This post has been a long time coming but I can assure you it was well worth the time and effort taken to get it right. There are many parts to making a good rewana, there are also many different recipes and interpretations of what makes a good rewana. My rewana journey has been one of learning, asking, experimenting and connecting with my Maori culture, in practical and spiritual terms.
Kia taku whanau - for our family
Me nga hoa - friends
Mo te kai - and food
Kia ora - we say thankyou
Food, friends and family are at the centre of my life with a radiating career and personal philosophy of Manaakitanga or Hospitality. There is something special about the sharing of a meal, the breaking of bread together, that goes beyond filling the stomach. When I step back and consider all the ingredients, equipment, skills and knowledge that go into the preparation of every meal or morsel we consume - the visionary that though to milk a cow, the skillful hands that wove rope by hand and carved hooks for fishing, the creators of all types of cooking appliances, and the people who toil tirelessly on the land .... WOW.
Rewana is a sour-dough style of bread made from a fermented potato bug (plant) that is fed before being used as the levening agent. Part of the bug can be withheld from the bread dough, fed some more and used on and on or shared with others. Rewana bugs are passed on with friends and family over many years. Rewana and Kumara (Bread and Sweet Potato) are two staples of a maori diet and it has bean a great joy to be able to combine some traditional and modern methods in this recipe that has now become a family favourite and is best eaten warm and fresh, topped with butter and shared with family and friends.
Once you get the hang of it, you can shape and bake in your favourite way. This recipe is scaleable but beware that you will need appropriate sized containers. A five x bug needs a 9 litre bucket and then a baby bath sized tub for bake day (if you use the whole bug it is a 10x the bake day recipe.....and really resiliant arms for the kneading...... but its worth it!!
I am greatful for the wisdom and knowledge freely shared by Aunties and Grandmas..... the product testing and feedback provided by uncles, cousins, grandfathers and children. Special thanks go to Cuzzie Wayne for the plentiful supply of Kumara for my journey.
So after all this, I look back on my rewana jouney and can see that a good rewana is more art than science - but a Great Rewana can only be made with Patience and Love - the same ingredients that are required to maintain relationships with Friends and Family. get the full recipe here
Kia Ora Whanau