Making Traditional Southern African Roosterbrood

By Michael Paskevicius On Thursday, November 27, 2008 At 2:21 PM

One of my favorite traditional Namibian (or Southern African) foods discovered in the last three years is Roosterbrood. I remember the first time I had it at a bbq. It had a fantastic consistency, slightly chewy, faintly sweet and salty. It was sliced in two and nicely buttered. It is simply a side dish to be served with meat, however I thought very highly of it from the start.

On my second last day here at the office my dear friend offered to give me a lesson in making Roosterbrood the traditional way. I plan to make it for some friends and family when I am back in Canada. Can it be made on a gas grill? That is what I will soon find out.

The following volume should make about 20 Roosterbroods.

1 kg of cake flour
I small package of instant dry yeast
1/4 cup of sugar
1 pinch salt
lukewarm water

Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Form a little pool on top and add a little bit of the lukewarm water. Knead the dough gradually adding more water as needed.


Just like making any dough you want to get it mixed thoroughly and with the right consistency, not too wet and not dry. You should be able to form it in a ball and not have it stick to your hands.




The dough should rise for about an hour. Ours doubled in volume. What really makes this bread special is that it is cooked slowly over a wood or coal bbq. In fact most bbq's in this part of the world are done using this method. Having a bri or bbq is usually a family or social affair which takes the greater part of an afternoon or evening. I love using real wood for cooking, you can taste the difference in the food you cook. The only thing that drives me nuts is the smell on your clothes following a wood bri, it is fairly unpleasant.

You need to do the usual preparation of your fire and bring it down to nice coals. As mentioned earlier I do plan to give this a try on a gas grill when I am home. Break off a piece of dough and roll it into a ball just smaller than a tennis ball. Then flatten it out and lay it directly on the grill.




Make sure they are arranged in a straight line, this is very important according to Derrick.


When they are fairly browned on the bottom you can flip them over. You should see them starting to rise.


Once they brown on both flat sides, you can start to roll them on the narrow side. They can lean on each other for support.


It is hot on this grill, and I more than once burned my hands moving the roosterbroods around on the grill. You have to be quick like Juanita, or use a set of good quality tongs.




Success!!!


I made a pretzel as well, just for fun.


Just like a proper steak, you want to get nice grill lines on the bread. Looks beautiful to me!


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Blogger Nina Timm Says:

It is the first Namibian food blog I've seen and this post had me palpitating behind my screen. Roosterkoek is a family favorite and yes you can most definitely make it on a gas grill. Good luck!!!!

 
 
Blogger Jeanne Says:

Hey - nice to "meet" you! I saw your pic on Tastespotting and knew immediately there had to be some southern African connection. And oh yes, roosterbrood with salted butter hot off the coals is surely one of life's greatest pleasures.

 
 
Blogger Hilda M. Says:

Mmmm yummy boerewors and roosterbrood! As a South African living in the US these pictures made very homesick:)

 

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Name: Michael Paskevicius
Location: Windhoek, Namibia

I am a Canadian living and working in Windhoek, Namibia. Snail Mail: Michael Paskevicius C/O The Polytechnic of Namibia Private Bag 13388 13 Storch Street Windhoek, Namibia

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