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Newsletter #46  - April 1 , 2003

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Greetings from sunny South Africa!  Hope you are all doing well!

This Newsletter will have a Bread theme. In my childhood days when we lived out in the sticks, my mom used to 'home bake'. I can remember that she baked on Fridays, enough to last a week. Home baked bread used to taste the best when it was still hot out of the oven. Spread thickly with homemade butter and my favourite jam, it was a meal fit for a king. Yummy!! These days, where everything is rushed its far easier to just stop at the corner café on the way home from work and pick up the daily fresh bakery baked loaf and a pint (litre) of milk. Sadly the tradition of home baked bread has all but disappeared in the cities.

However, this is where the man of the house comes to the rescue. In order to show off his prowess as the main 'outdoor chef' of the house, the pot bread has now become a fashionable side dish to the ever popular barbeque! Not only can the man of the house impress with his special 'potjie', he can now also brag with his special pot bread.  For those who are wondering, a pot bread is baked over the coals in a flat bottomed cast iron pot. There is also the ash bread, with the bread simply placed in the cooling coals of the bbq fire and simply dusted off when done. You can't beat that for genuine 'outdoors' flavour! 

Another firm favourite of mine is the 'Mieliebrood' or Corn Bread, eaten while still hot with butter melting into it! I also class Vetkoek or deep fried dough as bread, ready to be enjoyed with basically any filling!

The Northern Hemisphere is now heading into summer and with summer comes the backyard bbq, Here in the Southern hemisphere we bbq all year long, no snow shovelling for us over here! Like the old Chevrolet ad used to go - 'Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet!' So get out your grillers, start bbq'ing and impress your guests with some homemade bread as a bbq side dish! Scroll down to the Recipes for some examples.....

The Elephant Stew recipe is still receiving regular suggestions. Go take a look and add your wacky suggestion. Does anyone know how long the longest recipe in the Guinness Book of Records is?

I have started taking Panorama photos, go look at the new section on my site, please be a bit patient as some of the panoramas are larger than normal pics.

If anyone is interested in Afrikaans, I am continually adding stuff to the Afrikaans section of the site.

My site features prominently on a whole bunch of search engines, local and overseas. If you have something interesting to advertise, and would like to benefit from my exposure to search engines, I could design and add add a page onto my site for you for a nominal fee. I will also feature you in this Newsletter. Email me, and lets discuss.

And that's it for now, folks!
Hamba kahle

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That's it for now
Keep well


The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

  Asbrood (Ash Bread)

360 g brown bread flour
120 g white bread flour
10 g instant yeast
2 ml salt
50 ml  butter
500 ml buttermilk

Blend the dry ingredients together and using your finger tips, rub in the butter until well blended. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Place the dough on a large sheet of aluminium foil. Shape into an oval, about 3 cm thick. Wrap loosely in the foil and place on moderately hot coals. Cover with more coals. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the bread is done. Take care not to burn the bread. Makes one medium loaf.

Banana bread

125 g  butter
200 g sugar
2 eggs
2 ml vanilla essence
250 ml mashed bananas
240 g cake flour
2 salt
10 ml baking powder
2 ml bicarbonate of soda
125 ml milk

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Grease a 250 mm loaf tin and line base with greaseproof paper. 1. Cream butter, then add sugar, beating until pale and fluffy. 2. Add eggs, beating well after each addition. 3. Stir in vanilla essence. Mix bananas into creamed mixture. 4. Sift in flour, salt and baking powder. Blend bicarbonate of soda with a little milk and add. Gradually add remaining milk and beat well. 5. Pour into tin, and bake for about 1 hour. Cool in tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 1 loaf.

Basic Braai (BBQ) bread

500 g cake flour
5 ml salt
5 ml sugar
10 g instant yeast
25 g margarine

1. Mix together flour, salt and sugar. Add yeast and mix. Rub margarine into the flour mixture with your fingertips.
2. Add just enough lukewarm water (about 315 ml) to form a soft dough.
3. Knead dough for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. Choose one of the variations, using this basic dough.

