Bakes are staples of Bajan cuisine. They are mostly a breakfast food and they are even part of the inspiration behind a popular Soca music song. I have a few recipes in my repertoire that are as simple as they get. You know the ones in which you have very little but need to make great food. I think it wise to have a few of these as you never know when you may need them. Bakes were most likely born out of just those types of circumstances.
There seems to be a lot of variations from Bajan to Bajan on just how these are made but the staple ingredients don’t vary: flour, sugar, water and spices. Quite a few recipes I have come by call for butter, but my dad (who makes the best bakes in my opinion) never uses it. Dad learned his recipe from his grandmother but I am not sure where she learned it. I don’t know what the official Bajan Bakes recipe is or even if there is one but being as we are Bajan and they are our bakes I figure they must qualify.
When I asked for this recipe it didn’t come with measurements. My dad never measures his ingredients but in attempt to share the recipe with you I tried to figure my own measurements. I used this Bajan Bakes recipe as a starting point and adjusted to suit from there. Now let me share our recipe with you.
You will need:
2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 ½ tsp Baking Powder
½ cup Sugar
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 ½ cups of warm water
Canola Oil for Frying
Large Mixing Bowl
Measuring spoons and cups
A Large spoon or a ½ cup measure for dropping bakes into oil
a spatula for flipping bakes
a plate with some paper towel to place bakes onto when they are done. (the paper towel soaks up any excess oil.)
First combine the dry ingredients: Flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Heat your oil. You want it to sizzle when you drop batter into it but you don’t want the oil too hot. I was working with a copper bottom pot that retains heat so I kept my fire on medium low heat.
Return to your dry ingredients mix and slowly add the water. You will add only enough water to get the bakes to dropping consistency. This is very different from most of the other bakes recipes I have seen that require kneading.
This was a sort of trial and error part for me but 1 cup and ½ of water was pretty close to perfect for me.
Drop a large spoonful into your hot oil. Always take care when working with hot oil!
Fry on each side of the bake until golden brown.
I often flip my bakes on their sides for a little while to make sure they cook all the way through
Remove in batches and set them on your plate to cool. Allow the bakes to cool a bit before eating to avoid biting into hot oil.
Bakes should be light and fluffy. And Delicious 🙂