I am not entirely sure how to describe these little morsels – think doughnut minus the hole and without the sweet topping; yip, that is about right, well sort of.
Vetkoek is a proudly South African pastry which literally translates to fat cake, which doesn’t sound very appealing but I think it would traditionally have meant the method of cooking in “fat” (oil). Most recipes are very similar, some using more or less yeast while others include or exclude sugar and oil in the dough. I have taken from all the recipes I have used through the years and give you my version below.
Vetkoek are usually served with a curry mince (ground beef) and then if you still have space, as pudding with syrup or jam and cheese – very versatile yumminess. They have the lightest, crispiest exterior with a beautiful soft bread like interior.
4 cups flour
2tsp instant dry yeast
2tsp sugar – I use brown
2- 2½ cups warm water
Oil for deep frying
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl.
- Add the oil and then water bit by bit until you get the consistency of a soft bread dough. The mixture must still be quite sticky.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and gently knead for 5 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour over the top of the dough to prevent it sticking to your fingers.
- Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm spot until the dough is double in size.
- Softly flatten the mixture on a lightly floured board and cut out circles with a cookie cutter or a glass.
- Depending on the size cutter you use, you should get approximately 18 vetkoek out of the dough.
- Allow the dough to rest for another 15 minutes.
- Deep fry a few vetkoek at a time until golden brown over a medium/low heat. The vetkoek should turn themselves in the oil, if not, turn manually.