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Bread Bug

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lis 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 10:09 AM
  Subject: Recipe help? "Bread Bug"


  I have a friend from New Zealand, who a number of years ago had a bread dough "starter" that she 
  said they  called a "bread bug" . I'm sure that it was some sort of sourdough starter, but not of 
  the typical "Soupy" sort. She said it had a texture like cottage cheese, and lived floating in milk 
  in her refrigerator. Unfortunately her ex-husband "killed" "Bob" when they were moving, and she 
  hasn't had such a thing since. She also didn't have any more information.

  I've searched the internet some, but haven't found what I'm looking for yet. Your site seemed to be 
  the most likely of any that I've seen. 
  Any help would be appreciated.


Hello Lis,

I cannot find a starter by a description of its texture, and I had no success finding one that was described as floating in milk, nor could I find one that was just called a "bread bug."

I did find a New Zealand bread starter called "rewena bug", but the rewena bug lives in potato water, not in milk. See below.


  Rewena Bread And Starter

  This recipe demonstrates how to start the actual Rewena bug that is used to make the infamous 
  Rewena Bread.

  2 C plain flour.
  1 t sugar
  3 slices med sized Potato or red skinned Kumara (Red skinned Kumara preffered).


  1. Boil potatoe slices (or kumara) in a pot, with 1C unsalted water till soft, dont drain.
  2. Once cooked, mash the potatoe or kumara in same pot, in the unsalted water.
  3. Once mashed, place all into a bowl and cool down for about 30mins til luke warm.
  4. Mix the Flour, Sugar together, into the potatoe (or kumara) mixture.
  5. Mix to a fairly firm, not runny texture.
  6. If the mix becomes or appears too thick, add more warm unsalted water.
  7. If mixture becomes or appears thin in texture, than add more flour until the desired firm 
  texture is reached.
  8. Place into Large Jam Jars and cover with accompanying lids, leaving in warm place to rise.

  - Should take up to 2-4 days (or more) for the bug to rise. This is dependent on the weather and
  - If your home is on electricity, you may keep the bugs in the hot water cupboard to rise.

  - If the bug doesn't rise within 2-4 days then you may have to wait longer till it does, again the
  bug rising will depend on the temperature.
  This recipe, is whats used to continue the rewenna bug, after its been used.


  1 slice of potato (or kumara) 


  1. Cook potato (or kumara) in half - 1 C of water (no salt) for 20-30 mins, once cooked, remove 
  and discard kumara or potato just leaving the water. Cool down once more until luke warm
  1. From the rewena dough mixture that you have prepared, take 1 T of dough mix and place into the
  jar, where the bug you just used originates.
  2. Add half a C of the warm unsalted potato (or kumara) water to the dough in the jar. and mix and
  3. The next day, add a t sugar to the jar and mix.
  4. Continue alternate daily feeds of unsalted potato (or kumara) water (Mon-Wed-Fri), on the other
  days (Tues, Thurs, Sat) add sugar till it again rises.
  This is the recipe for the infamous Rewena Bread. There are 2 parts to this recipe. Part 1 explains
  the dough preparation using your risen rewena bug. The dough must be prepared well before you intend
  to eat as it needs at least another 7 hours or so to further rise. The second part simply explains
  how to cook the bread. 

  PART 1: Making The Dough 


  5C plain flour.
  3 quarters C sugar 
  3 quarters of your risen rewena bug, leaving enough for to continue with a new bug (starter plant)
  -see next recipe for 'Starter Plant'.
  2 C warm unslated water.


  1. Place flour, and sugar in a large bowl.
  2. make a well in the center of the center of the mix.
  3. Pour the risen rewena bug into the well.
  4. Add 1C of the warm unslated water to the mix, and mix all together until mixture forms a dough.
  5. If mixture is dry, add more of the unsalted water. If still wet or runny add more flour.
  6. Knead mixture on a floured surface (ie: board or kitchen bench). Knead lightly for about 10 minutes.
  7. Place into greased (buttered) dish (with a lid) or round roasting dish and push dough out towards
  the dish edges.
  8. Cover with the lid or tea towel.
  9. Place back into a warm area (or hot water cupboard) to once again rise. This could take up to 7
  hours or overnight again dependant on temperature. Risen means that the breads dough size should
  have doubled from what it was when you first made it. 

