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Are you looking for the best vetkoek recipe? Search no more. For generations, South Africans have been making vetkoek at home. Essentially it’s homemade (or storebought) bread dough that is deep-fried and then stuffed with a variety of fillings. More commonly filled with a curry mince (try our fragrant Minced Beef Curry Recipe), they are as delicious when served with tuna or chicken mayo, ham and cheese, or even common spreads such as golden syrup, honey, peanut butter, and marmite. Homemade apricot jam is always a winner as well. Basically, anything your tastebuds desire. I have compiled a list of fillings for vetkoek below for some inspiration. Below we will share with you our vetkoek dough recipe.
This vetkoek dough recipe is so good, it even made a feature on our Post “12 Traditional South African Recipes You Should Try.”
Pack our Best Vetkoek as a lunch snack
As kids, we used to love these as lunchbox snacks too! Make a couple of bite-sized vetkoek pieces and store them in an airtight container overnight. Prepare with the desired filling on the morning of school, and 1,2,3 school lunch is sorted. See here for other quick and easy school lunchbox ideas.
With our recipe for vetkoek, you will be sure to have the family come around asking for more. Our recipe yields around 24 medium-sized vetkoek pieces, enough to go around and you may even have some leftover for lunch tomorrow. Who doesn’t like vetkoek?
If you have time to spare, this dish is better when the dough is homemade. It’s not a big task and if you have an electric stand mixer you will save on time. Our shop page has some awesome electric stand mixer recommendations. Using 6 ingredients and some water, you can make this vetkoek dough recipe in no time.
How to make Vetkoek
In South Africa I always used anchor yeast, which is instant yeast. It didn’t need to be activated. If you are making this using instant yeast, then skip the activating the yeast section and add the full amount of sugar and liquids as per recipe recommendation below. Since the Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown rules, we haven’t been able to source an instant yeast however I have found Edmonds Active yeast. It’s readily available at most New World, Countdown, and Pack n Save stores. However, the trick is to activate it correctly in order for it to work. I have found that if the water is not warm enough it will not activate and will lead to your bakes not rising.
How To Activate Edmonds Active Dry Yeast
- Take 250 ml of the required water as mentioned in the ingredients list – heat up enough to make it warmer than lukewarm but not boiling. If the water is too cold the yeast will not activate.
- Pour water into the bowl. Stir in one tablespoon of yeast (15ml) and one tablespoon of sugar (15ml) as required by the recipe. You can use a whisk for this. Ensure that it’s dissolved.
- Set aside in a sunny spot and wait around 15 minutes for it to activate.
Continue making the dough for the best vetkoek recipe
Meanwhile sift the flour, salt, and remaining sugar (15 ml) into a bowl.
Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. The butter in this recipe acts as an additional leavening agent, making sure we get a good rise from the dough once placed into the warm oil. Add the yeast mixture and remaining the remaining 250ml lukewarm water.
Next you want to start with the kneading process. When doing it manually it can take some time before you reach the desired consistency. You want the dough to become stretchy and smooth. The better this consistency, the better the outcome. If you’re lucky enough to have a stand mixer with a dough hook, then now is the time to bring it out and dust it off. Using the stand mixer will save at least 10 minutes. Mighty Ape (NZ) has some great deals on mixers, we especially love this one. If you’re following from South Africa, Loot has a few on offer as well. This one in particular seems reasonable for the average home baker.
Knead for at least 15-20 minutes. (If you have an electric mixer then use the hook attachment and knead for at least 10 minutes) You want the dough to be elastic and smooth.
Place into an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Put it in a warm spot and let the dough rise until double in volume. (Depending on room temperature this can take 45-60 minutes)
Knead for a second time, knocking out some of the air bubbles. Roll out and cut into equal sizes. Flatten out into the required shape and let it proof for another 30-40 minutes.
Fry the dough
Heat oil. To check if the oil is ready, place a small amount of dough into the oil, if it rises within 10 seconds your oil should be ready. Fry in batches and serve.
