Vetkoek is a traditional Afrikaner fried dough bread. It is either served filled with cooked mince (ground beef) or with syrup, honey, or jam. It is similar to the Caribbean “Johnnycake”, the Dutch “oliebol” and the Mexican sopapillas.
The word “vetkoek” literally means “fat cake” in Afrikaans. It is similar in shape to a doughnut without a hole and is made with a yeast dough. In a traditional Afrikaner braai or barbecue, Vetkoek may be served alongside boerewors. Vetkoek is commonly sold at family-owned takeaway restaurants and Afrikaans festivals and cultural events.
Vetkoek is also called amagwinya and is a popular meal for many people living in townships where it is served plain and hot and is sold by a wide variety of spaza shops, hawkers at taxi ranks, roadside vendors, and fast food shops located throughout South Africa.
Let’s get started on the recipe – my cheat recipe is below.
If you are lucky to find premade dough at your local grocer then but one packet, this is foolproof and made to perfection every time. I use this and have never failed to deliver good food. 1 big bag will provide 6 cakes.
So you are back from the shop and have a bag of dough with you right, so remove the plastic bag from the dough, and then work the dough down on the table. Use a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the table. After this, let it sit for 1 hour to rest.
After 1 hour of work it down again and cut six pieces. Let this rest for another 3 hours to get maximum volume.
By now the Vetkoek should be massive, that is what we want!
Heat your oil to medium heat, and it should be heated slowly, so be careful with that. Take one by one and gently place into the oil. Fry until golden brown and then turn, when both sides are golden then remove and place on a strainer or paper towel.
They will be significant, light, hard outside and soft inside…
Here is the proper self-made recipe:
5 ½ cups cake flour
2 teaspoons of Sea Salt
2-3 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 packet yeast 2 1/4 teaspoon
2 cups lukewarm water
In a large bowl, mix sea salt, sugar, water, and yeast. Add flour then mix the dough until everything has come together. Covers loosely with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, place for 1 to 2 hours or until doubled.
Turn dough on a floured surface, flatten to knock out air bubbles and knead to make firm, you may add flour as needed. Roll out dough into 1 inch thick, cut into desired shapes or use 3 inches or larger cookie cutter to cut dough.