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What is Rewena Bread?

The Maori people of New Zealand have a long-standing custom of baking a special kind of bread called rewena bread. To prepare it, you need need flour, water, and something called "hiri hiri," which is a type of sourdough starter.

The flavour of rewena bread is described as being distinctly sour, while its consistency is described as being soft and spongy. It is a significant component of both the culinary traditions and cultural practises of the Maori people and is typically served with a wide range of savoury and sweet toppings. In New Zealand, rewena bread is often baked in small batches and may frequently be seen for sale at farmer's markets and other events focused on regional cuisine.

What is the history of Rewena bread:

The Maori people of New Zealand are intimately connected to the long and illustrious history of the bread known as rewena. Tradition has it that the first people to bake Rewena bread were the Maori ancestors who settled in New Zealand many generations ago.

The Maori people fermented their dough with a sourdough starter known as "hiri hiri," which they developed themselves. This method is considered to be one of the most distinctive ways of producing bread. Flour and water are combined to make hiri hiri, which is then left to sit for a period of time in order for it to acquire a sour flavour and a bubbly consistency. The Rewena bread is made by first preparing a starter, which is then included into the dough along with additional flour and water.

The Maori diet included a significant amount of rewena bread, which also played an important role in the culture and traditions of the Maori people. It was commonly provided as a gift to visiting dignitaries and served as a staple dish at major occasions like as weddings and other festivals. Additionally, it was offered as a staple dish at important events.

People in various parts of New Zealand continue to appreciate Rewena bread, which is an essential component of Maori culture and can be found in many homes around the country. It is also available at select specialised food stores, in addition to being offered frequently at farmer's markets and other similar community food events.

Ingredients in Rewena bread.

Depending on the particular recipe, the components that go into the making of rewena bread could be rather different from one another; nonetheless, the following components are commonly included in the base version:

  • Potatoes
  • Flour (usually a combination of wheat and rye flour)
  • Yeast
  • Salt
  • Water

To get a softer texture and a more nuanced flavour profile in the bread, several recipes call for the inclusion of additional ingredients such as sugar, butter, or spices.

Potatoes are traditionally boiled and mashed before being added to the rest of the ingredients, which are then mixed together to form the dough used to make rewena bread. After that, the dough is shaped into tiny loaves or rolls and baked until the exterior is golden brown and crusty. Bread made from rewena is typically eaten as a side dish, a snack, or both, and it can be enjoyed with a wide variety of dips and spreads.

Rewena bread Nutritional Information.

The rewena bread you make will have a different nutritional profile depending on the particular recipe and components you choose. Potatoes are an excellent food choice for anyone looking to increase their intake of carbohydrates, fibre, and vitamin C. However, rewena bread is also likely to be a source of calories and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess, particularly if it is made with additional ingredients such as butter or sugar. This is especially the case if the bread is baked in a manner that results in the addition of these ingredients.

The following is intended to serve as a general guideline for the nutritional composition of rewena bread, which is traditionally produced with potatoes, flour, and yeast:

  • Calories: 70-80 calories per roll
  • Fat: 1-2 grams per roll
  • Protein: 3-4 grams per roll
  • Carbohydrates: 15-20 grams per roll

It is always a good idea to read the nutrition label on any packaged bread product to get a more accurate understanding of its nutritional content.

How to make Rewena bread?

Here is a recipe for homemade Rewena bread:


  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup (120 grams) wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (240 ml) warm water


  1. Put the potatoes in a big pot, cover with water that has been salted, and bring to a boil. The potatoes should be cooked for around 10–15 minutes, or until they reach the desired level of tenderness, after the heat has been reduced to a simmer.
  1. After draining them, place them back into the cooking saucepan. Make the potatoes into a smooth and creamy consistency by mashing them with a potato masher or a fork.
  1. Wheat flour, rye flour, salt, and yeast should all be mixed together in a large mixing dish. After adding the mashed potatoes, continue to mix the ingredients together until the dough attains a smooth and malleable consistency.
  1. Prepare your oven by preheating it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
  1. Roll out the dough after cutting it into pieces of a consistent size and dividing it into sections. Arrange the rolls in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper.
  1. Bake the rewena rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they have a crusty, golden brown outside and have reached the desired doneness.
  1. Take the rolls out of the oven and set them on a wire rack so that they may cool down before serving. Enjoy!

    Note that the rewena dough can also have other components—like butter, sugar, or spices—added to it in order to produce a loaf of bread with a more nuanced flavour. Try out a bunch of different permutations until you find one that you like best!

Shane Jones

About Me

Hi, I'm Shane the person behind bakesomebread.com

I've been baking bread for about 10 years now and ever since mastering sourdough bread in 2020 I've decided to branch out into discovering every type of bread imaginable.

This website will document all of those bread types along with recipes as and when I've made them.

If you're a pizza fan check out my other site Make Some Pizza