Lockdown Nostalgia 


We are on Day Four of the South African Lockdown, and I’m here to keep you busy with some of the South African recipes. Today I’m bringing to you one of the South African’s favourite traditional bread, with a little bit of twist. Isonka Samanzi is what we call this bread in my mother tongue, which is Isixhosa, however other South Africans call it Ujeqe, Umkhupha or Idombolo but these all mean Steamed Bread (in English).0A51133E-EC2E-4BB0-B234-4DEE89D0F93C

You will never go to any South African food place that sells authentic African food and not find Isonka Samanzi. I grew up eating with beef, chicken stews, ulusu (also known as mogodu) and my favourite is always having it warn with butter melted on it while sipping tea. And for me, it doesn’t get any nostalgic than that. I remember as a child, I was always looking forward to the one made by my granny, it was always the best.

Those who have made this bread so many times in their homes will notice my little twist in my method of making the bread and in my recipe, which is the oil added into the bread. This came about after many attempts of trying to make the bread fluffy and still fresh the next day, and today I have given you my secret, which I have been holding dear to my heart, however, we are now in tough times, and sharing is caring. I hope you will enjoy my recipeJ  – Take care of yourselves and others. Stay Home – Stay Safe.


400g Cake Flour (plus 50g for kneading)

300ml Lukewarm Water

2 Tablespoons Canola Oil

2 Teaspoons Yeast

1 Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Butter, for greasing the bowl


  1. Wash your hands thoroughly: Sieve flour and weigh all the ingredients.
  2. Wash your hands: Mix all the ingredients into a large bowl (I used a 30cm enamel bowl).
  3. Use a wooden spoon to roughly mix the dough then start kneading with your hands for about 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and does not stick to the hands or bounces back when a tip of the finger is inserted (slightly).
  4. Wash the bowl you were using, grease with little oil and transfer the dough into the bowl.
  5. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap and kitchen towel (keeping it in a warm place) and let rise for an hour or until it doubles in size.
  6. Wash your hands: Grease a 20cm enamel bowl with butter, shape the dough into a ball place it into the butter-greased bowl and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
  7. Add about 2 cups of water into a large-enough pot (let it boil), and place the enamel bowl inside. Cover the pot with the lid.
  8. Steam the bread for an hour or until it is well done.
  9. Allow the bread to cool completely (and wash your hands before taking it out of the bowl and cutting it).
  10. Serve with stew or eat it with butter and tea. Enjoy:-)


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