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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Making Braai (Barbecue) Bread On An Open Fire

I have never come across a South African who does not like a braai. To my international friends, this is what is commonly known as a barbecue. Braai is central to our heritage and it spans all of the diverse cultures that constitute our nation. Today I prepare a dough specially to be braai-ed on the open fire as the perfect accompaniment for the meat. As usual, I use the sourdough starter in the dough, but discuss alternative raising agents as well. I will even give tips for baking the bread in a conventional oven, as well, though I strenuously recommend doing this over the coals.

Start by adding all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl:
1 cup (250 ml) White Bread Flour
3 cups (750 ml) Brown Bread Flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
Option 1: If using Instant Yeast, add a packet to the dry ingredients.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.

Add the following to the dry ingredients:
1 cup (250 ml) sour milk
2 tablespoons (25 ml) cooking oil
1 egg
1 cup (250 ml) sourdough starter
Option 2: If using Active Dry Yeast, add a packet to 1/2 cup (125 ml) lukewarm milk, add a teaspoon (5 ml) sugar and let it froth up, which should take about ten minutes. Add this to the dry ingredients along with only half a cup (125 ml) of sour milk.

Bring the dough together.

Knead on a lightly floured surface for about ten minutes.

Divide the dough into six equal balls.

stretch them out into oblongs.

Lightly coat both sides of the dough with cooking oil.

Put in baking trays and cover with plastic. Space them out so that they have room to expand.

Leave them in a warm dry place and allow to rise to about double in size (2-3 hours on a warm day).

Coat your baking sheet with cooking oil and heat your baking tin with a thick bottom (such as an oven pan) on the open fire.

Once hot, transfer the risen dough to the hot baking sheet. Bake approximately 3-5 minutes on each side.

Turn over after a 3-5 minutes to bake the other side.

Eat hot off the griddle, or allow to cool on a wire rack to prevent the bread sweating and becoming soggy.

Now all you need to complete the meal is a delicious steak, pap (porridge) and a lovely tomato and onion relish. You may wish to cut the braai bread open en butter it, or you may simply tear pieces off and dip it directly in the tomato and onion relish.

I will share this beautiful photo of the meat we had for this braai with you. This meal was enjoyed with friends on a dairy farm. They keep some cattle for slaughter for personal use. These cattle graze freely on the field and never get any hormones or steroids. Can you see the perfect marbling in the meat? I can not remember ever having had better beef anywhere else! Simply superb!

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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