Thursday, April 14, 2011

Rewena paraoa (Maori bread)

Bread Baking Babes baked Rewena Paraoa in March. Of course I joined them and started with the Rewena; it looked ok. The second day the bubbles came, but we needed to go out for a few hours. The temperature during the day in our house is between 32 ºC and 38 ºC. When we came back I went to see the Rewena. It smelled awful, like vomit (sorry).

Because we went for a family trip to Holland I had no time to try this again. But, this week we came back and today is my second attempt. Yesterday I started the Rewena and it looks and smells ok. I placed the Rewena in the refrigerator during the night and this morning it was full of bubbles and still smelled ok. Making salt rising bread (Bread Baking Day #39) with boiled potatoes gives a cheesy smell, so I read. It’s a strange but good smell.

The dough is smooth and even dough folding makes it comes together. I made a ball and placed it right side up in a cake pan. I tried to make a rectangular shape, but the dough was too soft. At this time the temperature is 37,5 ºC in the house, so I watch the proofing of the loaf carefully making sure not to over proof it. Just before I placed the pan in the oven I dusted sifted rye flour the turtle on top of the loaf.

Lien made a beautiful silver fern of dusted flour on top. The fern looked complicated and I looked on the Internet for something easier. I found a lot of turtles; because most of them are protected with copy write I draw my own.
We have turtles in our pond. They live together with 11 big Koi Karp’s and a lot of goldfish. We started with 7 tiny turtles of 5 cm each and during last 2 years they grew bigger and bigger. The biggest one was about 30 cm. I write ‘was’, because last summer 4 of them escaped. During last summer the turtles were very active. They were climbing into the water plants. And they ran around (really turtles can run) on the Turtle-island we constructed in the pond. They looked like they were trying to find a way out. At that time we had no idea what was happening. But, now we understand what happened. The turtles wanted to lay their eggs in the ground. We don’t have enough space for them on the island to lay their eggs.

One day we heard a strange sound and when we went to investigate we saw a big turtle in the grass, looking dizzy. He or she climbed out of the pond and fell 80 cm down in the grass. We placed him or her back in the water. We think 4 out of 7 escaped from our pond. We are not sure, because they don’t eat all at the same time. We hope they survived and found the natural pond nearby. We hope it’s a good place for them to live. This bread is for them; for the free turtles.
This is what I used:
100 g potato, peeled and thinly sliced
165 ml water
extra water
165 g strong bread flour
1 tsp liquid honey

Final Dough:
400 g flour
1 tsp salt
20 g liquid honey
1/4 tsp instant dry yeast (Lien used active yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves, roughly chopped (Lien used fresh ones)
150 ml water
330 g rewena, as above

additional flour, for dusting
big flowerpot to steam

This is what I did:
One day before bakingday:
Prepare the rewena. Boil the potato in the 165 ml water until the potato is soft. Mash the cooked potato in the water and add extra water until you have 250 g in total. Put into a bowl and cool until lukewarm. Lien said: If the mashed potato is too hot, it will cook the starch in the flour. Mix in the flour and honey to make soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until the dough ferments.
After one day you'll see a few bubbles on the surface, after two days a lot. You can use it after two days or up to three, if you'll leave it longer it'll be over its strongest point. I used the rewena the next day when it was full of bubbles and still smelled ok. Day 1
Day 2
I mixed the rewena with water and whisked it. Then I added the rest of the ingredients. Knead the dough in the mixer for 8 -10 minutes (starting on speed 1 or 2, halfway on speed 3) until the dough (almost) clears the sides and the dough is smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with a plastic wrap or bag and leave it in a warm place. Once the dough has almost doubled in size (this will take approximately 1 hour). Because the dough was too soft I left it in the bowl and scooped (folding) it 4 times onto itself. Cover again with a plastic bag and leave it for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Form the dough into a ball. I placed the ball in a cake pan, because the dough was too soft. Proof the dough for 60-120 minutes depending on room temperature.
Lien made a silver fern-leaf or Maori moko design stencil out of stiff paper. I dusted sifted rye flour on a turtle shape on top of the loaf.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC with a baking stone and a flower pot (the stone and pot should really be hot!). Place the loaf in the oven and quickly close the oven door.

Bake for 10 minutes with steam and another 20-25 minutes without steam. Until the crust is a dark golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped (approx. 90 ºC). Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.It is a delicious smelling and tasting bread. I will bake this one again, but next time I will use less water. I like shaping the dough into an artisan bread, not using the cake pan for support.
I found the Rewena Paraoa at Lien’s blog, host for BBB march 2011
I will send it to Yeastspotting

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  1. What a gorgeous bread you made! Just saw your post over at Yeastspotting, I'll be browsing through your site for sure!

    Nice to "meet" you....

  2. Wow, look how much spring you got on that! And I absolutely adore your stencil. So cute. I liked this bread very much even though it is so wet. I'd probably add a bit more salt to it next time so it would be better plain. I thought it definitely needed the salted butter when sliced but everyone raved about it so I will definitely make it again too. ☺

  3. Hello SallyBR, nice to 'meet' you to. Just saw your site and what you are brewing in your kitchen. Looks great.

  4. Hello hobby baker, today we ate the last half of this tasty bread. It has a cheese smell and a crunchy crust, good combination. We didn't missed the salt. Thank you, I like the turtle too. maybe next time a koi karp on top?

  5. I bought one from New World because of its name. I have no idea what kind of bread Rewena is. I am glad I did for now I know one more Maori word. Rewena bread looks really soft and spongy. Thanks for your recipe. Your bread looks more crusty and equally delicious.