Fry bake is a round, fried dough that has a fluffy pocket to fill with buljol, fried shark and lots of condiments. It is especially enjoyed for breakfast or on the beach.
For this recipe, I use two raising agents: yeast and baking powder. These make the Trini fry bakes lighter and fluffier but you can use one instead of both.
Here’s how I make my soft fried bake.
Ingredients for fry bake
For this recipe, you will need:
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- warm water
- oil for frying
Simple ingredients! Bake is often enjoyed with fried shark, fried king fish, or buljol. I also enjoy a good bake and shrimp with lots of condiments after an early morning swim at Maracas or Las Cuevas Bay.
How to make fry bake
To make Trini fry bake, knead the ingredients together before dividing into dough balls and leaving to rest for 30 minutes. Then, roll out and deep fry the dough until golden brown. Simple! This recipe makes about 7 fried bakes and can be scaled up for more.
Knead the dough
Step 1: Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl – the all purpose flour, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar.
Step 2: Crumble butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a coarse mixture. You can use a food processor for this but it is not necessary since you don’t need to keep the dough at a cold temperature.
Step 3: Make a well in the center and add the warm water. It should be warm to activate the yeast.
Step 4: Knead as you would for roti – pressing and squeezing – without folding the dough over onto itself as you would for bread. You should end up with a soft, smooth dough.
Divide the dough
Step 5: Divide the dough into 2-inch dough balls.
Leave to rest
Step 6: Cover and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. This should give the yeast some time to activate so small air pockets can form when frying.
Roll out and fry
Step 7: Place a large pot on medium heat. Add at least 2 inches of oil for deep frying. Allow to heat up for about five to ten minutes. Check to see if the oil is ready with a bamboo skewer (bubbles should form when you place it in the hot oil).
Step 8: Lightly flour your working surface. Roll out each dough ball into a four-inch or five-inch round bake. Dust off excess flour from the bake. You don’t want flour in the hot oil, it’ll burn.
Step 9: Gently add the bake to the hot oil. It should puff up within seconds. Both the yeast and the baking powder are responsible for this action.
Step 10: Flip the bake over once it has fully puffed up and allow the other side to brown.
Step 11: Remove from the oil once you’ve gotten a nice golden color on both sides of the bake.
Step 12: (important!) Place the finished fried bake in an airtight container with napkins underneath. Cover completely to trap the heat and steam. This will soften the bake. This same tip works for making soft roti too.
Serve hot with any filling of your choice.
Trinidad fry bake recipe
Trini fry bake (with yeast and baking powder)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp butter approx. 50 grams
- ¾ cup warm water
- oil for frying
- Mix the dry ingredients together (first five listed).
- Rub the butter into the dry ingredients to form a coarse mixture.
- Add warm water.
- Knead (without folding the dough over onto itself) to form a smooth dough.
- Divide into 2-inch dough balls.
- Place on a baking tray and cover.
- Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Place a large pot on medium heat.
- Add oil and leave to heat up.
- Remove one dough ball and lightly flour it and your working surface.
- Roll out the dough to form a 4-inch or 5-inch circular bake.
- Dust off excess flour.
- Add to oil, once hot.
- Allow the bake to puff up.
- Flip over and allow to develop a golden brown color.
- Remove from heat with slotted spoon or tongs.
- Place in airtight container to trap the heat and steam.
- Cut along its length to open its pocket.
- Fill with your preferred filling.
- Serve hot.
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