simple dough recipe for burger buns or pizza
Friday nights back in South Africa are all about the braai but now that we are living in Ireland we’ve had to make a few adjustments to our lifestyle. On these dark, damp and chilly evenings lighting a braai fire in order to enjoy a lekker tjop en dop poses a challenge that might cause even the most hardened of manne to quake in his veldskoen.
However, not my man! He will cook outside in the rain, cold and even snow. With one major adjustment, he no longer lights a fire when he’s not surrounded by other South African men (he uses gas but that’s an embarrassing secret – please don’t share this with any of our South African friends).
We do light a fire but it’s inside, in the fireplace, and we don’t cook over it.
As a result, in the cold months our Friday night tradition of a bit of boerie, some sosaties or stukkie vleis over the coals has had to be replaced by burgers over the gas barbeque (or even, can you imagine, pizza in the oven!).
Because the braai is more than just cooking but is also a social event marked by the process of preparing and cooking the food together, cooking a burger over the grill is way to hasty for a South African. So to compensate we sometimes make our burger patties from scratch (yes, real fancy) as well as the buns.
This dough recipe we use for the burger buns also works well for homemade pizza. We make pizza on the occasional Friday too, 75% of our kids were born here so we are adopting some of the local customs, like the traditional Irish dinner of pizza and chips.
I make this dough in the bread machine but it can also be made by hand.
Makes 8 rolls, 6 mini pizzas or 3 large pizzas
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1.5 teaspooon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 320ml water
- 600gm white flour
- 7gm dry yeast
Place the ingredients in that order into the bread machine and allow it to mix and prove.
Without a bread machine:
Use a spoon and then your hands to bring the all the ingredients together in a bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Brush a large bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place (a warming drawer of the oven or in your airing cupboard/hot press) to prove for 45 minutes-1 hour or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen enough, remove from the bowl and divide it evenly into 3, 6 or eight pieces, depending on whether you are making pizza or rolls.
To create the rolls, shape the dough into balls and then to add extra volume, gently pull one the edge of the ball and fold over into the centre, pushing it down so it sticks, rotate the ball and repeat the pulling, folding, pressing action. Continue rotating etc until you have completed a 360 degree turn. Turn the roll over and place on a prepared baking tray. Optional: brush the tops with milk and sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on the top.
Place the tray in a warm oven to prove for another 20-30 minutes and then bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 C
For pizza, roll dough out with a rolling pin on a floured surface until it is a few ml thick and place on a pizza tray. Prick the whole surface lightly with a fork to prevent the base from puffing up when you bake it.
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