Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

When I came across this Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bread recipe, images of Hawaii flashed before my eyes. Immediately I started to plot my Hawaiian Sweet Bread, using this recipe from the Los Angeles Times Cookbook circa 1981 as a template. Of course it had to have pineapple in it, no trip to Hawaii is complete without one of those fruity drinks served up in a pineapple. Macadamia nuts are also a ubiquitous flavor in Hawaii. They're a great addition because they provide a great crunchy texture and a mild, creamy, and nutty taste. I also decided to add orange juice and roughly chopped mandarin segments, because when I think of Hawaii I think of sunshine, and when I think of sunshine I think of sweet orange juice. I mixed in some shredded coconut to round out the tropical paradise feel, but I think it was unnecessary- the coconut flavor was lost in the mixture and the coconut texture was distracting. The crunch of the macadamia nut was enough. The wholewheat flour was OK, it worked with the flavors, but I think next time I'll use 1 cup of white flour to smooth it out a bit. Instead of using white sugar next time I will use brown sugar for a more caramelized flavor.
This sweet bread is a good starting point. My plan is to have a great recipe that I can turn to in the dead heart of winter when Hawaii is just a sunny wish.

Hawaiian Sweet Bread
Combine 1 c. egg beaters, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 c. canola oil, 3/4 orange juice, 3/4 c. crushed pineapple, 1/2 c. roughly chopped mandarin orange segments, and mix well. Sift together 1 tbsp. baking powder and 3 c. wholewheat flour. Mix flour mixture into pineapple orange mixture. Fold in 1/2 c. chopped macadamia nuts. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F for about 55 minutes.

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