Vetkoek, 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.