Making the dough for pot bread is slightly easier than making the dough for roosterkoek as it’s not such an issue if you add a little bit too much water. The bread is baked in a pot and the dough is going nowhere, unlike a runny roosterkoek that will sink through the grid. Baking bread in a pot comes at a price though as you cannot see what is going on so burning the bread is a great risk
- 1 kg white bread four (or cake flour if that is what’s on hand)
- 10 g instant yeast (Instant yeast comes in 10 g packets, specifcally done that way to make it easy, as you need 10 g for every 1 kg of four. That coincidently is also why this recipe calls for 1 kg of four and 10 g of yeast.)
- 1 tot sugar
- ½tot salt
- lukewarm water in a jug (you’ll need roughly just more than 2 cups of water)
- 2 tots olive oil
- Sift the flour into a bowl that is at least three times bigger than 1 kg of flour, but preferably even bigger. If you are in the middle of the bush and do not have a sieve on hand then skip the sifting part and just chuck the flour into a big enough bowl.
- Add the yeast and sugar to the flour (do not add the salt yet) and mix thoroughly with clean hands.
- Add the salt and toss around. (Adding salt directly onto yeast will kill the yeast.)
- Add the lukewarm water bit by bit and knead the dough continuously. When there is no dry four left, you’ve added enough water. For 1 kg of four you will probably use about 2½cups of water.
- Once you have enough water in there, add the 2 tots of olive oil.
- Knead the dough properly for about 10 minutes until none of it sticks to your fngers anymore and it forms one big pliable piece. If this simply never happens, you added too much water. Add more flour to fx it.
- Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel or cling wrap and place in a warm area for 10 minutes. During this time you need to smear the inside of the pot and bottom of the lid really well with butter or non stick cooking spray.
- Remove the kitchen towel or cling wrap and knead the dough again for a minute or two. Now put the dough into the pot. There needs to be space for the bread to rise when the lid is on. If there isn’t enough space, the pot is too small. Remove some of the dough and bake roosterkoekwith it.
- Place the pot in a warm area and let the bread rise in the pot for 30minutes.1
- Now you need to bake the pot bread in even heat for about 1 hour. Even heat means all parts of the pot, and bread, need to be equally exposed to the heat. If there is a very hot fre nearby you need to turn the pot regularly. Place the pot on coals and also place coals on the lid. As the coals below or on top of the pot start to cool of, replace them with new ones. Never add too much heat, or it will burn. I usually take it quite easy on the heat when baking pot bread for fear of burning the thing but it’s entirely possible your bread will be ready in 40 minutes; you will have to check.1
- A pot bread is ready when it sounds hollow when you tap on it (you’ll need to remove the lid to do this). Then insert the blade of a pocketknife into it as the fnal test. If the blade comes out clean the pot bread is ready. Sometimes you burn a pot bread. It’s just one of those unfortunate facts of life. If you don’t, give yourself a pat on the back. If you do, just cut away the burnt part and adjust your technique
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