Magwinya, a national favorite from Botswana and South Africa, is a type of deep fried doughnut. This unique South African fried bread is thought to have Dutch origins and is similar to vetkoek, a fat cake. The main difference between magwinya and vetkoek is that the former is often sweeter, lighter, and moister. Vetkoek also tend to be cut open and stuffed with cheese, mince, or jam and served with side items like fish.
Magwinya is referred to as township food in South Africa. In Botswana, the best fat cakes are bought from street vendors who make them fresh and sell them with fried chips. Although it's not exactly the healthiest snack, it is very popular. A classic magwinya recipe involves six simple ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, salt, oil, and water. In nine steps, you can make this delicious treat at home with little effort.
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To get started on your magwinya, first measure 500 grams of plain flour (approximately 4 cups). Then, simply sift the flour into a bowl.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
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Add Dry Ingredients
After you've sifted your flour into a bowl, add the remaining dry ingredients:
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons of sugar
Then, mix all of the dry ingredients together.Continue to 3 of 9 below.
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Pour Warm Water
Pour warm water to the dry ingredients gradually. Lukewarm water will create soft dough that doesn't run.Continue to 4 of 9 below.
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Mix the Dough
After you've added the water, start mixing the dough with a wooden spoon. This mixture will form a wet and sticky dough, so no kneading is required.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
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Allow the Dough to Proof
Once the dough is mixed thoroughly (about 5 minutes), cover the dish with a damp cloth and allow it to rise for about one hour in a warm area. After 60 minutes, the dough is expected to double in size.Continue to 6 of 9 below.
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Beat the Dough
Once your dough has risen, it needs to be mixed so the air can be beaten out of it. Once this is completed, you can allow the dough to rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
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Scoop and Fry
At this point, the mixture will be quite springy:
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- Place some dough into a spoon and scoop it into the oil. You may want to use a second spoon to push the dough into the oil.
- Make sure the oil is on medium heat. If the doughnuts brown immediately, the oil may be too hot. Getting the temperature right is important because you can easily get doughnuts very brown on the outside but raw on the inside.
- Tip: Fry just one magwinya, first, to test the heat of the oil. When you think it's ready, take it out and allow it to cool enough to handle. Then, open it up and taste the center of the doughnut. If it's still raw, you'll need to turn the heat of the oil up more. If the magwinya is very brown and raw inside, the heat is probably too high.
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Fry the Rest
After you've tested your oil, it's time to keep frying. Fry the dough on each side for approximately two minutes on each side.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
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