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Breakfast Bakes

June 17, 2009

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Bakes, Johnny Cakes, Johnny Bakes are the number of names for this  Caribbean breakfast treat. The funny thing about this name is that these quick breads are not baked they are fried. So why would anyone call them bakes?I think these are the Caribbean adaptation to English Muffins. Bake recipes vary from island to island. In Trinidad and Guyana use more fat in the dough and they roll out their bakes fairly thin when cooked the inside is hollow and you can stuff what you want inside. In Barbados the bakes are more dense and are slightly sweetened and contain some spices like cinnamon. Barbadian bakes can be eaten with jam, margarine or even a slice of your favourite vegan or vegetarian cheese.In the past persons working in the sugar fields would take bakes as a pack lunch/brunch. The plantation workers use to wake up very early they would have a cup of tea for breakfast. Around 10 am they would have a break and they would eat their bakes with a piece of roasted salted codfish and sometimes porridge. Bakes are still made in Barbados but not on a large scale like before. I have seen them in restaurants in Bridgetown that offer breakfast. Usually it is a sweeter version and it contains eggs and milk more than likely. In St. Martin they serve the salt version and  it is thinner than mine. They call these Johnny Cakes and they serve them with meat or alone for lunch and dinner. In Trinidad there bakes are fried on the street sometimes and served with mainly fish stuffing or vegetables. In Guadeloupe their bake is salt and deep fried and stuffed with vegetables or meat. So you see bakes vary so much and I could not even begin to cover bakes in one post.

Surprisingly, I prefer the bakes that are from the island of St. Lucia. These bakes are savory and they only 4 ingredients. My grandmother use to make them on Saturday nights and I would watch her technique every time she did it so now I can do it just like her. These bakes are soft and tasty and can be used in place of bread. I made three types of bakes this morning for breakfast and  I would share these recipes today. I also included a short video if you are not sure how to shape your bakes. Play with your dough as much as you like. I even use to make a hole in dough when I was a little girl so I could pretend to be eating donuts.


bakes cooking

Bajan Muffins (Sweet)

Yield: 3 muffins

Ingredients:1 1/4 cup of flour,1/4 tsp salt,1/2 tsp baking powder,1/4 cup of ice cold soy milk, pinch of mixed spice( clove,nutmeg and cinnamon),1/4 tsp vanilla essence,1 tbs brown sugar and extra flour to knead dough

1/2 cup vegetable oil for shallow frying

Method:Sieve flour ,baking powder and salt. Whisk cold milk,essence,sugar and mixed spice. Make a well in the flour and form flour into a ball. Knead. Let dough relax for 5 mins. Divide dough into 3 balls and shape as in video . Heat oil on medium high. Carefully add your bakes and let it cook for 45 seconds to form the crust on the outside, lower the heat and allow to cook slowly.Turn over bakes with thongs when you get a brown colour on one side and increase the heat to form a crust. If you want a softer crust do not increase the heat. Fry for about 15 mins turning about two other times in the process. Remove a tester to see if the inside is well cooked. Drain in adsorbent paper and serve warm.

Note :The soymilk made this muffin way too dense for my liking. I prefer a softer bite see compilation bake recipe below.

Compilation Bakes( St Lucian and Bajan Muffin combined)

Yield: 3 bakes

I found the texture of the Bajan muffins to be too dense in my recipe so I created a new Bajan Bake that is softer with the same flavour

Ingredients:1 1/4 cup of flour,1/4 tsp salt,1/2 tsp baking powder,1/3 cup of ice cold water,1/4 tsp vanilla essence,1.5 tbs sugar, pinch of mixed spice and extra flour to knead dough

1/2 cup vegetable oil for shallow frying

Method:Sieve flour ,baking powder and salt. Dissolve the sugar in the cold water, add essence and spice. Make a well in the flour and add spice mixture to flour and form flour into a ball. Knead. Let dough relax for 5 mins. Divide dough into 3 balls and shape as in video below. Let the bakes rest for 15 mins before frying as they would plump up good and be even softer. Heat oil on medium high. Carefully add your bakes and let it cook for 45 seconds to form the crust on the outside, lower the heat and allow to cook slowly.Turn over bakes with thongs when you get a brown colour on one side and increase the heat to form a crust. If you want a softer crust do not increase the heat. Fry for about 15 mins turning about two other times in the process. Remove a tester to see if the inside is well cooked. Drain in absorbent paper and serve warm.

I am getting more Caribbean readers on this new blog. Tell me how do you like your bakes?

Tips on Bake Making

1. Make sure your water /milk is cold as this makes the bakes softer adda 1/2 tsp more baking powder for really soft bakes

2. The more you play with your bake the softer it becomes and the thicker you make your bake the softer it will be

3. Leave you bakes to relax before frying them

4. Start frying under medium heat to created a crust on the outside and lower your heat afterwards

5. Bakes can be shallow fried and turned around with a thongs

6.Cook bakes for about 15 mins on low heat, remove a tester to cut inside to see if it is well cooked

7.If you want a less greasy bake do not roll out your bake and leave it to relax at least 20 mins before frying

8. Do drain your bakes well after frying

9.Do not make too many bakes especially if you cannot consume them the same time, bakes get leathery after a few hours.

