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Are you looking for a simple and easy way to wow your guests at your next braai? Why not make some delicious roosterkoek? This delightful South African bread is a twist on the boring bread roll option. This simple, tasty, yet basic bread roll recipe is baked on the braai until golden brown. It truly is South African food at its best! 

Roosterkoek

Roosterkoek history

So, where does the term roosterkoek come from? Roosterkoek is a Dutch word that literally means grill cake. When directly translated into English, rooster means grid, and koek means cake. This South African bread is baked over hot coals on a grid or grill.

The recipe for this easy braai side dish is based on the traditional method used by the Khoikhoi from southern Africa. They used open coals to bake loaves of Roosterkoek as part of their traditional culture. Roosterkoek is also known by other names, such as griddlecake or roosterkoekies (baked scones). Since the days of the Khoikhoi, the roosterkoek has enjoyed a long history with records dating back to the early Settlers mentioning the humble yet tasty roosterkoek!

Although traditionally, roosterkoeks were baked on the coals, if you don’t have the option of lighting a braai, they can be made in the oven following the same recipe and timings.

What the Rooster-koek are we on about?

No one wants to spend hours preparing food before their guests arrive. With this easy roosterkoek recipe, you will have a batch of twelve roosterkoeks in an hour and twenty minutes, and that includes the proving of the dough. Now that’s what we call done and dusted!

Besides, there is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread, especially when that bread is baked on the braai and eaten hot and buttery. This roosterkoek resep is very versatile and can be served as a basic bread roll side dish or stuffed with delectable goodies for a more adventurous snack. Often paired with cheese and onion as a stuffing or baked with sliced olives pressed into the dough and brushed with olive oil, they are easily the favourite of any braai.

All this talk of warm bread has got us licking our lips in anticipation! So, let’s whip up a tasty batch of warm, roosterkoek broodjies!

What you need

Dry Ingredients

  • 300g plain flour
  • 5ml salt
  • 10ml instant yeast
  • 15ml sugar

Wet ingredients

  • 30ml sunflower oil
  • 180-200ml warm water

Equipment needed

  • Electric mixer with bread dough attachment
  • Two large mixing bowls, glass or plastic 
  • Measuring jug
  • Small plastic bowl or cup
  • Wooden spoon or plastic spatula
  • Plastic measuring cups or teaspoons

What to do 

  • Mix the sugar and yeast in a small cup of warm water. Stir the mixture; it should begin to foam after a few minutes.
  • In the large mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt, combine this with the oil and water, mixing continuously by hand or using the mixer with the bread dough attachment. As the mixture forms a dough, add the yeast and sugar, mixing well.
  • Next, tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Next, put the kneaded dough into the greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for an hour; it should double in volume.
  • Gently turn out the risen dough onto a floured surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape these into slightly flattened balls, place them on a baking sheet, and cover with clingfilm for a further 15 minutes. 
  • Ensure the hot braai coals are evenly distributed and place the braai grid over the coals. Allow the grid to heat for 5 minutes, lightly grease it and then place the rolls on the grid for 15-20 minutes.
  • When 7-10 minutes have passed, turn the roosterkoeks over. They will be light golden brown when cooked, crispy on the outside, and, when tapped, sound hollow. Next, remove them from the braai grid and split them open.

How to serve

Roosterkoeks are best served hot, straight from the braai. Once cooked, split them open, and spread lavishly with butter. This South African bread can be served with jam, cheese, or even some tender braai meat sliced up and garnished with fresh tomato, making the perfect mini sandwich. In addition, roosterkoeks are also vegetarian-friendly, great news for your guests who are not meat-eaters.

Still, no matter how your guests like to eat their roosterkoeks, they’ll definitely be asking for more! A word of advice regarding the tasty roosterkoek – best you make a double batch, or you will spend your braai time in the kitchen and not next to the fire enjoying a beer with your friends!

Things to keep in mind

  • Make sure to add the water to the dry ingredients slowly as you are looking for a thick consistency. You do not want the roosterkoeks to fall through the grid onto the coals.
  • Your grid should be as clean as possible; this ensures the roosterkoeks do not stick when you want to turn them. Grease the grid to prevent any further stickiness.
  • Make sure the coals are not too hot. To check the heat, hold your hand above the braai, and if you cannot hold it there for ten minutes, then it is too hot. Instead, wait for the coals to cool a little before starting the roosterkoek.
  • Turn more than once, if necessary, to prevent them from becoming black on the outside and raw on the inside (undercooked).

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