I was contacted by the food editor of Beeld newspaper a few weeks ago, who wanted to use one of my camp-fire recipes (camp-fire soup, to be exact) for an article on outdoor leisure time. I was thrilled and said, of course!
But then the weather warmed up too much for soup, and so I offered to come up with something new for her instead. These lovely savoury bread-rolls, baked straight on the braai-grid, were the result. They were delicious, served hot and smokey from the fire, with lots of butter.
They would bake just as well in the oven, too, if you’re not in the mood to make a fire. Bake them at 180 deg C, until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Feta, Onion and Rosemary Braaibroodjies
3 ½ cups cake flour (875 mls)
1 sachet instant yeast (10 grs)
1 tsp salt (5 mls)
6 tsps sugar (30 mls)
½ small onion, very finely chopped
2 wheels of feta cheese, crumbled roughly
2 medium sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried rosemary)
12 tsps cooking oil (60 mls)
1 – 2 cups of luke-warm water (+/- 500 mls)
- Measure the bread flour into a large dish, add the yeast, sugar and salt, and stir well.
- Stir in the feta, onion and rosemary (I use a pair of scissors to snip the fresh rosemary)
- Make a well in the centre, and add the oil, stir into the flour slightly.
- Start to add the warm water, bit by bit, stirring after each addition to blend the flour and liquid – you may not need all the liquid, so don’t just slosh it all in, or you will end up with a sticky mess, and have to add extra flour before you can start to knead the dough.
- Once the dough binds together, turn it out onto a clean surface, over which you have sprinkled a spoon or two of flour.
- With your hands, work the dough together, until all the flour is incorporated (sprinkle some more on the board if it still sticks), you will notice when it comes together, because it will be firm and will no longer stick to the work surface.
- Continue kneading, until your dough is smooth, almost shiny, and pliable (your kneading method will be whatever suits you – I like to work the dough with my palms, pushing it out across the board away from me, giving it a turn to the side, and repeating – you can use your fists too!) – work gently but firmly.
- Once your dough is nice and smooth and elastic, it’s time to let it rest, or ‘prove’ – lightly oil a dish about twice the volume of your dough, place your dough in it, oil the top of the dough slightly, cover with a lid or clean cloth, and leave it somewhere warm and cosy, no draughts if possible, or throw a blanket over it if the weather is cold.
- Meantime get your coals ready – you’ll need a nice bed of coals, not too hot, the heat needs to be steady.
- Once the dough has doubled (maybe after half an hour), toss it out onto your kneading surface, and knock it back down.
- Press or roll the dough out on a floured surface to about 3 cms thick, and cut out circles with a glass or cookie cutter – you can also roll small even sized balls. Don’t make them too big or they won’t cook right through before the outside starts to burn. Flour the tops as well.
- Set aside for about 15 minutes to allow the rolls to rise again, but don’t leave them too long or they will be too puffy to handle easily
- Set the bread rolls directly onto the braai grid over the coals and bake until golden and cooked. When tapped with a knife or your finger they should sound hollow.
- Enjoy with the lots of butter!
I missed the issue in which the recipe appeared, as reading an Afrikaans newspaper is very hard work for me - did any of you see it?