Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bread Baking Babes go original Aboriginal: Rewena

  *cough* it’s not Aboriginal, it’s Maori. But that doesn’t rhyme as much, dang!

We Babes, we get around these days, Lien is our Kitchen of the Month and we gathered around her kitchen table briefly before she set us on a trip to New Zealand.

This bread is adapted from Dean Brettschneiders “Global Baker” and it requires a two-day starter mixed with mashed potato and it’s cooking liquid. Tickled purple we were (at least some of us ;-))

“Rewena is the Maori term for the fermented potato mixture used as a raising agent to make this effect it's a type of sourdough. It's difficult to find the exact history of this bread, but it has been suggested that a flat unleavened bread was made with ground-up bullrush plant and water, baked over hot rocks. Traditionally, rewena is baked for large gatherings and the loaf is simply torn apart for sharing amongst friends and family. I have added a little fresh rosemary for flavour because this bread has little salt and can be bland. Stencilling the iconic New Zealand silver fern onto the loaf by dusting with flour and baking gives this loaf a truly New Zealand identity. This rewena needs to be made two to three days ahead.”

IMG_3455The original recipe didn’t work as planned so Lien rolled up her sleeves and fixed us a recipe that did work. At least for a lot of us. Mine? Mine came out a bit less holed than I expected and somehow looked like it was made with whole wheat… {Now that I write this an awful suspicion rises…. At the time of baking I was preparing three different doughs… Do you think I mixed up two of them? Not entirely impossible since I managed to make non-currant currant rolls a couple of weeks ago by forgetting to incorporate the dried fruit into the dough. Gah.}

Anyway the prolonged counter time of the starter made a very firm dough for me, not slack, not wet but lovely to shape.
I even tried to craft a stencil to create the fern leaf pattern on the bread. Kudos to me! Yes it took me two tries to get it somewhat right, is not easy to wrap your head around which parts show when you snip away at the mediocre drawing you yourself made LOL.

IMG_3462See what I mean? No holes! NO HOLES! Dang again!
But good. It was good. Nothing really special and a bit dense crumb but soft at the same time. 
Let me show you this wonderful stencil again…. (I really like my slashes!! I do!)

IMG_3456 Don’t forget to check out my fellow Babes (blogroll on the left hand side!) and if you like to bake with us and become a Bread Baking Buddy with your own smashing Buddy Badge please do! All details are to be found at Lien’s; deadline, where to send your info etc. Go ahead, you know you want to!


  1. You drew your own stencil! Kudos indeed! A shame you got no holes... I guess you have to drink some bubbles to compensate! I love your slashing too.

  2. Oh I like Lien's idea to drink some bubbles to compensate! Let's drink bubbles with toast together ... my starter didn't start.

    Love your stencil drawing ... free hand! Wow, blows me away! Slashing: right on.

  3. Beautiful stencilling. And very nice slashing too.

    RATS!!! I completely forgot about the slashes. Not that there would have been any point at all slashing the mess that I made. Although... I did get holes.

  4. Wonderful! I love the leaf, great bread!
    ps, I have a glass handy if those bubbles come around.. ☺

  5. Truly gorgeous stencil and slashes and the bread itself looks great, too. It would be funny if you had mixed up the recipes some. I've had three startes going at one time but not three are ambitious.

  6. Love your stenceling AND the bread. Oh and the slicing too! Lovely!

  7. I am in awe of your intricate hand-made stencil! And your ability to bake three things at once.

  8. Well done on that stencil! It looks tasty, no matter if it wasn't as holey as you wanted. :)

  9. Beautiful loaf! And kudos to drawing your own stencil. It came out really nice looking! Too bad the holes opted out this time. I guess you could always try again (when you don't have 2 other baking projects going on simultaneously) :o)

  10. I am so thoroughly impressed - a stencil! And 2 day bread! I'm going to have to crawl under my desk in the back of the room....

  11. Love your title, love your stencil, and omg, LOVE your slashes! Gorgeous! I had a firm dough to begin with as well; decided to add some water to mine since I felt it should be softer. Your loaf has such beautiful artisan colour, I'm jealous. ☺

  12. What part of Netherlands are you in? Im in veldhoven! -rhonda

  13. Heavenly! Have to try this!!
    Great blog; happy I found you!


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