Most of you are well aware of my voracious appetite for variety and new cuisines. I am constantly honing my cooking skills by exploring new cuisines to add to my repertoire. This time #Spicychat is headed to the Caribbean bringing a taste of the islands with Jamaican and Guyanese dishes. A bite of Bake and Saltfish left me wanting. It was slim pickings, but after researching the web, I managed to pin few recipes as guidelines; called in the artillery, the tasters (my trusted family and friends), and whipped up few of the most popular dishes: Grilled Jerk Chicken, Sweet & Spicy Oxtail Stew, Curried Chicken, Whole Fish Stew, Bake, Dhal, and Coconut Rice.
I have been told that Fried Bake and Saltfish is the quintessential breakfast, also known as Trini Bakes, Guyanese Bakes, or simply Floats throughout the Caribbean Islands. These breads are sliced and stuffed with salt fish and eaten as a breakfast sandwich. In my humble opinion, Bake is that kind of bread which can be eaten with almost anything. Puffy and light, kissed with cinnamon, what’s there not to love? Slice it up, stuff with egg or fish, spread some fruit preserve, mop it up with some spicy curry chicken, or simply eat it by itself, they are an ideal blank canvas as an accompaniment yet stand strong and delicious, alone too.
Enjoy for breakfast or brunch – or like me, anytime of the day!! Yes they are that addictive! It is so simple and easy to whip up that it’s ridiculous. I don’t think I have made any ‘bread’ that is so pleasing and yet required literally no effort or exotic ingredients.
- 2 cups King Arthur’s all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons manteca or shortening
- 1/2 cup whole milk or coconut milk
- 1/4 cup water or more
- Stir flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a deep bowl. Blend in the manteca or shortening.
- Add coconut milk or whole milk to the flour and knead until incorporated. Add 1/4 cup water to make the dough soft and supple. Add more water if the dough seems still dry. Knead till you achieve a soft dough. Let rest in a well oiled bowl for 1 hour, covered with plastic wrap.
- Heat oil in a fryer (350 degrees) or open deep skillet. The oil should be hot not smoking.
- Roll half the dough to a thin square or rectangle. Using a 2 or 3″ cookie cutter, cut rounds. Roll the dough again and re cut till all the dough is completely used up.
- Carefully fry 2 to 3 pieces in the hot oil until both sides are golden brown and puffed. Remove with slotted spoon and serve warm or at room temperature.
What is your family’s favorite breakfast bread? I would love to hear from you…until next time, have a blessed day!!