South African Food Adventures 2 – Vetkoek

Project 2012: Day 337

Vetkoek is one of the things of South Africa that I really miss. Like the feel of the earth in Jo’burg, the smell of the wind over the veld, and the awesomeness of a highveld thunderstorm. It’s essentially a deep fried bread roll, seemingly unique to the country, and yummy as anything you’ll ever eat.

By the way, you pronounce it: Fet-cook and it literally means “Fat Cake”


  • 7 x cups Flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 2 x teaspoons Salt
  • 2 x tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 x packet Yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  • Canola oil


  • Mix the sugar with the yeast and some of the water. Leave it fizz
  • Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix
  • Keep adding warm water, and kneading the mixture until you have the consistency of bread dough. Note, this needs a lot of kneading
  • Cover the mixing bowl with a damp dish towel, and leave to rise for about 45 minutes until it is double the volume
  • Whack on a deep fryer or saucepan with 4 – 5cm oil. Heat to about 200C
  • Break off bits and roll into tennis ball sized balls
  • Depending on your preference you can flatten these to about palm sized buns or simply leave as balls
  • Fry a couple to three of the vetkoek at a time on each side until golden brown


Now these go with literally¬†anything. Traditionally you fill them with a curried (or savoury) mince, which is divine. Alternatively you can open them up, and spread butter and golden syrup or apricot jam. Personally I’d like to try them with Nutella. But they also go well with cheese.

In short, the perfect stay-at-home, action DVD food.


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