Why didn’t anybody stop me when I was eating dessert for breakfast during lockdown? When I was making pancake boards, cheese boards, deep fried ice cream and creamy waffles, I never thought I would actually be here. Here, where I am right now is on ‘Is That My Belly Fat’ avenue. Wondering how did I arrive here, is my GPS working, how do I turn back and can I get a doughnut for a snack? Now listen, I have always wanted to be a little bit thicker ever since high school so the weight gain was such a joy. Up until I tore my jeans and my favourite high waist pants felt like a corset and I caught a glimpse of my reflection where I was just so relieved and my tummy was out there begging for attention. Suddenly I became super body conscious but I had to be careful that with my desire to want to regain my body that I don’t end up obsessed like I was in high school. That I don’t start viewing food as the enemy and find myself aggravated when I pass the mirror. So, I had to do start cutting off certain carbs, exercise and allow myself a cheat day. This is where ujeqe came in. My cheat meal recipe.
I’ve made these steamed breads in tins before for Ackerman’s magazine but I’ve never used vegan butter, spinach, garlic and bicarbonate of soda before.
The flavour and colour really come from the savoury ingredients and if you’re a garlic fan like I am, you could always add just a little bit more. My hands are not great in the department of making things smooth, I draw outside the circles, A LOT. I’m very abstract hence mine were not well rounded or smooth at the top. So if you want to create rounder and smoother bread then ensure you shape it well into a circle when popping them in the tins, but do this gently without deflating the risen dough. You can also use baby spinach if you prefer because I used swiss chard spinach. You can serve this with any curries or soup of your choice. Click below for the recipe for my African Peanut curry. Oh, and yes, I had two tins without shame. It was cheat day and I wasn’t going to cheat myself from a cheat.
*4 cups flour
*10 g dry yeast
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
*4 tbsp sugar
*1 cup chopped spinach or baby spinach
*100 g vegan butter
*2 spoons ginger and garlic paste
*1 and 1 /2 cups tepid water
1.In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and combine.
2.Mix in the chopped spinach in the dry ingredients and create a well in the centre.
3.In a pan on low heat, add butter and garlic and slowly stir until melted and well combined.
4.Slowly add your warm water and mix well.
5.Add the butter mix into the dry mix and combine well.
6.Knead your dough for 10 minutes and place in a bowl and rub butter all over it before leaving to proof in a warm place for 30 minutes.
7.When dough has risen, take you’re clean and well-greased tins and add ¼ of your dough in the tins.
8.In a large pot ensure water is boiling and can fit in all your tins with the water filling up at least 1/ 4 of the length of the tins.
9.Cover with lid and cook for 30 minutes.
10.Once cooked, allow to rest for 5 minutes before removing from tins.