Rewena paraoa bread is a traditional Maori potato bread, which has a lovely light texture and a slight tang, similar to sourdough. "Rewena" is the Maori term for the fermented potato mixture used as a raising agent. This is created by boiling and mashing potatoes, then adding flour and sugar. The mixture is then allowed to ferment from one to several days, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity. 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 bulrush 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.
REWENA BREAD RECIPE
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1. Peel and dice potato. Place in pot with 1 cup water, cover and simmer until mashing consistency.
2.Mash the potato. Once lukewarm, add 1 cup of flour and sugar. Mix to a firm texture then cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 24-48 hours.
3. Mix 5 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon on bicarb soda. Add the potato mixture and miss. Add more water if needed. Knead for 10 minutes.
4.Put in a greased dish then set in a warm place to rise. Place in a cold oven (do not preheat) and bake at 180 degrees C for one hour. This allows the bread to rise further while oven warms.