Matariki is a time for coming together with whānau (family) and celebrating the earth and the seasons. And when you’re with family, it’s a great time to feast!! Deal to Matariki munchies by making rewena bread!
What to do
Your mission is:
1 cup of potato, peeled and diced
2 tsp of sugar
½ cup plain flour for the bug
4 cups plain flour for the bread
1 cup wholemeal flour
3 tsp salt
A potato masher
A large glass jar
A clean tea towel
Measuring jug or cups
A baking tray
1. GET STARS IN YOUR EYES
During the coldest time each year the Matariki star cluster comes rising up: beginning Māori New Year. Time to celebrate the earth, ancestors and whānau, and time for kai!
Rewena paraoa (bread) is a traditional Māori sourdough potato bread. It is made with a potato starter or 'bug’, that ferments and causes the bread to rise. It gives it its unique flavour. Great with melted butter to slurp up soups and boil-ups!
2. SOMETHING BUGGING YOU?
First of all, we need to make our bread bug! Boil the potato in 2 cups of water for around 12 minutes, then leave to cool down. Add the sugar and half a cup of plain flour, then smash it up with a potato masher to form a batter. Scoop the batter into a large jar and cover with a clean tea towel, then put the whole lot into a bowl in case your bug bubbles over when you’re not looking!
3. BUBBLY BREAD BUG BATTER
Stash your bug in a warm spot like your hot water cylinder cupboard for two days so it starts to ferment. It should be bubbling away and almost double in size when it is at its peak – this is when you need to make your bread dough.
4. I NEED YOU TO KNEAD ME
Once your bug is ready put it to one side. Then measure the rest of the plain flour and wholemeal flour into a bowl. Add the potato bug, 200ml of water, and some salt, and knead by hand for around 8 minutes until it is silky and supple in appearance and feel.
Or convince Mum or Dad that you need their kneading hands!
5. RISE ABOVE IT
Put the bread dough into a lightly-oiled bowl and cover it with a clean tea towel in a warm spot until it doubles in size. This might take around 4 hours.
6. BREAD OR ALIVE
Gently tip your bread dough onto a baking tray, sprinkle some flour over it and cut slits across the top, then put it in a cold oven.
Turn it on to 150 degrees on fan back and cook for around an hour.
7. UPLOAD THE DELICIOUSNESS!!
Upload a pic of your masterful baking accomplishment to Wild Eyes. (And remember: you can re-use the starter bug next time: some bugs have been passed down through generations of rowena bread eaters.)
8. DOWNLOAD THE KAI!!!
Rewena bread is delicious hot from the oven with melted butter. Maybe combine with some Matariki star appreciation.
(And don’t forget to share with your family: it's Matariki after all!).