We were at The Lofts Boutique Hotel on Thesen Island in Knysna, feeling quite chuffed with life and the hotel management said it would not be a problem if we wanted to braai on the deck. The only question was, what to braai in such a decadent setting. Now earlier in the day we got a very nice sourdough bread from Il de Pain, the renowned bakery on Thesen Island, and I wanted to use that as part of the meal. So the decision fell on creating a few super luxurious braaibroodjies. Normal white toaster bread was replaced by slices of the world class Il de Pain sourdough bread, chutney was swopped for a mixture of French style mayonnaise and whole grain mustard. Onion was replaced by spring onion and tomato was replaced with sun-dried tomatoes. Naturally we needed cheese and the decision fell on 18 months matured cheddar. For team spirit I also added gypsy ham into each unit. Forget about butter on the outside, for these creations you use olive oil on the outside.
- Slices of fresh sourdough bread
- French style mayonaise
- Whole grain mustard
- Gypsy ham
- 18 months matured cheddar
- sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- spring onions
- olive oil
- Go for a oval shape sourdough bread as opposed to a round one. This way all the slices will be the same size. Slice the bread fairly thin, the same thickness as normal toaster bread. One has a natural tendency to slice these types of bread thicker, so be conscious of avoiding that.
- Lay out half of the bread slices on a cutting board and liberally spread with the French style mayonaise and whole grain mustard.
- Add the gypsy ham, slices of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spring onions. Do not be stingy with any of the ingredients, this is a super luxury braaibroodjie and not only should the quality of ingredients reflect it, but also the quantity.
- Add the top layers of bread and drip or spread olive oil on them.
- Place in a hinged grid (toeklaprooster) and braai over medium-low heat coals. After the first turn, also spread olive oil on the other outside, the side which was at the bottom when you assembled the units. Continue to braai over the gentle coals, turning very often, until the cheese is melted and the braaibroodjies are golden brown on the outside.
- It goes without saying that you serve these beauties with glasses of ice cold Methode Cap Classique. The South African – vastly superior – version of what the French call Champagne.
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