Steam Bread – Upclose Image

This bread is made by steaming the dough until it’s cooked.    If I tell you it’s divine, you’ll just look at me and wonder what’s divine about steam cooked bread?  Wait until you try it. It’s a perfect example of a simple pleasure.

I worked on the recipe December last year during the holidays with my adorable 9 year old nephew.  He was just watching in amazement, adding the ingredients and sifting them.  When we were done and the bread was cooked I cut it into slices and put some margarine on it while it was still hot.  I called my mom, sister and brother to come have a look and taste (my taste panel haha).  I can’t remember why but I disappeared from the kitchen and went to another room.  By the time I got back to the kitchen the bread was gone.

I asked what happened, my 18 year old brother calmly replied “haibo big sis, ucinga uba sizotya islice esiyi one and then sisiyeke simnandi kangaka esa sonka” which means it was impossible for them to just taste one slice and leave the rest…the bread is too nice.  The same incident happened recently in Cape Town during the shoot.  My other sister and 20 year old cousin were assisting me.  The bread was ready and the photographer just called to let me know he was outside so I needed to go and get him.

Quarter of the bread was gone….when I came back…

When I asked, they just continued chewing, saying the bread is nice.  Crazy huh?

Steam Bread – Surface Image

 

Steam Bread Recipe

4½ cups cake flour

500ml warm water

10ml instant dry yeast

10ml salt

20ml sugar

Method:

1.     Grease an enamel dish or bowl with butter or margarine.

2.     Sift the dry ingredients and mix them into bowl.

3.     Knead until the dough is combined and does not stick to the hands.

4.     Transfer the dough into the greased bowl.

5.     Cover it up and let rise.

6.     Add some water into a big sauce pan and put the greased bowl inside.

7.    Steam for at least an hour or until cooked.

8.    Cover the sauce pan during cooking.

9.     Serve warm or cold with veggies, soup, meat etc.

Thuli’s Tip:

The water should not get into the bowl otherwise your bread will be soggy.

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35 Response Comments

  • debrarou@gmail.com'
    Debra  April 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

    I am so glad I found this recipe. When I was a little girl our nanny used to make this bread for us then we got home from school. I have searched the internet and could not find it. At 50yr I now at last have the receipt, THANK YOU. I am going to try it this weekend.

    Reply
    • Thuli  April 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

      So glad I could help Debra! Enjoy!

      Reply
  • zabwan@gmail.com'
    Fired Up Cooking SA  April 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Hi Thuli – this is just such a good recipe! I am always looking for recipes that can be cooked over a fire for campers, and this will be a great recipe for that.

    I am so enjoying your traditional recipes – keep them coming. And you were great on Pasella, too :)

    Zabwan

    Reply
    • Thuli  April 16, 2011 at 5:38 am

      Hi Zabwan, you are reminding me of something that might help during your camping; my mom and aunt sometimes steamed the bread in a plastic bag instead of a bowl. Just make sure your plastic bag does not leak otherwise your bread will be soggy. The results are as good as when you are using a bowl. I appreciate all your comments. Thanks!:-)

      Reply
  • Corahm@nedbank.co.za'
    Corah  April 19, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Iyo! dankie Thuli,this is great!

    Reply
    • Thuli  April 20, 2011 at 4:11 am

      Hi Corah! I’m glad you like the recipes! Have you tried any of the dishes?

      Reply
  • nmoloko@oxfam.org.uk'
    Nomvula  April 19, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Hi Thuli

    Thanks for this one – I’ve done it before with a variation of mixed herbs and served it with chicken stew. Since I don’t have a steel bowl, I’ve used a steel colander and it has served me faithfully.

    With finger-licking regards

    Noms

    Reply
    • Thuli  April 20, 2011 at 4:10 am

      Hi Nomvula, you are making me hungry when you mention a chicken stew! :-) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • elaine.fike@yahoo.com'
    Elaine  April 25, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Good evening. I made your steamed bread last night. YUM! Rubbing the dough with butter not only stopped the dough from drying out while it was left to rise but it also browned the crust during the cooking process. I cooked the bread in a pot that was placed into a larger pot of water. I placed a damp towel over the pots ( the lid did not seal the two pots) and then I placed a large inverted saucepan over the top. Worked like a bomb. Thank you for the recipe :-)

    Reply
    • Thuli  May 2, 2011 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Elaine! Thanks for trying out the recipe and also for your lovely feedback! I’m glad you tried it! :-) I’ll also rub my dough with some butter, thanks for the tip.

      Reply
  • viweneti@hotmail.com'
    Viwe  May 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Luuurve ths bread, reminds me of my school days in E.C . Sana i’m proud of you, i love wat i c truly authentic Mzantsi food. As a foodie myself i take my hat off ur work!

    Reply
    • Thuli  May 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      Thanks doll! You’ve made my day :-)

      Reply
  • ketso23@yahoo.com'
    Koketso  January 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Thank you for your website been looking for such a website for ages! I currently live in the UAE and miss a lot of home cooked meals and you came to my rescue. Thanks alot!!!!! mcwa!mcwa!mcwa

    Reply
    • Thuli  January 12, 2012 at 7:34 am

      Hi Koketso!

