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Roosterkoek, Braaibroodjies & Braai Pie – A Selection of South African Barbecue Breads.

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In South Africa, a Barbecue is not complete without either simple Barbecue rolls or Barbecued sandwiches. South African’s know this as Roosterkoek (a direct translation from Afrikaans to English is Grill Cake). The South African word for Barbecue is Braai.

The indigenous Khoi people from the Cape used to make this bread over open coals. Today it is a part of South African heritage. From the original simple Roosterkoek Rolls served with butter and apricot jam, to the gourmet barbecue sandwiches that have become part of a “braai” created over the years. This delicious snack is a must when hosting a South African Barbecue.

They are simple, easy to cook and make. Have a look at the recipes below and try them out at your next Backyard Barbecue.


Roosterkoek (makes 36 small rolls)

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7 cups Cake (Plain) Flour

1  Tablespoon of salt

2 Tablespoon of sugar

4  Tablespoons of Butter

2 Teaspoons instant yeast

1  cup of milk

1 ½ cups of lukewarm water

Mix the dry ingredients together and rub in the butter with your fingers. Mix in the yeast.

Add the milk and enough of the warm water to form a soft dough.

Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Cover it and leave to rest for five minutes.

Continue to knead the dough. Divide into 36 equal pieces and shape into balls.

Place the balls on a tray leaving space for them to rise. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place.

They should double in size over 30 minutes.

Cook on medium coals, usually about twelve to fifteen minutes. They should be golden brown even slightly charred. When tapped they should sound hollow.

Remember: Clean your barbecue grid well. Oil the grid lightly to stop the rolls sticking to the grid.

Once cooked serve fresh with mounds of butter and apricot or peach jam!

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Freeze leftover rolls and use as a base for the next barbecue to make toasted sandwiches. Alternatively, use a shop bought sliced bread.


Many people use a flip barbecue grid to place the sandwiches in which make flipping easier and prevent sticking to the actual grill.

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Here are a few ideas for different fillings:


Sweet corn, cheddar, and caramelized onion marmalade

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Spread butter on one side of a slice of bread or roll. Combine half a can of sweet-corn with a cup of grated mature cheddar. Chop fresh chives and add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture onto the unbuttered side of the bread and top with onion marmalade. Top with the remaining slice of bread. Barbecue over medium coals until golden brown and crunchy.


Biltong cream cheese and onions

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Butter two slices of bread on the outside.

Fry two sliced red onions until soft. Add 1 Tablespoon of soft brown sugar and a Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Simmer over low heat until the onions are sweet and sticky.

Finely chop a cup of biltong (substitute with unsmoked beef jerky)

Spread a layer of cream cheese on the bread slice topped with the caramelized onions and then biltong.

Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over. Cover this with another slice of bread. Place over medium coals turning often. The bread should be toasted on the outside and the cheese melted on the inside.


Chocolate and Banana

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Butter one side of the sliced bread. Spread unbuttered sides with chocolate hazelnut spread i.e. Nutella. Top the chocolate with sliced banana. Close the sandwich and cook slowly over medium coals until crunchy and golden.

Other sweet variations are :

Cherry jam and blue cheese

Raspberry jam and white chocolate

Pear slices and dark chocolate


Braai Pie – Puff Pastry Pie on the Barbecue

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This has become a favorite to serve when barbecuing. Inspiration is drawn from toasted sandwiches and puff pastry pies. The end result is melt in your mouth … eat some more!


2 rolls of Puff Pastry

1 bunch of Spinach ( larger the leaves the better)Remove the thick stems.

1 chicken breast

4.41 oz bacon bits

1 medium  onion

1/2 red and/or yellow pepper diced

1 cup mushrooms

Cheddar Cheese grated to taste


Defrost the puff pastry. Roll out the first one onto the grid. Use a little Olive Oil to cover the grid before laying the pastry.

Place the onion, bacon, peppers, and pieces of chicken into a  pan and fry.

After making sure that there is no excess moisture on the spinach, place half on the pastry dough. The spinach should cover the pastry well .It helps to prevent too many juices seeping into the pastry whilst cooking.

Add a layer of grated cheese.

Add onion, chicken bacon and peppers, and thinly sliced mushrooms.

Finish off with a final layer of spinach.

Place the second roll of pastry dough on top. Seal well and egg-wash the dough.

Place it high up above the fire and turn frequently. Once golden brown and crispy remove from the grid and serve immediately.

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Serve any of these with a healthy green salad or some red cabbage coleslaw. Enjoy!




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