Category Archives: Breads

Salara… Red (coconut) Cake

Salara (Guyanese Red Cake)

Most people call salara, red cake, because the coconut filling is dyed a bright red color. But this is far from a cake. If anything it is a coconut bread or coconut roll. None the less, it is really moist and the delicious red coconut filling is simply that, delicious. If you love coconut this is a recipe you must try. If you’re Guyanese and haven’t had red cake in a while, here’s your opportunity to make your own.

Before we get started I must say that it took me some time to perfect this recipe. This is not my original recipe, but a recipe taken from Caribbean Cuisine by Dr. Betty “K.” I’ve tried this recipe several times, the dough is always perfect but I couldn’t get the filling just right. First, it was not red enough, then it was too sweet, then, it was runny and too red. Finally, I nailed it and the hubby was pleased! Mainly because he wasn’t stuck with a roll of not so perfect salara that he was forced to eat. Ha ha.

So here you go, try it and let me know how it comes out!

For this recipe we will need to set 1 tbsp dry yeast with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup warm water.  Mix together and let sit for about 10 minutes until yeast ferments.

For this recipe we will need to set 1 tbsp dry yeast with 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup warm water.
Mix together and let sit for about 10 minutes until yeast ferments.

While the yeast sets, combine 1 cup of warm milk, 1/4 cup of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 eggs. Whisk together until the sugar melts.

While the yeast sets, prepare your wet ingredients by combining 1 cup of warm milk, 1/4 cup of butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 egg. Whisk together until the sugar melts.

Now for the dry ingredients: Mix together 3 cups of sieved flour with 1 tsp salt. I use a whisk to quickly mix everything together.

Now for the dry ingredients: Mix together 3 cups of sieved flour with 1 tsp salt. I use a whisk to quickly mix everything together.

Once the yeast ferments, combine the milk/butter/eggs mixture and yeast mixture in a mixing bowl with a dough hook attached. Then, mix in flour and salt mixture until a soft dough is formed.  Knead dough into a semi stiff ball.

Once the yeast ferments, combine the milk/butter/eggs mixture and yeast mixture in a mixing bowl with a dough hook attached.
Then, mix in flour and salt mixture until a soft dough is formed.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead dough into a semi stiff ball.

Place dough ball in a greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until it doubles in size (about an hour).

Place dough ball in a greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place until it doubles in size (about an hour).

While you wait for the dough to prove (rise to double its size), prepare the coconut filling.  Add 3 cups of shredded coconut to a small mixing bowl.  Then, add 1 tsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla essence.. Mix together.

While you wait for the dough to prove (rise to double its size), prepare the coconut filling.
Add 3 cups of shredded coconut to a small mixing bowl.
Then, add 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence..
Mix together.

Next at 1 tbsp red food coloring to the coconut mixture. Mix together until all the coconut pieces are covered with the coloring.

Next add1 tbsp red food coloring to the coconut mixture.
Mix together until all the coconut pieces are covered with the coloring.

Once the dough is ready, place on a floured surface. Punch down and roll into a large rectangular shape.

Once the dough is ready, place on a floured surface. Punch down and roll into a large rectangular shape.

Then, brush the edges of the dough with egg white. This helps to seal the roll and prevents it from unfolding while baking.

Brush the edges of the dough with egg white. This helps to seal the roll and prevents it from unfolding while baking. Then add the coconut filling to the dough, spreading as evenly as possible.

What your dough should look like once covered with coconut filling. You should try to get dough as close to the edge as possible.

This is what your dough should look like once covered with coconut filling. You should try to get the filling as close to the edge as possible.

Let's roll this bad boy into a log! Roll the edge closest to you, up and away from you about 2 inches in, then brush with some egg white.

Let’s roll this bad boy into a log! Roll the edge closest to you, up and away from you about 2 inches in, then brush with some egg white.

Continue to roll until all the dough is rolled up into a log.

Continue to roll until all the dough is rolled up into a log.

Place in a greased baking pan or on a greased baking sheet and coat the top of the roll with whisked egg yolk.

Place in a greased baking pan or on a greased baking sheet and coat the top of the roll with whisked egg yolk. Let sit until it doubles in size (for about 30 to 40 minutes).

