We all agree on the cult status of braaibroodjies, or as the Queen refers to it, South African fire-toasted braai sandwiches. But there are also two other major players in the braai-bread market. They are of course roosterkoek – bread rolls baked on the grid – and potbrood, which is a bread baked in your potjie on the fire. For this book I naturally received a lot of great bread recipes: roosterkoek, potbrood, as well as quite a few recipes for baking breads in a conventional oven to go with a braaied meal. What follows below drew inspiration from various submissions, most heavily from a recipe sent to me by Leana. And so, for our next magic trick, we’re packing the flavour right into the dough and we’re giving the rolls the brilliant benefit of some potjie taste!
If you’re looking for a delicious main to accompany your pot-roasted buns, try this marmite and cheese steak recipe.
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 packet (200 g) bacon (chopped)
- 500 g white bread or cake flour
- 1 packet (10 g) instant yeast
- 1 tot sugar
- ½ tot salt
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 tot fresh oregano (chopped)
- 1 cup water (lukewarm)
- 2 tots olive oil
- 1 cup fresh cream
- butter (to serve)
- Heat some oil in your fireproof pan and fry the chopped onion and bacon until cooked. You can also do this step on the stove in your kitchen.
- Place the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Add the bacon, onion, cheese and oregano, and mix well.
- Add a little bit of lukewarm water to the mixture and mix well, adding a bit more water at a time until you have what resembles a dough. You will need roughly one cup of lukewarm water for 500 g of flour, but add a little more if you need to.
- Use clean hands to knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes until it is soft and elastic.
- Place the dough mixture back into your mixing bowl, leave it in a warm place, for example, the general vicinity of the fire or covered with a cloth in the sun. Leave it to rise for about 30 minutes.
- After half an hour, knock down the dough, kneading for another few minutes.
- Add olive oil to your no.10 flat-bottomed potjie, making sure the bottom and all the sides are coated in oil.
- Shape the dough into balls, somewhere between the size of golf balls and tennis balls, and pack them into the potjie in a single layer.
- Pour the cream over the dough balls and sprinkle any extra grated cheese you coincidently have lying around over that.
- Now put the lid on the potjie and bake over medium coals, also adding a few coals to the top of the potjie lid. Don’t be overly aggressive – bread has a tendency to burn.
- After about 40 minutes, carefully lift the lid, making sure that no ash or coal from the lid falls into the potjie. The bread should be golden brown and baked. Serve warm from the fire, lathered with butter.
Finish off this delicious meal with Jan Braai’s caramel flambé bananas.
This and many other recipes can be found in Jan Braai’s latest cookbook Shisanyama: Braai Recipes from South Africa (Book Storm).
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A journalist by trade, features writer on occasion and now the digital editor of SA Country Life. The first chance she gets, Leigh will tell you about a podcast she was recently listening to and how you simply have to make the move from radio. In a previous life, she once taught English on Jeju which left her with an insatiable craving for kimchi.