾ cup milk, lukewarm
- 1½ Tbspn brown sugar
- 1 tspn salt
- 3 cups flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 150g (5.3oz) unsalted butter, melted
- Zest of 1 orange
- ¾ cup macadamias, chopped
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tspn nutmeg
- 2 tspn mixed spice
- 3 tspn cinnamon
- ½ cup golden syrup, plus extra to drizzle (or ½ cup corn syrup and increase the brown sugar to a ½ cup)
- Place yeast, milk and 1 Tbspn brown sugar in a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy.
- Place the flour, yolks, yeast mixture, 125g (4.4oz) melted butter, salt and remaining sugar in the bowl of an stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed for 10 minutes or until smooth.
- Alternatively, knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for 1-11/2 hours until doubled in size.
- Lightly flour the counter/work space and punch the dough down in the bowl. Roll the dough out to a 25cm x 45cm (10in x 17.5in) rectangle.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease and line two loaf tins. Combine orange zest and remaining 25g melted butter in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine macadamias, oats, brown sugar and spices.
- Brush the butter mixture over dough, leaving a 1cm border. Scatter over three-quarters macadamia mixture, then drizzle over golden syrup (or corn syrup), make sure you're generous!
- Working from the long edge closest to you, roll dough into a log, pressing down to seal. Cut the log in half so that you have two even logs. Then cut both the logs lengthways to create two open pieces.
- Just like the Chocolate Brioche Twist Bread, you're going to plait each log into a twist bread.
- Turn the halves cut-side out to expose macadamia mix, pinch the top end together then twist two logs together and pinch the other end to seal.
- Repeat this process with the other cut log to create the other loaf of twist bread. Transfer the twists to a loaf tin each and scatter each bread with some remaining macadamia mixture.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 170°C (340°F) and bake for a further 35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- As soon as they are out of the oven, drizzle all over with extra golden syrup (or mix 2 Tbspn of brown sugar into ¼ cup of corn syrup and use that).
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Serve bread warm drizzled with extra golden syrup or butter, if you want.
- This bread tastes the best on the day it is made, but it will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container.