When researching for interesting bread from around the world I came across this South African bread called Mosbolletjie. I then played round in the kitchen, developing my own version of the recipe, and after a single bite, I fell in love with this delicious bread. The best way to describe mosbolletjies is that it’s a sweet brioche, traditionally made with fermented grape juice and flavored with aniseed. There is just nothing on earth like a torn piece of mosbolletjie with thickly spread butter and golden honey. Mosbolletjies, are served either fresh with butter or dried into rusks called Mosbeskuit and are a South African favorite.
Mosbolletjies were initially introduced to South Africa by the French Huguenots who left their native country to escape religious persecution. They settled in Franschoek in 1688. During the winemaking season, they used must or mos, which is grape juice in the first stage of fermentation before straining for wine, to act as the rising agent for the dough used to make the buns. Nowadays, since mos is not widely available, the locals use yeast made from fermenting raisins is used to make the mosbolletjies. This recipe uses a combination of active dry yeast and grape juice to speed up the fermentation process. Although the recipe might seem a little intimidating the end result is totally worth the effort to make these mosbolletjies!