Roosterkoek on the braai


My top tips for lockdown so far are pretty pedestrian: drink a crap load of wine and make great food. And carbs. Carbs are great food and they go extremely well with wine. Winning all round.

Roosterkoek, for my non-Afrikaans speaking readers, literally means grilled cake. It’s not actually cake though, but rather a deliciously soft, cloud-like roll that is grilled on the coals of a braai (bbq) to give it a crisp and smoky exterior. All you need to add is your favourite braai food and melty butter and you’ve got a dish that will chase all the self-isolation blues away. Expect to eat so much that you have to take a nap.


Ingredients: (makes 12 decent-sized roosterkoeks)

  • 1 kg cake flour
  • 10 g instant yeast
  • 25ml sugar
  • 10ml salt
  • Roughly 2 cups of lukewarm water in a jug
  • 50ml olive oil


  1. Sift the four into a bowl that is at least 3 times as big as 1 kg of flour. If you only have a 1 kg bag of four and no more, save a little for step 9.
  2. Add the yeast and sugar to the flour and mix thoroughly with your clean hand. Add the salt and toss the mixture around some more.
  3. Pour in the lukewarm water bit by bit and keep kneading the dough. As soon as there is no dry flour left, you’ve added enough water. Take care not to add too much water, as this will lead to the dough being runny and falling through the grid. For 1 kg of flour you’ll use just a tiny bit more than 2 cups of water.
  4. Once the water is absorbed, add the olive oil.
  5. Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes until none of it sticks to your fingers and it forms one big pliable piece.
  6. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and put in a warm area for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the kitchen towel and knead the dough again for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Replace the kitchen towel and let it rise for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Flatten the dough onto a table that is covered in flour and lightly sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Use your hands and a rolling pin to create a rectangular piece of dough.
  10. Use a sharp knife and cut the dough into squares, then let them rise for a few minutes one final time.
  11. Bake over very gentle coals for about 15–20 minutes, turning often. A roosterkoek is ready when it sounds hollow when you tap on it. Alternatively, insert a knife into them and ensure it comes out clean.
  12. Serve hot as an accompaniment to your braai or with melted butter and cheese for a delicious lunch.

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