• Cindy

Rewena Bread - a traditional Maori recipe

In 'The Pounamu Prophecy', Mere makes Rewena bread - the Maori version of sourdough. My husband's Nana made it all the time, as did most Maori women of her generation, and it was delicious! One day she, my mother-in-law and I made it together - such a privilege to be taught by her. I have to admit I hardly ever make it now so I am no expert but here is Nana's recipe. For a healthier version, try it with half white, half wholemeal flour.

Step 1- The 'Bug'

1 c flour 1 tsp sugar 1 potato

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.

Step 2 - Feeding the 'Bug'

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.

Step 3 - Bread

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 150-180 C for 1 hour. This allows the bread to rise a bit more as the oven temperature rises.

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I love to have a sweet treat in the pantry and to pop into the school lunch-box but I also want it to have some nutritional value. This week I’ve been into nut cakes – carrot cake with lots of walnuts and this moist orange almond cake. Nuts are rich in protein and healthy unsaturated fat - great for good health!

This cake is easy to make – but you do need a food processor. It’s very high in protein from all the eggs and almonds, and it’s gluten free.

(Some baking powders are not gluten free so check the pack if you are making this cake for someone who can’t have gluten. If you dust the cake with icing sugar, as in the photo, check it is gluten free too.)



2 oranges

6 eggs, lightly beaten

250 grams sugar

300 grams ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

Boil oranges in a little water for 1-2 hours.

Chop oranges roughly and let them cool down a bit. Then blend well in food processor with all the other ingredients. Line a large pan with grease-proof paper. Make sure the pan is large enough so the cake isn’t too thick or it will take too long to cook. Bake at 180C/350F for 1 hour – or perhaps a bit longer.

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