Feeling a Little Bananaish?

Hmm, I have ummed and arghed over this because it’s not really a bread.

Delicious BUT not really breadish…….

I looked OVER many many recipes as I thought maybe I was missing something but nope, all cakey like recipes.

My question is this, “Why is this called a bread ? “

David Lebovitz asked the same question


and I am sure many others have as well. Continue reading

Happy Queen’s Birthday!! Bready for Rewena??

Yep, NZ Bread.

I can hear you non NZer’s going ‘what’ ??????? What is Rewena ?

It is yeasty beasty people, a NZ bread.

We call it Maori bread or Paraoa bread.

It is made with a starter like sourdough or an Italian Biga but it is made out of Potatoes and flour………..My uncles used to make it and they used to make fried bread too but I can’t remember if the fried bread was made from the rewena, I think not, I can remember a very sticky dough in the fry pan……….. and I will do that one another day.

Rewena has an almost sour tang to it because there is a fermentation period, similar to sour dough.I have heard of people keeping it like a sourdough starter but I am not 100% sure about this, I would have thought it would go rotten!! Now 2 of the recipes below have a touch of yeast and one is yeast free.


Rewena Bread

My recipe is an old family one so I am unable to share it but there is two very good recipes below that will give you similar if not exact results:) Sorry, I can share the bread, the process and the photo’s but not the recipe as its not mine to give!! As I have said in prior posts, Dean Brettschneider, a NZ baker also makes one and his recipe is in his book “Global Baker”.



http://www.kaitime.co.nz/index.php/recipes/desertsabreads/150-paraoa-parai–rewena-bread    (Yeast free)

 LETS LOOK ATHE PHOTOS!! Gorgeous!! and the taste……..

Start with this!!

Ready for first rise.


Ready for last rise…

Kiwi Template

Ready to eat!!



One more for luck

And you know what I am going to say now!!!

Enjoy, Enjoy, Enjoy!!or  as we say in NZ , SWEET AS!!

Will start hunting down the fry bread recipe:)


Are you feeling Beasty today?

Hmm, i am , maybe its cause its Friday but i thought in that case we need a challenge.

I have a nice biga bubbling away on its third refreshment that i will use to make some stupendous Roman bread tomorrow but today, I think we will leave Italy and head to France.

Yes, Brioche , which is absolute heaven to eat but can be a real bugger to make and it can be time-consuming but I have to say regardless, that taste of the warm brioche is like nothing else on earth.It is almost pastry like, yet its still a bread. It is a divine creation.

So what are we aiming for?

Brioche…..words fail me!!

And I think we will be doubley risqué today and make one a Chocolate brioche, sort of like the Pain au chocolat. Mmmmm Hungry just thinking of it 🙂

Remember we need 2 days for this !!

Are we ready to get with the bready readies? I am!!

This recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart’s “Rich Man Brioche & Poor Man Brioche” that is in his “Breadmakers Apprentice book”.  A divine book, I have to say:)

Personally i found the Rich Man’s brioche just a little too rich for my taste, and I never thought I would say that:) but I do need to say that it did not stop me eating it, I couldn’t stop, that rich, butteryness but so rich…

When I made the chocolate one, I found that it was too much with the Rich man’s version but just right when I adjusted the recipe, then I realized he also had a mid version!! DUH!! for me.

Without further ado:

NZ Brioche:

  • 1/2 cup of strong bread flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 cup of warmed milk
  • 1 tsp sugar

NB: Just reminding everyone that we don’t want the yeast water/milk (any recipe) to be too hot or cold. Too hot will kill the yeast basically and too cold will not activate it.

  • Warm milk and stir in sugar
  • Add in yeast and flour
  • Cover and leave for 20 mins in a warm area (hot water cupboard) or until frothy like.

I like to use a wee bit of sugar in this (above) as i think it helps to activate the yeast and give it something to feed from:). I have found it gives me a better outcome.

  • 6 eggs beaten
  • 3.5 cups of strong bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 220 grams of butter
  • 1 egg/milk beaten for egg wash


  • Add beaten eggs to the spongy mix created above
  • Whisk until blended
  • Place flour, salt, sugar in separate bowl and mix through
  • Slowly add dry mix to the egg mixture, a little at a time
  • Rest for 10 minutes
  • Slowly add butter, 20-30 grams at a time
  • Make sure butter is distributed evenly
  • Dough should be very smooth and moist
  • Place dough in lightly oil bowl and cover with gladwrap.
  • Leave overnight in the fridge.

Remove from fridge and shape while its cold. This is more so important with the Rich man’s version. If the dough gets warm, return to the fridge.

I used 2 small and 2 medium-sized fluted Brioche tine but people also do it in loaf tins.

