Key Points:

Rewena (Maori bread) is one of the best-loved dishes in the Maori cookbook but it can take years to master.

Now Maraea Tanoa (whose grandchildren says she makes the best rewena in Napier) and a few friends have come up with this method to make your own:



2 cups of flour

3 slices of a medium-sized potato

1 tspn of sugar

1 cup of water


Step 1: Boil the potato slices in water to mixing consistency and leave to cool.

Step 2: When lukewarm, mix in all ingredients together to a fairly firm texture.

Step 3: Add more warm water if needed. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise.

This is the starter plant or bug from which you can make a few loaves of bread by only using what is needed and storing what's left.


Step 1: Make a well in the flour, add starter bug and mix well with warm water.

Step 2: Take a portion of the mixture in a jar. Add a raw potato for flavour and leave in fridge for the next time you want to make a loaf.

Step 3: Add sugar to your mixture for sweetening and mix with warm water.

Step 4: Knead the dough, folding in as you go.

Step 5: Sprinkle flour over a flat board to stop sticking. Knead until firm, roll into a big ball.

Step 6: Cover with a teatowel or cling wrap and leave to rise for a few hours or overnight. (Hint: If you're in a hurry, try leaving it in the warming drawer of the oven or in the back window of the car if it's a nice day).

Step 7: Bake for one hour at about 200C.

Hawke's Bay Today