Since I have been neglecting you all so badly, I thought I’d make up for it by giving you two recipes for your braai fires this weekend – using one batch of bread-dough. Two for the price of one! So get out your cast iron pots, light your braai fire and lets do some cooking.
Start by making one batch of white bread dough, divide it in half and bake a batch of Spinach and Feta Rolls and then a batch of Pecan Caramel Buns.
I use my little rectangular bread pot for the savoury rolls and a small round pot for the sweet rolls – if your pots have lids with a rim to hold some coals on top, even better. You will also need a hot bed of coals for cooking – we like to place the pots on top of the grid, not directly in the coals, which can lead to scorched bread.
Basic White Bread
3 ½ cups cake flour (875 mls)
1 x 10 gram sachet instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt (5 mls)
4 Tbsps oil (60 mls)
2 Tbsps syrup (30 mls)
1 – 2 cups luke warm water (250 – 500 mls)
- Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Make a well in the centre, pour in the oil and syrup, then add the water bit by bit, stirring to combine. Don’t add all the water at once, it may be more than you need, and then you’ll have a sticky mess.
- Once the mixture has combined, turn it out onto a floured surface, and start kneading it until the dough becomes smooth and pliable, or elastic.
- Lightly oil a smaller bowl, and place the dough into it, cover and set it aside somewhere warm to prove, or rise, until doubled in size.
- Turn out onto the floured surface, and knock back, knead slightly again.
- Divide the dough in half
Spinach and Feta Bread-rolls
½ of one batch of white bread dough, rolled out about 1 cm thick
3 – 4 Tbsps of butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 bunch of spinach, rinsed, stalks removed and shredded
1 round of feta cheese (about 50 grams, I think)
Freshly ground salt and pepper
- Melt the butter in a pot on the grid over the fire , add the onions, fry until they are soft, add the spinach, cover the pot and leave for a few minutes to ‘sweat’ until the spinach has wilted
- Remove from the fire, pour the spinach mixture into a sieve or colander and set aside to drain and cool
- Once the spinach has cooled, squeeze any excess liquid out, then spread the mixture over the rolled out bread dough
- Grind over plenty of salt and pepper
- Crumble the feta evenly over the spinach
- Roll up the dough from the long side to make a ‘sausage’ , then slice into six even pieces, or rolls
- Tuck all six rolls into the greased bread pot side by side, cover with the lid and set aside to rise until about 2 cms from the top of the pot
- Place the pot over the fire, pile some hot coals on top, and bake for about 45 minutes – this time will vary, so take a peek inside every now and then, the rolls will be done when they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped
Turn out onto a bread board, break apart gently and enjoy with plenty of butter!
These are absolutely delicious, and will be eaten before they get a chance to cool. Now with the other half of the dough, make some sweet pecan caramel buns for dessert.
Pecan Nut Cinnamon Buns
½ of one batch of white bread dough, rolled out about ½ cm thick
Cinnamon – be generous!
White sugar to sprinkle
4 – 5 Tbsps butter
8 – 10 Tbsps soft brown sugar
½ – 1 cup of pecan nuts, roughly broken up
- Sprinkle thickly with cinnamon and white sugar
- Roll up from the long side and slice into 6 even slices
- Place the slices on a board, cover with a clean cloth and set aside to rise again
- In the pot in which you intend to bake the rolls, melt the butter and brown sugar over the fire, don’t stir
- When the sugar has melted and the mixture reaches a rich toffee colour, remove from the flames and set aside to cool – be careful not to burn the sugar mixture
- When the caramel (and the pot) has cooled, spread the pecan nuts over the base of the pot (I like to make six mounds of nuts, one for each bun)
- Rub a little butter around the sides of the pot above the caramel, then tuck the cinnamon buns into the pot, five around the edge and one in the centre
- Cover the pot and leave to rise until about 3 cms from the top
- Place on the grid over the coals, and pile some coals on to the lid
- Bake until the rolls are golden on top, +/- 45 minutes – again, check them frequently – until they sound hollow when tapped
- Turn out onto a plate, leaving them up-side, with the caramel nut mixture on top
- Wait until they have cooled before breaking apart and serve with lots of butter
And there you have it – bread-baking with a twist. These variations are both so delicious, that they are worth the time and effort.
Happy cooking and if you are lucky enough to be camping this weekend, enjoy!