Growing up in the Caribbean, at my home, when there is no bread we make bakes. That’s usually a Sunday when the Bakery is closed. We buy our bread fresh from the bakery every day in the Caribbean, as kids our baker, Mr. Oscar would give us dough, and mom would let us fry it at home to make bakes.
Bakes are basically fried bread. some people use yeast, some use baking powder and some people call them Johnny cakes (Journey Cakes). I make both types of bakes, depends on the aunty I’m thinking about.
- The Dough
You can use Whole wheat flour, but I use white Plain flour.
- 2 cups plain white flour.
- 1 packet of instant yeast
- 3/4 cups seasoned water
The dough should not be too dry, or your bakes will come out tough (some people like that though). Put 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of sugar in your water to season your dough.
Combine your Flour and instant yeast in a bowl
Make a well in your flour/yeast mixture, add half of your seasoned water, add the water gradually as you form the dough. if your dough is forming too sticky or wet, add a little more flour. knead your dough, but not too much, you don’t need it to be glutenous like baked bread.
Put your dough to rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes; it should rise and soften.
Once you come back to your rested dough, form into small smooth balls that will be the size of your bakes. let these rest for 20 minutes.
Once you come back to your rested risen dough balls, flatten them to form your bakes.
These can be deep fried, but we are health consious in the Caribbean and in my home, these were shallow fried in canola oil in a frying pan. I like using ceramic frying pans so I don’t have to add too much oil, and my bakes won’t stick.
Heat 3 tbsp of oil in your pan over medium heat; don’t make it too hot or the outside of your bakes will burn before the inside will cook. Fry your dough disks, 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
once cooked, you can serve Aussie style with butter, ham,cheese and tomato; caribbean style with codfish or cornbeef. You can use Jam, nutella, lemon curd or just with butter.
We have our bakes at home with caco tea, in Australia I serve my bakes with coffee.