Fry Bake (Trinidad)

Ever since I was a little boy in Trini FRY BAKE was a breakfast staple.  Eaten by itself or with just butter!  Most Trinis eat fried bake with salt fish buljol or smoked herring.

  • Bake: A circular thick but flattish bread, made of flour, water and baking soda; fried (FRY BAKE)

I’ve been teaching my kids the following easy FRY BAKE recipe that I adapted from the Food Network.

Ingredients

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder +  (In addition I use 1 teaspoon of instant yeast)
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (I use 3 tablespoons of butter, flakier bake)
    • 3/4 cup warm water (I melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in the warm water)
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

Equipment (Optional but I recommend)

  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer (Fast, Easy, no need to get your hands in the flour)

Directions

  1. Using a sieve over a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, instant yeast(optional), sugar, and salt. Add the butter and, using your fingertips, work it into the flour mixture to form pea-sized pieces. While stirring with a wooden spoon, slowly add water in a stream, until the flour starts to leave the sides of the bowl. When the dough is soft, but not sticky, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface.  I use the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer instead of hand kneading.  I knead the dough in the mixer for 8 minutes or until it stops sticking to the sides.
  2. Knead the dough, divide and roll the dough into small balls the size of golf balls. Cover the dough balls with a damp paper towel, covered by a regular kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes. I put mine in a warm oven (170 F/ 76 C) for 20 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough balls for a second time until smooth and soft to the touch, and let rest, covered again with the 2 towels, about 10 minutes more. I let mine raise for 20 minutes to get a fluffier bake.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough ball into a 4-inch disk
  5. Pour the oil into a wok to a depth of 2 inches. Place the pot over medium heat and heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375 degrees F.  I splash hot oil over the top while cooking.   See video.

  6. Working in batches, fry the dough disks, turning once, until golden brown and puffed, about 30 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bakes to a paper towel-lined plate.
  7. Serve with Trinidadian dal, rice, and bhaji, or your favourite stew or casserole.

Leave your comments below or your tweaks to the recipe!


Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth Beckles

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