Guyanese Style Bakes or Floats is such staple in my home. They are the ultimate breakfast food, most enjoyed on the weekend with sautéed salt fist. My recipe for Sweet Guyanese style bakes was one of the first recipes on my blog, but over time my method and ingredients changed so I am sharing this simple remix! This new recipe is another way of making perfect, fluffy and soft fried bakes or float with a slightly crunchy exterior.
Differences in the two Guyanese Style Bakes recipes:
- The biggest difference in the two recipes is the introduction of some fat into the dough. I used coconut oil, but you can use butter, lard, ghee or even some cooking oil.
- Second difference is that I roll the dough into a giant flat dish then use a biscuit or hand pie cutter to cut it into circular bakes. See video. You can cut your bakes into any shape. My mom always cut her bakes into triangles. Have little helpers? They can cut the dough into shapes like dinosaurs or hearts and stars. My children love using different shapes for their own unique bake cutouts.
Tips for making the best dough for Guyanese Style Bakes
Making a smooth pliable dough will result in the best bake texture. Use these tips to ensure you always get the best results:
- Always measure your flour properly so that you do not end up with more flour than the recipe needs. Here's a link to a great article on measuring flour. Measuring the flour ensures that the liquid to dry ingredients ratio is accurate and will help with the texture of the dough once you begin to knead it.
- Always let your dough rest! Trust me, I've made bakes in a rush and it is better to just let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes so that the gluten can activate. When the dough becomes a bit stretchy and doesn't break apart, it is ready!
- Dissolve the sugar in warm water. For many years I added the sugar directly to the flour. Sometimes the larger sugar crystals do not dissolve during mixing or frying and would create a bumpy texture on the outside of the finished bakes. Dissolving the sugar with warm water first gives the bakes a really smooth texture on the outside.
Tips for Frying Guyanese Style Bakes
Guyanese Style Bakes are deep fried. For best results use a pot that will allow the bakes to have enough room to float above the oil and cook. This is why they are also called floats. Here are a few more bake frying tips:
- If you use a frying pan to fry your bakes, you will likely have to spoon oil over the bakes. I avoid using frying pans because they are shallow and the bakes rest on the surface of the frying pan. When this happens the part of the bakes resting on the frying pan will brown faster than the sides and the bakes will have an uneven color
- Use an oil with a high smoke point when frying your bakes. Avocado oil or sunflower oil are my preferred oil for frying Guyanese style bakes.
- Keep your oil at a constant temperature. I keep my oil around 325°F. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, you can achieve this by keep your heat on medium or just a little below medium. This ensures even cooking throughout.
- Don't overcrowd your bakes. You may be tempted to fry several bakes at once to speed up the process, but try not to over crowd the pan. Two bakes at max is what I recommend for seasoned cooks, one bake at a time if you are a beginner.
The Updated Easy to Follow Bakes/Float Video Tutorial:
Frequently Asked Questions about Guyanese Styled Bakes/Floats
- Can I use less sugar in this recipe? You absolutely can. This recipe is flexible, if you need to adjust the sugar for any reason please do.
- Can I use yeast in this recipe? Many people make floats with yeast instead of baking powder. Substitute all of the baking powder in this recipe with ½ teaspoon of dry active yeast. Add the yeast to the sugar water solution and allow it to bloom before adding to the dry ingredients
- Why is my dough stiff and not soft? This happens when you don't have enough liquids for the dry ingredients. See tips above on how to measure your flour correctly.
- Why aren't my bakes rising like yours? This happens for a number for reasons:
- Not using enough oil to fry the bake (see tips above)
- Using cold or old baking powder
- Not allowing the dough to rest before shaping and frying
- Not allowing the oil to come up to temperature before frying
- Having a stiff dough that is not smooth and pliable, therefore creating cracks on the surface of the bakes and preventing it from puffing up
- Overcrowding your pan so the bakes don't have enough room to rise
- Why are my bakes stiff?: This is typically caused from not having a soft enough dough, or not letting your dough rest before cooking.
- What can I serve my Guyanese Style bakes with? Bakes are typically served with fish. Here are a few options:
Printable Recipe Card
Guyanese Style Bakes /Floats
- 3 cups of All Purpose Flour plus more for dusting work surface
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tablespoon of fat coconut oil, butter, shortening, ghee or cooking oil
- 4 cups of oil for frying sunflower, grapeseed, avocado or canola oil
- Add brown sugar and warm water to a small mixing bowl and mix together until sugar crystals completely dissolve
- Then add flour, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl
- Mix together well then add the fat (coconut oil, butter, ghee, oil) to the dry ingredients and mix in using finger tips until a crumbly texture forms
- Then make a well in the center of your ingredients and add the sugar water solution to the center
- Next mix together the sugar water solution and the dry ingredients to form a soft dough, you may dust with a little bit of flour if the dough is too sticky
- Then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead well into a smooth ball
- Place the dough ball into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes
- After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll (with a rolling pin) until it is about ⅛ of an inch thick
- Then using a cookie, biscuit or hand pie cutter large enough for palm size circles, cut the dough into 12 circular pieces (see video for method with zero dough wasted). For this step you can also use a round bowl or the cover/lid of a round container
- Next add 4 cups of oil to a medium sized stock pot or frying pan, on medium to high heat. Please ensure pot is large and deep enough for deep frying. Here's a linkto the pan I used in the video.
- Bring the oil up to temperature
- Then add your cut out bake dough to the oil. You may cook 1-3 bakes per time if your pot can accommodate it
- Cook bake for about 1 minute on each side or until golden brown, then flip to the other side and fry for another minute or so or until bake is golden brown
- Remove from the oil and place in a bowl lined with a few sheets of paper towel or a kitchen towel
- Continue steps 12-14 until all the bakes are cooked
- Serve warm with some salt fish!