"SOETSUURDEEG" BREAD (Tannie Elsa van Wyk)

Tannie Elsa and her assistant Tannie Fytjie with a perfect batch

It took a lot of persuasion to convince them to pose for the photo.  They believe that vanity is a sin and with this type of bread you need Gods help to succeed.

TANNIE ELSA'S "SOETSUURDEEG" BREAD (as dictated in Carnarvon, Dec 2008) (Soetsuurdeeg is a home made yeast)


  1. 2 heaped teaspoons sugar,

  2. 1 medium-sized potato

  3. 4 mugs (1 mug = 1.5 cup) brown bread flour

  4. 2x½ teaspoon coarse salt,  1 dessert spoon butter

  5. 1.25 kg white and 1.25 kg brown flour


  • Use a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid and half fill it with water.   Heat on stove until just starting to boil.

  • Let it cool down until the water is still hot, but not lukewarm. (you should just be able to hold your finger in the water without burning.  I tested it and found that it is about 45 to 47 ˚C).   Add 2 heaped teaspoons sugar and half a teaspoon coarse salt.

  • Cut the potato in four pieces and add to the water.

  • Pour 4 mugs of brown bread flour on top of the water - do not mix.   The flour must form a layer of about 5 cm thick on top of the water.   Then make a hole right through the middle of the layer of flour.

  • Put the lid on the pot and wrap it tightly with a newspaper and a black garbage bag as well as a small blanket.   Leave it overnight in a warm place, such as a cooler bag with a hot water bottle in it.

  • EARLY THE NEXT MORNING AT ABOUT 05:30 (In the Karoo in midsummer the sun would already be peeping over the horizon)

  • Open the lid carefully.  Mix the dry flour on top of the water into the mixture carefully.  If the mixture is too thin, add more carefully and if it feels like a thick porridge, add more hot water (test with finger to make sure it is not too hot) and stir.

  • Replace the lid, wrap thoroughly and leave for 30 minutes.

  • Open the lid and if the mixture now boils over, it is ready.  Now you should work quickly.

  • Mix the 1.25 kg of white flour with the 1.25 kg of brown flour (do not sieve).   Add the yeast from the pot.  Try to collect as much of the yeast which boiled over as possible and add that to the flour as well.

  • Add lukewarm water (test with finger - it must be quite hot).  Add one large dessert spoon of butter and half a teaspoon of salt.  Knead until the dough does not stick to the sides of the kneading-trough and the butter is thoroughly mixed in.

  • Divide the dough and put in greased tins or bread pans.  Fill the tins or pans only half full of dough and cover with a plastic bag.   Let the dough rise for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size and reached the top of the containers.

  • Bake the bread for one hour at 180 ˚C.  Spread butter on top of the warm bread and remove it from the containers.  Cover the loaves with a clean cloth and plastic on top of the cloth, until it has cooled off.

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