You won’t try another Recipe after this one! This has been my go to recipe for far too many years to remember and does extremely well on fetes and fairs sold as Curry Bunnies wrapped in plastic food wrap or cling wrap and reheated in a microwave – I know plastic is bad but this is how it goes.. 😉 in South Africa they sell like Hot Cakes and are a well-loved family favorite! – Enjoy them or take them to work or school with you for a delicious treat! 😉
Makes 8 bun sized Vetkoek (fried bread) or Doughnuts
Vetkoek are also known as Bollas in South Africa by its Cape Malay Community if: Made into rounds or oblong shapes or rolled into long sausage shapes, then folded to make two strands and twisted with ends pinched together – deep-fried – drained – brushed with sugar syrup and then rolled in coconut.
To make a loaf of white bread or raisin loaf: Use a formula of 70 % percent water to your weight in flour. If making raisin loaf, do not forget to soak your raisins before hand to plump them up and knead them in on the last-minute. In this case you may also then use half water to milk and may replace your oil or fat with butter melted into your water – milk mixture in which you soak your raisins. 😉
Remember your 1st rise is always your best! So knead extremely well! I always give just 1 rise but remember – knead VERRY well! 😉 I always find my first rise is always my best! 😉
One 10 g sachet instant yeast = 1 tbsp or 15 ml
When adding donuts to pan:Temperature must be ready or they will sink and suck up oil. Test your fat by dropping in a crumb of bread – If it floats and sizzles gently around its edges your fat is ready. Add donuts one at a time and do NOT overcrowd pan or temperature will drop causing them to suck up oil.Do NOT fry at too high a temperature or donuts burn and oil will darken – They must bake, remain afloat, sizzle and bubble gently around their edges (not furiously) in the oil.Cover with lid after adding each one and allow temperature to come back up again before adding the next one and so on. Keeping pan covered with lid helps them to bake. If you have a deep fat fryer or an oil or sugar thermometer you may use it. If using a wok you will only get one doughnut or vetkoek done per time because of its sloping sides. 😉
Using chicken schmaltz gives the most delicious texture to the outside of these donuts and is what I have used. 😉
If making Doughnuts: You may glaze them or roll them in castor or cinnamon sugar – OR – after draining them and using an icing gun, you may inject them with Dulce de leche caramel also known as caramel treat in South Africa (using an icing gun or pastry bag with nozzle tip) or with apricot jam instead and decorate with freshly whipped cream.
In South Africa the yellow 20 g sachet of NCP High Foam Superbrew yeast works very well and is what I always use if I’m lucky enough to find it. Other wise you may just use the other instant yeasts available. On a good few occasions I’ve found the purple packages of instant yeast to be underweight. So it is best to open the packages and weigh them directly into your ingredients.
Warning! These are Addictive! 😉
22 g Chicken Schmaltz or 20 ml sunflower oil
8 g (7.5 ml) salt
40 g (20 ml) sugar
300 g (300 ml) lukewarm body temperature water – no hotter or you will kill your yeast! 😉
484 g (968 ml) bread flour – measure unsifted, loosely and uncompressed!
17 g (25 ml) instant yeast
Method (Bread Machine):
Place bread machine pan on scale.
Weigh in the oil or chicken fat, salt, sugar, warm water – When water comes into contact with yeast it must be body temperature or you will kill off your yeast activation! On top of this place the unsifted flour. Make a well in the center with your finger and weigh the yeast into it. Close the bread pan and place it back into the machine. Set machine on dough cycle and stick around. As soon as machine has completed kneading, switch machine off for a moment and then switch it back on again, reset it again on dough cycle – allowing machine to do a second kneading.
As soon as machine stops kneading. Remove dough and knead into a smooth ball Place dough on scale. Note it’s weight and then divide it into 8 balls each of same weight. Roll them into smooth round balls and place them on flour dusted baking sheet, covered but untouched with enough room for expansion. I place mine on a large microwave turntable covered with my large inverted glass halogen oven bowl. Allow to rise until doubled.
Heat up half the water together with fat, oil and salt in a micro-safe bowl. Remove. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the balance of the cooled water. Allow to come to body temperature and then sprinkle over your yeast. Once yeast has dissolved you may add your unsifted flour. Stir it in with a fork or using your hand until dough comes together into a smooth non sticky ball. Divide dough into 8 equally smooth round balls and place on flour dusted surface covered with enough room for expansion until doubled in size.
Time To Fry Vetkoek:
In a deep-fry saucepan heat up enough oil to 160 C (320 F) or fat to come half way or almost halfway up sides of vetkoek.
Test fat that it is ready by.. dropping a crumb of bread into it. If it sinks the fat is not hot enough. If it stays afloat and gently bubbles and sizzles around the edges the fat is ready.
Gently with all 5 fingers placed around bottom edges of vetkoek nudging it upward to heighten the dough slightly and without causing much damage carefully lower it into the hot fat. Wait until temperature rises back up again before adding the next one and so on. Do NOT overcrowd pan or temperature will drop. After adding each donut quickly place the lid back on the pan. Lift lid now and then to check for doneness on undersides of donuts and when golden brown, flip over and repeat same until all donuts are done. Remove to drain in a large wire mesh sieve or on metal wire racks or placed with paper toweling. Once cooled, cut a pocket in vetkoek (fat cake) and fill with your best ever curry mince for curry bunnies or as a breakfast treat with apricot jam or marmalade – Enjoy!
You now have what is called a curry bunny in South Africa. 😉
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