It’s March already! How time flies!
March is one of my favorite months of the year ’cause it means that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Being an Irish at heart this always marks something special in the year for me…
But as sad as it is to say: St. Patrick has noting to do with this months BBB Bread! That’s not bad though. Mind you!
This month’s bread was chosen by our gorgeous Babe Lien and I have to say I loved it!!
…come to think of it maybe it has an Irish touch though ’cause it is made with the help of potatos… ;o)
So back to bread baking and BBB: Lien is serving as our lovely Kitchen of the Month – Thank you Lien!
For all the Bread Baking Buddy Details please look at her site!
This month’s bread was fun to bake for me. The starter worked fine and then the dough was like a charm too. It even behaved when I had to bake it free form as required and even the stenceling didn’t end in a disaster as I feared at first.
Rewena paraoa (Maori bread)
(makes one large loaf)
Rewena is the Maori term for the fermented potato mixture used as a raising agent to make this effect it’s a type of sourdough. 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 bullrush 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. I have added a little fresh rosemary for flavour because this bread has little salt and can be bland. Stencilling the iconic New Zealand silver fern onto the loaf by dusting with flour and baking gives this loaf a truly New Zealand identity. This rewena needs to be made two to three days ahead.
100 g potato, peeled and thinly sliced
165 ml water
165 g strong bread flour
1 tsp liquid honey
400 g strong bread flour (I used white spelt flour)
1 tsp salt
20 g liquid honey
1/4 tsp instant active dried yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
150 ml water
330 g rewena, as above
additional flour, for dusting
4— 5 ice cubes, for creating steam in the oven
- To prepare the rewena, place the potato and water into a saucepan and then boil until the potato is soft, leave the lid off. 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. If the mashed potatoes are too hot, it will cook the starch in the flour. Mix in the flour and honey to make a 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.
- To make the dough, put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, using a wooden spoon, combine to form a soft dough mass. (You may need to adjust with a little more flour or water.) Knead the dough in the spiral 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 plastic wrap and leave in a warm place. Once the dough has almost doubled in size (this will take approximately 1 hour), tip the dough onto the bench dusted with flour and gently knock it back by folding it onto itself three to four times. Return the dough to the lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave for a further 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Fold the dough to form a large rectangle. This doesn’t need to be exact, just as long as it’s tight and compact. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to prove for approximately 60-120 minutes, depending on room temperature.
- (optional) Cut a silver fern-leaf or Maori moko design stencil out of stiff paper. Remove the plastic wrap from the dough and place the stencil on the dough’s surface (I sprayed the stencil with grease, otherwise it would have got stuck on the dough), then with a fine sieve filled with a little (white rye) flour, lightly dust flour over the stencil so you are left with a pattern on the loaf. Carefully remove the stencil. Using a sharp knife or razor blade, cut around the edge of stencilled pattern.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC with a baking tray or baking stone inside (the stone should really be hot!) and a small ovenproof dish on the bottom shelf. Place the loaf in the oven and quickly throw 4-5 ice cubes into the small ovenproof dish and close the oven door.
- Bake for 10 minutes and then turn the tray around, reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is a dark golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
(adapted from: “Global Baker” – Dean Brettschneider)
Please visit my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see how their Rewena worked out:
Bake My Day – Karen | blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth | Canela and Comino – Gretchen (Babe on Hiatus) | Cookie Baker Lynn – Lynn | Feeding my enthusiasms – Pat | Grain Doe – Gorel | I Like To Cook – Sara | Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya | Living on bread and water – Monique (Babe on Hiatus) | Lucullian Delights – Ilva | My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna | Notitie Van Lien – Lien | The Sour Dough – Breadchick Mary | Thyme For Cooking – Katie (Babe on Hiatus) | Wild Yeast – Susan