Mario Barnard's Mopane White Bread

Chef Mario Barnard is anything but ordinary. The 28-year-old says his dishes are good for the environment, jam-packed with fibre and magnesium – and made with insects.

Barnard is the resident chef at The Insect Experience in Woodstock, Cape Town. This pop-up restaurant exclusively cooks with insects and fly larvae. Through his food, Barnard wants to change Mzansi’s perspectives on insect-based foods and its benefits.

The “insect chef” shares his recipe for a mopane white bread. He says the mopane powder adds protein to the bread. It’s also good for the digestive system and is filled with amino acids, while adding a nutty flavour to the bread.

Ingredients:

Mario Barnard
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet instant yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 20g raw honey
  • 100g ground mopane powder
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2g sesame seeds

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the honey in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
  2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour and mopane powder one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  3. Place in a well-oiled bowl and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well-oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  5. Bake at 175°C for 30 minutes.
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