Crispy braai bread from the ‘fire piggy’

A ‘vuurvarkie’ (literally, a fire piggy) is a traditional South African bread oven. Once you’ve made the dough, put the baking tin in your vuurvarkie and then all you have to do is wait. Put your vuurvarkie in the embers and before you know it, you’re enjoying a delicious crusty bread.


500 grams (white) flour according to preference
14 ml yeast
325 to 340 ml water
10 ml salt
5 ml sugar (according to preference)


  1. Put the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and mix well. Make an indentation in the middle and slowly pour in 325 ml of warm water, mixing until a firm dough forms. If it’s still too dry, add some more water.
  2. Knead the dough on a board or plate on which you have sprinkled some flour. Do this for about five minutes until you have a smooth dough. Then make a rugby ball (oval) of your dough and place it in a greased baking tin. Leave the dough in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes, until it has roughly doubled in size. Cut some notches in the top with a sharp knife and sprinkle some more flour over it.
  3. Meanwhile you have already preheated your vuurvarkie for 30 to 40 minutes. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes until it is well baked and has a golden crust. Your bread is ready if it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of it. Don’t put too much coal on the top of your vuurvarkie this time.