10. Try this recipe without following this recipe just cook with your heart and  add the flour, baking powder and salt and make your on unique bake.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2009 10:31 am

    Yum! The bakes looks like they share a similar cooking method with the Vegan Brunch English Muffins I made. Those are also fried in a skillet, but then they finish cooking in the oven.

    As for testing, I’d like to try out a few recipes, sure! Since I’m also working on development for my book, I don’t want to take on too many testing recipes…but I could try a couple for ya. Just let me know what I need to do…your food always looks so amazing!

    • latay permalink*
      June 17, 2009 10:40 am

      Yes I know u are super busy so I will only give u two to test really spread out. I do not know much North American bloggers as yet but I think I will meet more as time goes along. I was wondering why we fry bakes in the Caribbean and I said this reminds me of an english muffin. I never finished off my bakes in the oven maybe I should try that as an alternative to frying. I think I should also bake my bakes to see how they taste:) Looking forward to your next post.

  2. June 17, 2009 10:31 am

    I like the new blog!! I updated you on my links.

    The salt bakes look excellent–I’ve never had them before, but they look right up my alley :)

    • latay permalink*
      June 17, 2009 10:34 am

      I know there are as you always have a taste to try different foods. How come u did not update your PR post?

  3. bajangyal permalink
    June 17, 2009 8:54 pm

    What you have done here is what I know as a Bajan muffin, bakes are made from a batter and are dropped ‘free-form’ into the oil to be fried. That aside, they do look like golden crisp discs of ‘yumminess’ I will try out the st.lucian and lucian/bajan hybrid this weekend and let you know how it goes:)

    • latay permalink*
      June 17, 2009 9:08 pm

      So the Bajan bake is the more greasier one made from batter like fishcake (Speaking of fishcakes do you cook with any seeweed. Will do a vegan “fish” cake next few weeks and I want something that smells kinda fishy) I remember seeing the others at school eating this kind and I assumed it was the Trini version. So there is a Bajan bake outside of muffins then? No wonder when I looked at Taste Like Home this morning her Bajan Bakes looked nothing like mine and I brushed it off.Post a comment about how the Bajan Bake is suppose to me made. I will make the changes. Thanks. No wonder my parents never did Bajan bakes at home .My dad use to make these for me and he would say he made muffins but I thought it was a bake too since it look like Lucian Bake. The Lucian salt bakes are the best .Since the quantities are small you can attempt both if u wish. You would be surprised that u like the Lucian bake better. Making coconut bread 2morrow. Will put the coconut in the middle this time around.Why don’t u start a blog as you know so much about Bajan food too. You would be great at it.

    • latay permalink*
      June 17, 2009 9:35 pm

      ok I see now my muffin recipe is the same for bakes but I would have had to make it into a dropping batter by adding more soymilk/water. I do not fry too ofter so I would wait till I do the pumkin fritters to try that again. I just saw a site with savory pumpkin fritters that I never knew I always knew them to be sweet! You have any Bajan cookbooks at home. There is one that was from roberts the butter company that use to have in some good recipes. I do not see those books around anymore.

      On Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 9:08 PM, Taymer GUILLAUME wrote:

      > So the Bajan bake is the more greasier one made from batter like fishcake > (Speaking of fishcakes do you cook with any seeweed. Will do a vegan “fish” > cake next few weeks and I want something that smells kinda fishy) I remember > seeing the others at school eating this kind and I assumed it was the Trini > version. So there is a Bajan bake outside of muffins then? No wonder when I > looked at Taste Like Home this morning her Bajan Bakes looked nothing like > mine and I brushed it off.Post a comment about how the Bajan Bake is suppose > to me made. I will make the changes. Thanks. No wonder my parents never did > Bajan bakes at home .My dad use to make these for me and he would say he > made muffins but I thought it was a bake too since it look like Lucian > Bake. The Lucian salt bakes are the best .Since the quantities are small you > can attempt both if u wish. You would be surprised that u like the Lucian > bake better. Making coconut bread 2morrow. Will put the coconut in the > middle this time around.Why don’t u start a blog as you know so much about > Bajan food too. You would be great at it. > > >

  4. June 18, 2009 4:52 am

    Hi! I’m so glad you stopped by my blog – because I’m really enjoying cruising around yours. These bakes look fun – they do remind me in technique to English Muffins, but they sound quicker, and more like a great sub for panckes or crêpes to mix things up a bit.
    You asked me about finding vegan foods in France – actually, since I eat mostly whole grains & plants, yep, it’s pretty darn easy! Finding things like you do in the U.S. such as fake burgers, chicken, cheese, etc. isn’t very easy, but I don’t really eat those things – unless I make them myself – so it’s no problem. :)

  5. bajangyal permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:11 pm

    lol now you know the difference…you can also get cornmeal bakes which I LOVE!!!! the cornmeal gives an extra crunch that is divine.

    Blogging isn’t for me at this time I could never keep up with it but who knows what will happen in the future.

    Will be sure to let you know how the bakes turn out, really looking forward to trying the Lucian version:)

  6. June 21, 2009 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the bakes-muffin combo.

  7. Melissa permalink
    January 10, 2013 9:03 am

    Thanks for sharing, as a st Lucian living in tri-state area it’s not easy getting a taste from home. I’m having my American husband makes these for me (he enjoys cooking). Glad you started blogging again.
    Melissa

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