1. Mix together two chopped onions and 200 g grated cheese.
2. Roll out dough into a rectangle. Sprinkle onion and cheese over half of the dough.
3. Fold over the other half and cut into 10 x 10 cm squares. Press sides firmly to seal edges and brush surface with beaten egg.
4. Allow to rise for about 15 minutes, until doubled in size. Place on a braai grid and braai over medium coals until baked, turning frequently, or bake at 200 ºC for 15 minutes.

1. Increase margarine quantity to 30 g and add 10 ml extra lukewarm water.
2. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, cover with greased plastic wrap and leave to rest for five minutes. Shape into a round bread.
3. Place in greased pot and allow to rise until doubled in size (30 to 45 minutes).
4. Brush with lightly beaten egg and bake at 200 ºC for 40 to 50 minutes.

Biltong pot bread

50 ml melted margarine
500 ml lukewarm water
1 kg cake flour
300 g finely carved beef biltong
10 g instant yeast
10 ml salt

Mix the melted margarine and lukewarm water. Combine all the dry ingredients and biltong. Add the margarine mixture and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Leave for about 10 minutes. Punch down and place the dough in a greased, flat-bottomed cast-iron pot. Leave in a warm place to rise until double in bulk. Place the pot on a grill over medium coals and place a few coals on top of the lid of the pot. Bake for about 1 hour or until the bread is done. Serve with the rump steak and konfyt.

Corn bread

250 ml polenta (yellow corn meal)
10 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
410 g cream-style sweetcorn
1 chilli, chopped (optional)
125 ml buttermilk
65 ml oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
250 ml grated mature Cheddar cheese
40 ml sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Mix together polenta, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Add sweetcorn, chilli, buttermilk, oil, eggs and half the cheese. Mix well. Pour into a greased 20 cm square baking tin. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and sesame seeds. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until set and golden. (If bread begins to brown too soon, cover with aluminium foil.) Cut the corn bread into squares and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Flat pot bread

800 ml white bread flour
7 ml instant yeast
2 ml salt
15 ml olive oil
50 ml fresh mixed herbs such as thyme, oreganum, rosemary and parsley
1 small onion, chopped and sautéed in oil until soft (optional)
350 ml lukewarm water
olive oil
15 ml coarse salt

Mix flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the middle and add the olive oil, half the herbs and onion. Mix to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and not sticky. (Small air bubbles will appear on the surface when the dough is pressed between your hands.) Place dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place until double the volume (about 1 hour). Punch down lightly, but don't knead all the air out. Shape into an oval or ball and leave to rise again for about 7 minutes. Spray a shallow cooking pot with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Place dough in pot, cover and leave to rise until doubled in volume. Press remaining herbs onto dough surface, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Preheat oven to 200 ºC, or bread can be baked over the coals (place the pot over a coal-filled hole in the sand, and cover the lid with coals). Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through, and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve with extra olive oil and mussel stew, or with braaied meat and roasted vegetables.

Instant vetkoek

3 kg white bread flour
30 ml salt
30 ml instant yeast
2 l lukewarm water (you may need more or less)
30 ml oil
30 ml white grape vinegar
30 ml sugar
oil for deep-frying

Combine the bread flour, salt and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl. Mix the water, 30 ml oil, vinegar and sugar together and add to the dry ingredients. Mix and knead well for at least 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, but still fairly slack. Remove the required amount of dough from the bowl and freeze the rest in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Cover the remaining dough with a sheet of greased plastic and leave in a warm place to rise until double in bulk. Shape the dough into fairly small vetkoeke (they increase in size when fried) and fry in deep oil until brown on the outside and cooked inside. (Ensure that the oil is the right temperature - if it's too hot the vetkoek will be brown on the outside but still raw inside.) Serve with a sweet or savoury as a main meal or snack.




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