Roosterkoek (literally grill cake) is a traditional South African bread dough recipe cooked on a grid over the coals of a wood fire. They are best eaten piping hot straight off the grill. You can use the oven grill to make them, but roosterkoek made on a fire tastes best. Serve with butter and jam.
300 g cake flour
10 ml instant yeast
5 ml salt
15 ml sugar
5 ml sunflower oil
180-200 ml warm water
Place the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix in a few short bursts to aerate. Add the oil and enough warm water so that the dough forms a ball when mixed. Continue mixing for 45 seconds.
Place the dough in a lightly greased plastic bag (or in a lightly greased bowl covered with a damp tea towel.) and allow to rise for about 45 minutes until it has doubled in volume.
Divide the dough into 12 roughly equal pieces and shape into slightly flattened balls on a floured surface. Place on a baking sheet and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for another 15 minutes.
Place the grid on evenly distributed direct coals and allow to heat for 5 minutes. Lightly grease the grid and place the rolls directly on it, bake each roosterkoek on both sides and also turn them on their sides so the edges bake through – for this purpose a grid with raised sides is probabably best so they don’t fall off.
The roosterkoek are done when they are lightly browned, crispy on the outside and sound hollow when tapped.
Before serving, wrap the hot roosterkoek in a clean cotton cloth and let them “sweat” a bit so the crusts aren’t as tough–10 minutes should be ample.
Split open and serve with butter and jam.
Make sure the dough is on the stiff side. If it is too runny, the dough is going to drip through the grid before the rolls have a chance to bake!
Get your braai grid as clean as possible.
To stop the rolls from sticking, lightly oil your grid. Also make sure the rolls are shaped on a floured board and have some flour clinging to the outside.
Be very careful with the fire, it should be neither too large nor too hot. Use the hand-over-the-coals endurance test–if you can hold your hand there for 10 seconds or more, you are probably OK. Also make sure that the coals are distributed as evenly as possible before putting the roosterkoek on the grid.
Cuisine: South African