Fry bake is a fried, circular dough that can be filled with anything.
It is popular on the islands especially with fried shark or buljol.
Here is how to make a simple fried bake.
Fry bake ingredients
For this recipe, you will need:
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- warm water
- oil for frying
You can make the bake without yeast. And you can replace the baking powder with yeast. While both ways work well, I’ve found using the combination of the two creates a soft, puffy bake.
Bake and shark is a favorite breakfast food in T&T. See what else Trinis eat for breakfast here.
Oh and you can find all the Trini breakfast recipes on this blog here from traditional urdi bara to dragon fruit salad (more coming soon!).
How to make Trinidad fry bake
Mix dry ingredients
To make this fry bake recipe, start with mixing all the dry ingredients together: all purpose flour, baking powder, yeast, salt and sugar. Be sure everything is well mixed.
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.
Make a well in the center and add the warm water. It should be warm to activate the yeast. 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 into dough balls
With the dough kneaded, it’s time to divide it into two inch dough balls. Shape them as you would for bread rolls (see my latest post on making dinner rolls here).
Leave to rest
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.
Once the 30 minutes are up, lightly flour your surface and roll out each dough ball into a four- or five-inch round bake.
Dust off excess flour from the bake. You don’t want that in your hot oil.
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).
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.
Once the bake has fully puffed up, flip over and allow the other side to brown. Once you’ve gotten a nice golden color on both sides of the bake, remove from the oil and place in an airtight container with napkins underneath.
Pro tip: For soft, fluffy fry bake, remove from the oil and place immediately in a sealable container or cover with a thick cloth. This will trap the heat and steam which will soften the bake.
This same tip works for making soft roti too.
Serve hot with any filling of your choice.
My number one choice would always be fried de-boned, seasoned shark. Yum! Fried battered shrimp is another one of my favorites.
Can you batch make trini fried bake
This recipe makes 7 fried bake. Scale up the recipe for larger batches. You can freeze them for later too.
Trini 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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