How to Make Ujeqe: A Delicious Steamed Bread Recipe

Here’s all you need to know on how to make Ujeqe, also known as steamed bread, is a traditional South African dish that is enjoyed by many. This soft and fluffy bread is typically served with a variety of stews, soups, and curries. It is a versatile dish that can be served as a breakfast or dinner meal, and it is a favourite of many South Africans including mines.

How to Make Ujeqe: Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 packet instant yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water


How to Make Ujeqe

Here is a full step guide on how to make Ujeqe

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

Slowly add the warm water to the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Continue mixing until the dough comes together.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.

steamed bread

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.

After 30 minutes, punch down the dough and knead it again for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into 6-8 equal pieces and shape them into round balls.

Place the balls of dough on a greased baking sheet or a banana leaf, leaving enough space between each ball for them to expand.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for another 30 minutes.

Prepare a large pot with a steamer basket and fill it with water. Bring the water to a boil.

Place the baking sheet or banana leaf with the dough balls in the steamer basket and steam for 30-35 minutes.

After steaming, remove the Ujeqe from the steamer basket and allow it to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

Serve the Ujeqe warm with your favourite stew, soup, or curry.

See also: How to cook Amadumbe

Tips for Making Perfect Ujeqe

Use warm water when mixing the dough to activate the yeast.

Knead the dough for at least 10-15 minutes to develop the gluten, which will give the bread its soft and fluffy texture.

Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes to allow the yeast to rise and the gluten to relax.


Use a steamer basket with a tight-fitting lid to ensure that the bread is evenly cooked.

Steam the bread for at least 30-35 minutes to ensure that it is fully cooked.

Use a damp cloth to cover the dough during the resting period to prevent it from drying out.

Interesting Facts About Ujeqe

Ujeqe is a traditional Xhosa bread that is typically served at special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and other celebrations.

In the Xhosa language, the word “Ujeqe” means “to rise,” referring to the bread’s light and fluffy texture.

Ujeqe is often served with umngqusho, a popular Xhosa dish made with samp (dried corn kernels) and beans.

Steamed bread is a staple food in many African countries and is known by different names such as pap.

Steamed bread is a healthier alternative to baked bread since it doesn’t require added fats and oils.


Learning how to make Ujeqe is a simple and easy process that anyone can do with a little bit of practice. This traditional South African dish is a crowd-pleaser and is perfect for any occasion. With the right ingredients and following the steps outlined above, you can make a delicious batch of Ujeqe that your family and friends will love.