  - You Must ensure that you place the dough in a Warm Area (ie: hot water cupboard or leave on table
  in kitchen), as it needs to rise or the dough will be no good. If the dough doesn't rise, the likely
  outcome will be that you can cook the bread, but it may turn out with hard crust and doughy inside.

  Part 2: Cooking

  1. Preheat oven for 30 mins first at 150 (Celsius) or 300 (fahrenheit).
  2. Once dough has doubled in size, remove lid or tea towel and place in oven.
  3. Cook for 20 mins until golden brown. Then turn down oven to 120 or 100 (Celsius) or 
  240 (fahrenheit), and keep cooking for 1 and a half to 2 hours.
  4. Once cooked take out. To ensure bread is cooked correctly and properly lightly tap bread with
  your hand, it should have a hollow feel to the bread when hitting.
  5. Once cooked take a knob of butter and rub over the cooked surface, this gives the bread a
  finishing glaze effect.
  6. Wrap bread once cooked, in either grease proof paper and or a damp clean tea towel. 


  - When cooking this bread for the first time, you may want to adjust (increase or decrease) sugar
  content as per your taste.
From: "aaron" 
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:48 AM


While searching for info on how to nurture my rewena bug long term I came
across your site and this entry.

It sounds like the bug that their friend had was milk kefir.  I know what
it is because I have some!  It's a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and
yeast).  Milk kefir is quite different from water kefir both in the way
that you feed it and how you use it.  I normally just drink the milk that
my kefir grows in as it is full of healthy bacteria (similar to yoghurt)
but I have seen baking recipes using it as a starter around.

Most people get their kefir grains from a friend, because they are
constantly reproducing so people constantly have spare to pass on.  If they
can't find anyone in their area there are a few places who ship the dried

Several years after they inquired about it might be a bit late, but as a
fellow weird food lover I thought they might still be interested in finding
out what it was.


Apple Roly Poly

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wendy 
  Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 9:16 PM
  Subject: Apple Roly Poly

  Hello Phaedrus

  I have been searching for a recipe from my youth called Apple Roly Poly.  From memory it is quite a 
  thick suet pastry spread with chopped granny smith apples, cinnamon and brown sugar - possibly more
  ingredients, rolled up like pinwheel scones then . I'm not sure if it was tied in a pudding cloth and
  boiled, baked "dry" in the oven, or baked in the oven with some kind of sauce / syrup over it???  
  It is a fairly old recipe. can you help do you think?

  Many thanks for the great service you offer

  Kind regards


Hello Wendy,

I cannot find an apple roly poly recipe with a suet crust and that is boiled. I did find the one below that is baked and has no suet. Below that is a jam roly poly recipe that has a suet crust and is boiled. Perhaps you could make an apple filling and use it in the second recipe.


  Apple Roly-Poly 


  1 3/4 c All-purpose flour  
  1 c Packed brown sugar  
  1/4 c Sugar  
  2 ts Ground cinnamon  
  4 ts Baking powder  
  6 md Granny Smith apples; peeled,  
  1/2 ts Salt 
  1/4 c Shortening  
  2 1/2 c Water  
  1/4 c Butter or margarine  
  2 tb Brown sugar  
  2/3 c Sour cream  
  1 ts Ground cinnamon 
  1/2 c Light cream  
  1/4 c Butter or margarine;  

  Instructions for Apple Roly-Poly

  In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening and butter until
  crumbly. Add sour cream and blend until a ball forms. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15-in. x
  10-in, rectangle. Spread with softened butter; sprinkle with remaining filling ingredients. Roll up,
  jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. Cut into 12 slices. Place slices, cut side down, in a
  13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in, baking pan. For topping, combine water, brown sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan.
  Bring to a boil; remove from the heat. Stir in the cream. Carefully pour hot topping over dumplings.
  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35 minutes or until bubbly. (Center will jiggle when dumplings are hot
  out of the oven but will set as dumplings stand for a few minutes.) Serve warm.
  Jam Roly Poly Pudding   (Source:- Edmonds Cookbook)