And there you have it. Now you know how to make vetkoek!
Fillings for vetkoek
There is no limit to the variety of vetkoek fillings you can come up with. Be it sweet or savoury there are multiple filling options for every taste-bud. Below you will find some creative vetkoek filling recipes, with some more extraordinary than others. Feel free to comment on your choice of filling once you have made our best vetkoek recipe.
Probably by far, the most common filling for vetkoek is curried mince. This curried mince recipe is ideal.
In a large frying pan heat oil over medium heat. Add the mince and fry until almost cooked. Add the onion, and four chopped garlic cloves. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, ground ginger, ground coriander, cinnamon quill, turmeric, and Salt and Pepper. Fry off on medium for 5 minutes.
Add the Chutney, tomato paste, peeled and chopped tomato, lemon juice, and lemon zest as well as 1/4 cup of water. Turn down the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Finally, add the frozen or fresh vegetables and peeled and chopped potatoes and simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes. You may find that you need to add a little more water at this stage.
Enjoy with our best vetkoek recipe.
Vetkoek filling recipe with Wors & Tomato Gravy
A recipe I came across while looking for inspiration was this wors and tomato gravy filling which is posted on the Rhodes website.
It’s as easy as chopping the boerewors into bite-sized pieces and placing it in a saucepan together with tomato and onion gravy. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Serve the vetkoek hot, filled with the boerewors and gravy.
Chicken Mayonaise Vetkoek filling
This by no means is the traditional way to eat a vetkoek, but this filling cannot go without mentioning. It’s great if you have leftover chicken to use, or alternatively you can buy three or four chicken breast fillets to make this filling with. Firstly, heat 1 tablespoon of butter or oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces until cooked. Next, season with salt and pepper. Finally, shred the chicken and mix it with mayonnaise, onion, gherkins, and parsley.
I love the idea of being able to make sweet treats with some of the vetkoek dough. Simply make our best vetkoek dough. Instead of making larget vetkoek, ladle evenly sized rounded spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and fry until golden. Once cooked remove from the oil and toss in a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Evenly coat the balls. Make an incision on the top of each ball and fill with your filling of choice. This can include jam, caramel, or even thick custard.
Dare to be Different
Cook the vetkoek with a filling?! This recipe found on the Knorr Website pushed the boundaries of the traditional vetkoek. The addition of a cheesy meatball to the centre of the vetkoek makes it unique.
Until next time!
The Best Vetkoek Recipe
- Stand Mixer
- Rolling Pin
- 12,50 mg Active Yeast We used Edmonds Active Yeast (1 TBSP)
- 7 cups Cake Flour
- 30 ml Sugar 2 tbs
- 10 ml Salt 2 tsp
- 100 gram Salted Butter
- 500 ml Lukewarm Water Can be more or less depending on consistency when kneeding
Activate your yeast
- To do this take 250 ml of the required water as mentioned in ingredients list – heat up enough to make it warmer than lukewarm but not boiling. *If the water is too cold the yeast will not activate.
- Pour water into bowl. Stir in the yeast and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of sugar as required by recipe. You can use a whisk for this.
- Set aside in a sunny spot and wait around 15 minutes for it to activate.
- Sift the flour, salt and remaining sugar 15 ml (1 tbsp) into a bowl.
- Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it has a crumby consistency.
- Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 250ml lukewarm water.Knead for at least 15-20 minutes. (If you have an electric mixer then use the hook attachment and knead for at least 10 minutes) You want the dough to be elastic and smooth.
- Place into an oiled bowl and cover with clingwrap. Put it in a warm spot °and let dough rise until double in volume. (Depending on room temperature this can take 45-60 minutes)
- Knead for a second time, knocking out some of the air bubbles. Roll out and cut/roll out into equal sizes. Flatten out into required shape and let it proof for another 30-40 minutes.
- Heat oil. To check if the oil is ready, place a small amount of dough into the oil, if it rises within 10 seconds your oil should be ready.Fry in batches and serve.