UJEQE – ZULU STEAMED BREAD
This Recipe Makes 1 Loaf
uJeqe – Steamed Zulu Bread is a type of bread that is steamed. This can be done on a stove top or in the microwave. It can also be referred to as Jeqe.
This bread can be eaten as is, with a thick slather of butter or with various dishes.
Traditionally, uJeqe – Steamed Zulu Bread is prepared by using freshly ground mealies (corn) similar to the traditional South African steamed mealie bread, whereby the bread is steamed in the sack of the corn.
uJeqe – Steamed Zulu Bread Ingredients:
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 ½ tablespoons butter
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 10 grams yeast
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- sufficient water for steaming – depending on how big pot you use to steam
- Add the all purpose flour, baking powder & salt to a mixing bowl.
- Add in the sugar.
- Mix well.
- Add in the butter.
- Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour. It should resemble breadcrumbs.
- Add in the yeast.
- Mix well.
- Pour in a little lukewarm water at a time & mix.
- It should form a somewhat sticky dough.
- The dough will not be so pliable, so flour a surface & begin kneading the dough for 10 minutes.
- After kneading the dough, it should be a little sticky but pliable.
- Thereafter, place it in a lightly greased bowl & cover the bowl with cling wrap. All the dough to rest for an hour or more.
- When the dough is done resting, it should be much softer & would have expanded in size.
- Punch down the dough.
- Grease a pot or enamel bowl with vegetable oil & place the dough inside.
- Full a much bigger pot with water – the water only needs to touch the dough-filled pot or bowl about a ¼ way on the outside, if there’s too much water it can boil over & get into the dough which you don’t want to happen. If water gets into the dough then it can result in a soggy bread which wouldn’t rise when steamed either.
- Bring the water to a boil & then place the dough-filled pot or bowl in the boiling water.
- Cover with a lid & allow the bread to steam on medium heat for 30 minutes. Thereafter lower the heat & steam for another 30 minutes. Try not to open the lid – if you must then you may do so only after the first 30 minutes. Note that you may also tie a dish towel on the lid to avoid the water vapor to get onto the dough when steaming.
- Also note that if you do not have a smaller pot or an enamel bowl to put the dough into, you can oil a plastic bag (any plastic bag will do) & place the dough inside the plastic, thereafter tie with a knot & place the packet into the boiling water. Make sure that the bag doesn’t have any holes & that the knot side is above the water because this way no water will get into the bag.
- After an hour of steaming, the bread should be cooked. It may look like it isn’t by the appearance of the dough but if you touch it, it should be a bit of a bread like texture.
- Allow the bread to cool before handling. Thereafter, topple is over onto a bread board.
- Notice how the crust formed at the bottom of the bread whilst it had been steaming.
- Slice & enjoy.
- The inside of the bread should be nice & fluffy.
- This uJeqe – Steamed Zulu Bread can be enjoyed with soups, stews (Chicken Stew, Lamb Stew) or curries (Trotters & Beans Curry, Butter Beans Curry, Durban Mutton Curry, Cornish Or Culls Chicken Curry)
- Lasts for up to a week. Store in an airtight container.