Vetkoek Recipe

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The River Cottage Bread HandbookVetkoek, pronounced ‘fet cook’, is an Afrikaans word, meaning ‘fat cake’. I once knew a guy called Andre, a South African taxidermist, who lived in a tiny caravan. He made me four things: a badger tooth necklace, boiled rabbit, coffee so strong you could chew it… and vetkoek. The vetkoek were excellent.

  • Yield: 12


  • 500 g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5 g powdered dried yeast
  • 10 g fine salt
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
How to Make It
  1. In a bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, salt and water. Turn out on to a clean work surface and knead until smooth and silky. Shape into a round, coat with a little extra flour and place in a clean bowl. Leave to rise, covered with a plastic bag, until doubled in size.
  2. Divide the risen dough into 12 pieces, shape into rough rounds and dust lightly with flour. Cover these and leave them for about 10 minutes, to rise a little.
  3. Heat a 5–8 cm depth of oil in a deep, heavy-based pan to 170°C. If you do not have a frying thermometer, check the oil temperature by dropping in a cube of bread; it should turn golden in less than a minute. Deep-fry the vetkoek, a few at a time, for 3–4 minutes each side. Let them cool a little before eating.

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