  225g (8 ozs) flour           
  1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1/2 tsp salt                 
  cold water to mix
  125g (4ozs) grated suet      
  jam (raspberry or apricot)

  Sift flour, salt and baking powder, chop in grated suet and
  mix to a stiff dough with cold water.  Roll pastry into a oval
  shape about 6mm (1/4 in) thick.  Spread jam over, leaving a
  margin around the edges.  Wet edges, roll up and seal the ends.
  Scald and flour a pudding cloth (an old tea towel does the job
  fine) put in the dough.  Tie the ends with string, leaving room
  for pudding to swell.  Boil 2 hours.  Serve with custard or
  jam sauce.

Salt & Vinegar Almonds

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Maite
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 11:19 PM
  Subject: Salt and Vinegar Almonds

  Could you possibly find a recipe for Salt an Vinegar Roasted Almonds? I was told it involves soaking 
  the almond in vinegar. But I couldn't get the measurement or proportions.

Hello Maite,

I found one recipe. See below. There's no copycat recipe for and no information about the Blue Diamond commercial product anywhere.


  Salt And Vinegar Almonds
  Yield: 24 servings

  Portion size: 1/2 cup

  Whole natural California almonds  4 pounds, 8 ounces
  Sherry vinegar     6 cups
  Olive oil     1/2 cup
  Salt       1/4 cup
  Spread almonds on sheet pan; combine vinegar and oil and pour over almonds. Place in 400F oven
  for 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Sprinkle with salt; mix well. Reduce oven temperature
  to 300F; toast almonds, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes or until dry and crunchy

Alphonse Trieze Cake

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ted 
  Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 4:37 PM
  Subject: Alphonse treize cake


  I have a customer that came to me asking if I could make her a cake called Alphonse Treize
  (Alphonse XIII) She said she had in France and wanted to duplicate it for her spouses birthday.
  I can find no reference to this cake anywhere.  See what you can do please.


  Chef Ted 

Hello Ted,

Well, after a diligent search, I must say that I cannot find a cake with that name. Alphonse Treize(Alphonse XIII) could be given several ways, including also "Alphonso XIII", "Alfonso XIII", and "Alfonse XIII". I fond nothing with any of these spellings or with any of them combined with "13" or "13th" or "thirteen" or "thirteenth" in place of "XIII". He was a King of Spain and was the ruler who was deposed by the Spanish Revolution. There is a Spanish shrimp dish named after him and he also gave his name to a famous Grand Hotel in Seville, Spain. No cakes, that I can find.

Can your customer provide any more information? Where was she served this cake? What restaurant? Maxim's, in Paris, was one of Alfonso XIII's favorite restaurants. Perhaps they serve a special cake named in his honor. If so, then it might be in this cookbook:

Chez Maxim's


Bacon Clanger

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Neville 
  Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 6:09 AM
  Subject: bacon clanger

  my name is neville originally from london england. my mother used to make what she called a bacon
  clanger. i think it was an old scottish recipe. it was bacon and onions wrapped in a suet pudding 
  mixture like a swiss roll. i am looking for a recipe.

Hello Neville,

See below for two recipes.


  Steamed Bacon Clanger With Oxford Sauce Serves 6-8 

  1 lb self-raising flour 
  8 oz shredded suet 
  cold water to mix 
  5 heaped tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley 
  salt and pepper 

  8 oz (225g) unsmoked streaky back bacon 
  8 oz (225g) cooked ham trimmings 
  8 oz (225g) unsmoked back bacon 
  3 onions - sliced 
  6 cloves garlic - sliced 
  2 oz ( 50g) butter 
  1 large heaped tablespoon of fresh chopped sage 
  a small amount of beef stock 
  2 tablespoons drippings or sunflower oil 
  1 tsp soft brown sugar 
  Fresh sage to garnish 