  • Make sure the tins/moulds are well-greased
  • Place dough in the moulds/tins usually fill  just over half the tin/mould with dough.
  • Cover lightly with gladwrap.
  • Leave to prove for 2-3 hours or until the dough nearly fills the tins/moulds.
  • Preheat oven to 190-200 Celsius
  • Brush with egg wash
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown for the small ones and then 35-40 minutes for the larger ones.
  • Remove from the tins as soon as they come from the oven and cool on racks for at least 30 minutes (unless you are a greedybread person like me and scoff it within 5 mins of coming from the tins).

See had a scoff early on!! Shame


Now i forgot to take a photo of the Chocolate one before they all disappeared so the chocolate brioche piccy come courtesy of http://www.dessertstalking.com . Nice but a less buttery texture of my ones above. My ones above are the Rich man’s version  (which is basically the same recipe but having double the butter) so you can see the difference in the texture that the butter makes. the colour is different as well. I really noticed the difference in this when I made the recipe above.

I am sure I don’t even need to start saying what can be done with these??

That is if they last long enough to make it past the first few hours!! I know mine didn’t.

Enjoy, Enjoy and ENJOY!!!

Tomorrow maybe a short trip to Germany???

Won’t say for what but will say, it has apples in it!!

Are you BREADY??

That is a little corny really isn’t it?

Even corny is sort of appropriate for bread things as you do use cornmeal and cornflour in bread making at times. I shall be quiet now:)

I am going to start with my favourite, well ok, one of my favourites as it is hard to say just one, breads. I am very partial to sweet breads and this bread is FRESH, FRESH, FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN!!  It is also from my favourite place (apart from NZ), Lucca, Italy. I have been looking for a typical Lucchese savoury bread but have not found anything as yet, so in the meantime we will be having…………………                  



Words escape me!!

Now this yeasty delight is an adaptation on the recipe link below:


This is my recipe adapted from this and two other old recipes I had.

  • 4 cups of Organic Bread Flour or a strong bread flour
  • 1 cup of castor sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tsbp aniseed,  i like them not ground.
  • 150g butter
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup grappa or as i used Vin Santo or a strong liqueur that compliments the aniseed.
  • pinch of salt
  • little bit of flour for dusting when kneading.
  • 20g of dry active yeast

Get them ingredients ready!!

  • Soak raisins in the Grappa/ liqueur for about an hour-sometimes, I will even do it the night before.Depends when I feel like baking .
  • Warm milk in small bowl, mix in sugar and add in yeast, beat slight;y and leave in warm place (hot water cupboard) until all creamy and frothy.
  • In large mixing bowl, place flour, aniseed, salt and mix through. Rub butter into the flour mix.
  • Drain raisins and drain off excess fluid. Sometimes I will use a wee bit less milk and add in the leftover liquor. Gives it a nice kick!! Add Raisins to flour mix.
  • Beat the 2 eggs and add into the prepared yeast mixture.
  • Add yeasty/ eggy mixture to the dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board/ area and knead until soft and silky for 6-10 minutes dependant on your strength and experience.
  • CHEAT TIP: If i am feeling lazy, I will do the kneading bit in my bread maker. Just make sure it’s all mixed well though 🙂
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover and leave in warm place for 2-3 hours.Until doubled in size.

    All ready to bake.

  • When doubled in size, turn out again on a lightly floured area nd knock back slightly and shape into a ring or a long oval or you can even braid it (but that’s not the traditional shape).
  • Place on light dusted baking tray with baking paper on it.
  • Cover and place in warm place for 60-90 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius on fan bake about 30 mins before bread is ready.
  • Brush with egg glaze
  • Bake for 35 mins or until cooked. Sorry ,that is not much help but i just know by touch and look when its ready now days.
  • Cool on wire tray and then ENJOY!!

    hmmm, want a bit now!!

    This is a slightly buttery texture, it is a richer texture than a plain fruit bread but not obviously like Brioche or eggy like Challah but it is rich and very delicious with a hint of Aniseed. Gorgeous eaten fresh or wait a day or so when the favour has developed more and toast it. It is still a nice moist bread after 1-2 days. After day 3 , i would use it for a Zuccotto type desert (use buccellato instead of sponge) or toast or even a nice bread pudding!! Mmmmm the possibilities are endless. It’s not a hard bread to make and well worth that little bit of time. This bread dates back to about 1450 and was originally for the Nobility. It is now eaten everyday( probably by tourists) especially at the Exaltation of the Holy cross in Lucca. Taddeucci in Lucca’s San Michele Piazza makes a beautiful Buccellato.


    Smaller than my big beasty here but just as tasty……mmmm

    Wait until i do the Treccia, this is even better (if possible) than the Buccellato.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy 🙂