Borotho - Bread from Lesotho

 It’s time to hop on a virtual plane as we head into the Eat the World recipe challenge!  This month we’re heading to Africa to the country of Lesotho.  Lesotho is interesting as it is a mountainous kingdom that is completely encircled within South Africa.

I was struggling to find something to make for this challenge as the same 10 or so recipes came up with each search I made into this country’s cuisine.  I always like to stretch my culinary muscles, but I also have to be mindful of what my family will eat.  

After rereading the same recipes over and over several times across a span of a couple weeks, I stumbled upon borotho bread. The reference I found wasn’t even a recipe but more of a guideline. According to the original poster, the bread contained only 4 simple ingredients: flour, water, yeast, & salt.  I decided to take my bread baking knowledge and give this recipe a try.

In my recipe, attentive readers will notice that I added a 5th ingredient, a pinch of sugar to help my yeast along.  I chose to bake this bread in a stoneware pot I had to try to keep the recipe as close to authentic as possible (though I used the oven, not a bed of coals).  Finally, I eschewed the convenience of the stand mixer as I mixed and kneaded by hand for further authenticity.

When the bread came out of the oven, Dude and Spud ohh and aww’d over how pretty it looked.  And then it came to tasting, they couldn’t get enough!  There were multiple exclamations about how good the bread tasted!  This recipe was a home run!

Check out all the wonderful Lesotho dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. 

Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us!

Palatable Pastime: Lesotho Likhobe 
Magical Ingredients: Lesothan Chakalaka With Papa 
Making Miracles: Lekhotloane 
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Borotho - Bread from Lesotho 
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Makoenva 
Kitchen Frau: Chakalaka with Pap (Vegetable-Bean Stew with Cornmeal Porridge)

Disclaimer: This post contains a recipe highlighting a different country or culture. While I strive for authenticity, I sometimes need to make adjustments to recipes due to ingredient availability.  

Borotho Bread
Inspired by The Fresh Loaf

1 cup very warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ¼-2 ¾ cups all purpose flour

Place the water, yeast and a pinch of sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Stir and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the salt and half of the flour and stir until combined.  Slowly add the remaining flour until the dough becomes too thick to stir.  Then, turn out the dough onto a flour surface.  Knead the dough, incorporating more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.  The dough should not be sticky, but can still be tacky.

Lightly cover the dough with a lint-free kitchen towel.  Let the dough rest for 8 minutes, then knead a couple of times and recover.  Repeat this process for about 45 minutes, kneading a total of 5-6 times.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly spray a small cast iron pot, dutch oven, or stoneware (I used stoneware) with nonstick spray.

Split the dough into 11 equal pieces (mine were 2 ounces each).

Form one dough piece into a round ball and place in the center of the prepared baking vessel.  Form the remaining dough pieces into slightly oval, petal-like shapes and place evenly around the center, making a flower shape.

Cover the bread with a lint free kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Cover with the lid and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until the top is browned and the center is cooked through.

Remove from oven and carefully invert the dish to remove the bread.  Bread can be enjoyed warm from the oven or cool. 

Amy Eats the World in...

Cuba: Ropa Vieja (Slow Cooker Beef)
Ireland: Cheesy Potato Soup with Irish Ale
Thailand: Chicken Satay
Kenya: Crunchy N’Dizi (Peanut Crusted Bananas)
Sweden: Rodbetssallad med Getost (Grated Beet Salad with Goat Cheese)
New Zealand: Kiwi Burge
France: Fougasse (Provencal Flatbread)
Argentina: Chimichurri Sauce
Mexico (Halloween Special): Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)
India: Spiced Golden Mil
Poland: Chrusciki (Angel Wing Cookies)
Ethiopia: Buticha (Hummus)
England: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Leaky Cauldron-Style Mini Cottage Pie 
Georgia: Lobiani (Bean-Stuffed Bread)
Mexico: Crispy Pork Carnitas
Cambodia: Loc Lac (Shredded Beef with Lime)
Israel: Chicken Albondigas (Chicken Meatballs)
Finland: Sima (Lemonade) 
Puerto Rico: Arroz con Tocino  (Rice with Bacon)
Egypt: Ghorayebah Cookies
Ukraine: Scuffles (Rohalyky) Cinnamon Crescent Rolls
Portugal: Bitoque (Steak & Eggs) 
Germany (Christmas Special): Lebkuchenherzen (German "Gingerbread" Cookies) 
Trinidad & Tobago: Trini Macaroni Pie 
Iraq: T'bit (Slow Cooked Chicken & Brown Rice) 
Fiji: Fijian Creamy Lentil Soup (Dhal) 
Senegal: Cafe Touba (Senegalese Spiced Coffee) 
Colombia: Cañón de Cerdo (Colombia-Style Pork Loin Roast) 
Soul Food (United States): Oven-Baked Ribs with Cola BBQ Sauce 
Bangladesh: Shemai (Sweet Vermicelli Pudding) 
The Netherlands: Dutch Farmer’s Cheese Soup (Boerenkaas Soep) 
Laos: Khao Piak Sen (Lao Chicken Noodle Soup) 
Jamaica: Chicken &  Pumpkin Soup 
Vietnam: Vietnamese Chicken Porridge (Chao Ga) 
Sudan: Red Lentil Soup (Sudanese Addas) 
Luxembourg: Bouchée à la Reine (Vol-au-Vent)
Uruguay: Pasta Caruso

Lesotho: Borotho Bread


  1. That bread has the most PERFECT texture!! Love the way you shaped it for baking - so pretty!

  2. Your bread turned out beautifully Amy. Great choice.

  3. That bread looks amazing (and so pretty)! Very interesting technique with the many kneadings and short rises in between. I'm really curious to try it - especially when it yields such great results.

  4. This is a perfect bread! The repeated kneading sounds interesting and would love to try this technique soon. The shape looks stunning.

  5. Hi Amy - I'd like to ask you about using some of your content (borotho recipe and pics) in an internal publication I'm working on. Perhaps we could chat over email?

    1. Feel free to use the form on my contact page with any questions!