  Melt the butter and add the onions and garlic. Cook slowly over a gentle 
  heat for 15 minutes until a caramel brown and sweet. Add the sugar to help 
  it on its way. Remove the onions and garlic and then melt the dripping or 
  oil in the same frying pan. Frizzle the back bacon until golden brown. 
  Replace the onions and garlic and then add the chopped ham and sage. Season 
  with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn on to a plate and 
  cool. Now make the suet pastry, as it must be made just before using. At this 
  stage, put some water into a steamer and heat it up. If you don't have a 
  steamer, fill a large saucepan with a third full of water and pop a colander 
  in. Make sure you can fit the lid on with the colander in it! So, for the 
  pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl and then add the chopped parsley and season 
  with salt and pepper. Now add the suet and enough cold water to mix to a firm 
  dough. Not too wet and not too dry. Knead briefly to get it into a ball and 
  then flour a surface and roll out. Roll into a large rectangle about half an 
  inch thick, then place on top of a larger rectangle of greaseproof paper, which 
  in turn is on top of a large rectangle or foil. Lay all of streaky bacon across 
  the pastry, close together and with the length of the pastry. Top the streaky 
  with the onion mixture and dribble a little of the stock over the top to keep 
  it moist. Roll up and seal the ends. Then roll up the paper and foil, very 
  loosely, to give it room to expand, and then seal the ends. Coil the clanger 
  up in the steamer and steam for 1 and a half to 2 hours, making sure it 
  doesn't boil dry. 

  Serve with: 
  Oxford Sauce 

  2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar 
  1 tsp of English mustard 
  pinch of salt 
  pinch of pepper 
  6-8 tablespoons sunflower oil 
  4 tablespoons vinegar 

  - Balsamic isn't English, but it gives a rich colour to the sauce, however red 
  wine vinegar is fine. Heat all the ingredients together in a saucepan and 
  adjust to your taste. To serve: Unwrap the clanger and slice at intervals across, 
  but not all the way through. Pour over the Oxford sauce leaving a little for the side. 
  Garnish with lots of fresh sage
  Steamed Bacon Clanger With Piquant Sauce 
  Yield: 1


 1 lb self raising flour
 8 oz shredded suet
 1    cold water
 5 tb parsley; chopped
 1    salt and pepper

 8 oz streaky bacon; unsmoked
 8 oz pancetta; diced
 8 oz back bacon; unsmoked
 3    onions; sliced
 6    cloves garlic; sliced
 2 oz butter
 2    heaped tbsp fresh sage; -chopped
 1 sm amount of beef stock
 2 ts dripping

-Piquant Oxford Sauce-
 2 tb dark brown sugar
 2 ts made english mustard
 1    pinches salt and pepper
 6 tb sunflower oil; up to 8
 4 tb vinegar


  Sift the flour into a bowl, then add the suet and parsley. Dribble the
  water in and mix to a dough until the bowl becomes clean. Now roll it out
  (see below). This suet pastry should be used immediately.

  Melt the butter and add the onion and garlic. Cook slowly for about 15
  minutes until it caramelises, brown and sweet. Add a little sugar to help
  it on its way. Chop the bacon and blanch by placing the bacon in a
  saucepan of cold water and bringing it to the boil. Simmer for about 1
  minute and all the scum will come to the top. This makes the bacon a lot
  easier to brown. Frizzle the bacon and pancetta in the dripping until
  golden brown and then add to the onions and garlic. Add the sage and
  season with salt and pepper.

  Roll the suet pastry into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, then place on
  top of a rectangle of buttered greaseproof paper which in turn is on top
  of some foil. Lay the 8oz streaky raw bacon across the pastry, close
  together and lengthways so when you cut the clanger it will go across the
  bacon. Put the cooked filling on top of the bacon and pastry.

  Roll up and seal the ends. Then roll up the paper and foil, very loosely,
  to give room for the pastry to expand and seal the ends. Coil up in your
  steamer and steam for 11/2-2 hours.

  Heat all the ingredients together in a saucepan and adjust ingredients to

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