Posted on : 06-12-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Maori kai, My idiot-proof recipes, Traditions
Here’s my question: Is it possible to make a wholemeal version of rewena paraoa (potato bread) that looks and tastes good? For the past month I have been experimenting. Rewena comes from the Maori word for potato – rewa, and paraoa means bread in Maori. Before Europeans arrived in New Zealand there was no potato, flour or sugar. Kumara, a type of sweet potato, was one of the main carbohydrate or energy sources for Maori. But this tropical plant was hard work to grow in New Zealand’s cool climate. Potatoes are different. Just throw them in the ground and they pretty much grow anywhere – my type of plant. So it was no wonder the potato soon took over from kumara as the staple food.
I figure the rewena recipe developed as most recipes do – by using the ingredients at hand – in this case potatoes, white flour, sugar and salt. I’d love to know how it started. Perhaps someone accidentally left a pot of boiled potatoes sitting in the sun for a couple of days and noticed that it had fermented. It wouldn’t have looked too great but maybe they recognised the yeasty smell and decided it could be made into bread. If anyone knows the true history, please let me know.
Posted on : 29-11-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Maori kai, My idiot-proof recipes, Traditions
Am I the only one who is constantly tidying up recklessly discarded shoes from the front entrance? Here I am again picking up my son’s grubby, child-beaten school shoes. I open the shoe cupboard and am hit by the most awful stench. I sniff the shoes in my hands. Boy, my son’s feet must have stunk at school today. But no. The putrid smell isn’t the shoes; it’s coming from the cupboard. Oh no – it’s the rewena bread!
The other night I boiled a potato in unsalted water, just like the my Nanna’s rewena recipe said. I mashed it and added a teaspoon of sugar and some flour, then put it on the hot water cylinder to ferment overnight. Unfortunately the hot water cylinder is in the stinky shoe cupboard. Goodness knows what sort of spores are floating around in there. Whatever they are, they are NOT GOOD. One night in the stinky shoe cupboard and my innocent potato water, sugar and flour has fermented into a thick, stinking cheesy mass – gross.
Posted on : 07-05-2009 | By : Cindy | In : Maori kai, My idiot-proof recipes
1 c flour
1 tsp sugar
Peel and cut potato into small pieces. Place in pot with 1 cup water, lid on, and simmer to mashing consistency. Mash, cool and when luke warm add sugar and flour. Mix to a pikelet batter consistency. If it is too thick, add more warm water. Cover and place in a warm place for 24-48 hours to ferment. The mixture should smell yeasty and sweet.
After 24-48 hours, set aside 1 tablespoon of the dough and put into a large Agee jar. Cover and keep in warm place. Feed one day with ½ cup warm potato water and next day with 1 teaspoon sugar. This is your ‘bug’ which is the base for making future loaves of rewena. Skip this step if you only want to make one loaf.
5 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Mix flour, salt and soda. Pour in rewena from step 1 and mix. Add more water if necessary. Knead 10 mins.
Put in greased dish and set in a warm place to rise.
Place in cold oven and bake at 150-180C for 1 hour. This allows the bread to rise a bit more as the oven temperature rises.
For more on making Rewena see:
My rewena trial and error tryout [disaster!]