It’s Spring time, and that means it’s time for bread. That’s a lie - it’s always time for bread. When it comes to Māori bread, the first thing that may come to people’s minds is fry bread or rēwena bread, but most of the time, takakau bread goes unnoticed. Takakau bread is extremely underestimated and underappreciated. Takakau is a Māori flatbread, and although there are different variations of recipes between whānau or iwi, it usually only has three or four ingredients. It’s a versatile bread that can go with anything sweet or savoury - most prefer it with jam and a cup of tea, but speaking from experience, it is great for sopping up meat juice or creamed anything. There’s no question about it - takakau is a staple. Forget your auntie’s dry bread she brings to the hākari, now’s the time for you to perfect it instead. Enjoy my dad’s easy recipe. Don’t mess it up or he’ll be mad.
3 cups of plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (optional)
½ teaspoon of salt
1 to 1 ½ cups of warm water
Butter to serve
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, cut in these dry ingredients with a butter knife.
- Add warm water and combine, be careful not to overmix.
- Gather the dough and gently knead for about one minute.
- Grease and lightly flour a tray, then roll out the dough until it resembles a flat circle. But, let’s be honest, it doesn’t matter what shape, she’s gorgeous to me.
- Bake for approximately 10-20 minutes at 180 degrees, or until it looks cooked enough. Try not to bake for too long as it can dry out.
- Serve hot or cold, but don’t forget the butter. Add jam, relish, boil up juice, dip it in your tea, do whatever you like.
- Eat it all in one sitting.
While we’ve got the flour out, we may as well take some time to learn how to make doughboys. These cute doughy balls are a must-have in boil up (think: a stew), usually added after the boil up has been cooking away. These are steamed at the end, and come out resembling small moist golf balls. Admittedly, this recipe lacks the boil up to go with the doughboys; it is highly recommended this recipe is used for the purpose of adding the doughboys to a boil up. Plain doughboys with some Watties sauce are fine, but it’s just not the same. Good luck with perfecting them.
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 to 1 ½ cups of water
Salt as desired
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and add as much salt as you want, no one’s looking.
- Fold in the water with a fork, keep adding water until it makes a sticky dough that gets all over your hands.
- Once the dough is ready, scoop each ball with a tablespoon so it resembles about the size of a golfball, give or take.
- Add to the boil up at least 30 minutes before serving.
- If you aren’t adding them to a boil up, make sure you have a pot of boiling water on the stove, drop them in, and let them cook for at least 30 minutes.
- Pull them out with a spoon and onto your plate.
- Chuck on some tomato sauce and more salt to keep your doctor on their toes.