Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
West Indian breakfast bread. Fry bakes is the Trinidadian name. The rest of the Caribbean calls this Johnny Cakes. According to Côte-Çi, Côte-Là: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary, by John Mendes, © 1986, "A Johnny Bake was originally called a journey bake, cooked especially so that it will remain edible on a long journey." It is a simple dough which can be roasted baked or fried. Stuff it with cheese, or with fried fish, or sausages or Saltfish Buljol (Trinidad) (salted cod fish). They are delicious plain, warm and slathered in butter. My 'Mama' (Grandma) on Canouan Island in the Grenadines made the best fried bakes that I know. I have tried to re-create her recipe. The yeast in this recipe is my personal preference. Traditionally this recipe does not use yeast. Will yield a marginally denser (no less delicious) bake without the yeast.
- 4 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 1⁄2 cups water (approx)
- 1 cup vegetable oil (approx)
- If not using yeast, omit step 6. The dough can be rolled out and fried immediately.
- Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and yeast.
- Rub in the shortening.
- Add sufficient water to the flour mixture to make a smooth dough.
- Knead dough lightly until smooth.
- Cover with a damp cloth and leave dough to relax for ½ hr).
- After dough has rested for ½ hour, divide and shape into 12 balls.
- Roll each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, to 1/4 " thick and 3 1/2" round.
- Fry in hot oil until brown on both sides.
- Put on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- These freeze well and can be reheated in the microwave.
Most of the islands call them fry bakes but my grandmother's country, St Kitts, calls them johnny cakes... I didn't know what a fry bake was until I was ten....lol
Everyone in the Caribbean calls them bakes. Only Jamaicans call them Johnny cakes
I'm from Dominica (not republic) and we call it bakes too. And bajans also.