      Thanks so much for your comment! I love hearing from the people that read and use the recipes on the blog!! I’m glad I could help! Keep well! xoxo!

      Reply
  • amanzana@pioneerfoods.co.za'
    Amandla  June 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Mmmhh i’m definitely making this with my tripe on Saturday. thanks thuli :-)

    Reply
    • Thuli  June 12, 2012 at 4:10 am

      Hope you enjoyed it!!!

      Reply
  • nncongwane@ssa.co.sz'
    Nonto  May 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I learnt abt u on I am woman and just had to find yr blog. Thank u for taking thos initiative, my cooking will no longer be boring. I have always cookes amadumbe and just enjoyed them salted, I never thought there was ever another way. Tonighy’s dinner is chakalaka chicken with creamy amadumbe, I’m drooling already!
    Thank u Thuli, may God bless u dear!

    Reply
    • Thuli  May 12, 2013 at 11:54 am

      HI Nonto,

      Thank you for watching the show! I look forward to sharing recipes and cooking tips with you!

      Enjoy dinner and PLEASE let me know how it goes!

      Love, Thuli

      Reply
  • maxolisa@gmail.com'
    Maxo  May 17, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Hi Thuli

    I am sooo happy to have found your site. I am currently living in Germany, being far from home can make u miss the little things you enjoyed as a child like steam bread and dumplings. You are such an inspiration, I watched your story on Youtube, I was very touched. You will still go far with your kind of determination and beautiful spirit.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  • akhe.kamani007@gmail.com'
    akhe  May 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

    My granny taught me how to make this bread! Its awesome, never had a recipe always used my judgement and my boyfriend always wants me to prepare it. Now that I found the site I’ll refer him here for all the xhosa dishes. Enkosi kakulu sis wam!

    Reply
    • Thuli  May 27, 2013 at 6:55 am

      Kubonga mna Akhe!

      Reply
  • Asibande@gmail.com'
    Amanda  June 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Wow sisi,I’ve tried your steamed bread and vetkoek my goodness DIVINE .Still licking my fingers,I’m never buying again lol.Thank you so much,keep them recipes coming.

    Reply
    • Thuli  June 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Hi Amanda! Glad you tried the recipes and have enjoyed them. Thank you for making an effort to give feedback! Lots of love, Thuli

      Reply
  • adrian.snyman@gmail.com'
    Adrian  July 22, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Hi Thuli. I don’t have an enamel plate or bowl, what else can be used?

    Reply
    • Thuli  July 23, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Hi Adrian,

      I sometimes use a soup bowl or any other glass bowl. Just spray it with a baking spray or grease with butter.

      Reply
      • adrian.snyman@gmail.com'
        Adrian  July 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

        I have a steel bowl, will that be ok? Also, does the bowl fit right into the pot or is it ok if the bowl sits on the edge of the pot and the steam cooks the dough from underneath?

        Reply
        • Thuli  July 23, 2013 at 9:52 am

          I’m assuming by steel you mean stainlesss steel. The water shouldn’t be in contact with the bread. Otherwise it will be soggy.

          Reply
          • adrian.snyman@gmail.com'
            Adrian  July 23, 2013 at 10:08 am

            Yes it is a stainless steel bowl. So its fine if the bowl sits on the pot and gets steamed from underneath and the pot is covered?

          • Thuli  July 23, 2013 at 11:53 am

            Lets just say the water shouldn’t be in contact with the dough/bread and yes the lid has to be on.

  • liezlkelland@gmail.com'
    Two Suitcases and a Tin Pot  August 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    When I was very little Bernice, our nanny, cooked steamed bread for us in one of those old Heart triangle pots. We sat on the floor in her room and ate chunks of it broken off straight out of the pot. I will never forget the taste of that bread! I am so glad I found this so that I can try to recreate that moment. I was only about 5, but I have never forgotten it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
    • Thuli  August 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Liezl, thanks for your comment and for sharing your story. Hope you can try the recipe! Just browsed through your blog. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures and travels. xx

      Reply
  • divalindi@gmail.com'
    Lindi Duma  December 3, 2013 at 10:08 am

    My bf proposed to me a week after i made bread from your recipe…thanks to good timing or he just couldnyt believe a completely urban girl could make this…he says it reminded him of home :-)

    Reply
    • Thuli  December 3, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Halalaaaa!!!! Nguwo Nguwo! Congratulations! I keep saying this, African man love their food. Infact, if it weren’t for them wanting these traditional dishes, our food heritage would die. They say how you get him is how you keep him therefore keep it up sisi! Happy for you!

      Reply
  • Serah83@yahoo.com'
    Serah  January 10, 2014 at 8:14 am

    Hi, Thuli i just want to find out if do you cover the enamel dish with plastic or you just put the enamel dish just as it is in the boling saucepan.

    Reply
    • Thuli  January 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      Sorry for the late response. You just put it as is, however, if you do not have an enamel or even a glass bowl you can put your dough in a plastic bag. Enjoy!

      Reply

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