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Make a very simple syrup/glaze by combining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a boil on medium heat. Continue to boil for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat. Brush roll with the syrup. This gives salara the stickiness it is known to have.

Make a very simple syrup/glaze by combining 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan.
Bring to a boil on medium heat. Continue to boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat.
Brush roll with the syrup. This gives salara the stickiness it is known to have.

When somewhat cooled, slice it up and enjoy. Preferably with a glass of cream soda with milk!

When somewhat cooled, slice it up and enjoy. Preferably with a glass of cream soda with milk!

Salara (Red Coconut Cake) Makes 1 large roll.

Ingredients
1 tbsp dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 tbsp plus ¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
¼ cup butter
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 egg, separated

Filling
3 cup shredded coconut (store bought, sweetened)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp red food coloring

Glaze
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

Directions:
Combine yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let stand for about 10 minutes until yeast ferments. Warm the milk, then dissolve the sugar into the milk. Add the butter and 1 whole egg. Whisk together. Set aside. Sieve flour, add salt and mix together. Add fermented yeast and milk mixture a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add flour and salt mixture. Mix together to form a soft dough. Turn dough unto a floured work surface and knead into a moderately stiff ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, let rise to double in size for about 1 hour.

Combine all the filling ingredients and set aside.

Once dough ball has risen to twice its original size, turn unto a floured surface and punch down. Roll dough into a large rectangle and brush edges with egg white. Cover dough with coconut filling, spreading filling evenly and as close to the edges as possible. Roll dough lengthwise into a log. Seal edges. Place roll in a greased baking pan or sheet. Brush roll with whisked egg yolk, cover and let sit until it doubles in size. Bake at 350°F (190°C) for 20 – 30 minutes.

To make the glaze, combine the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 to 10 minutes then remove from the heat.

Once the salara is golden brown, remove from the oven and brush the top with the sugar glaze. Let cool, cut into slices and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. The original recipe by Dr Betty “K” can be found on Guyana Outpost. I’ve modified it quite a bit but didn’t want to claim it as my own.
2. I’m using store bought, shredded coconut because I like the flavor of that one over fresh shredded coconut. If you are using fresh shredded coconut you will need to add about 1/4 cup of sugar to your filling.
3. The glaze is a simple syrup.
4. This makes a pretty huge roll, because the best salara’s I’ve had back home, are usually a large slice that can serve as a meal.

Happy Baking!

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Roti, Roti… Sada Roti

Sada Roti

When I was growing up in Guyana, my mom made sada roti often. Sometimes she stuffed the roti with sugar and made sugar rotis. These were so delicious, especially when the melted sugar ran down your hands.  Sada Roti is quick and easy and doesn’t require some of the steps, patience or skills of paratha roti. Sada roti is very similar to the roti my Bengali cousin (in-law) makes when she has us over for dinner. Her’s is a bit thinner and made with some type of whole wheat flour, but it is equally delicious. You can follow the video for making paratha roti (see recipe list for the paratha roti post), to see the first steps to make this dough.

In a large mixing bowl, add 4 coups of flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.  Mix together, then form a well in the center of the ingredients.  Add 1 1/4 cups of water.  Mix together to form a soft dough. Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for 1/2 hour.

In a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups of flour, 3 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt.
Mix together, then form a well in the center of the ingredients.
Add 1 3/4 cups of water.
Mix together to form a soft dough.
Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for 1/2 hour.

After dough sits for about 1/2 hour, separate into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into a smooth round dough ball.  Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for an additional 1/2 hour.

1. After dough sits for about 1/2 hour: 2. separate into 8 equal pieces. 3.Knead each piece into a smooth round dough ball.
4.Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for an additional 1/2 hour.

Roll each dough ball into a small round disk. I made mine, just about the size of my palm.  Since I was cooking these outside on the grill, I rolled them all out and placed them on a bread board.  Note: if you are going to do this, be sure to put pieces of parchment paper between each layer. Mine were completely stuck together when I was ready to cook them.

Roll each dough ball into a small round disk. I made mine, just about the size of my palm.
Since I was cooking these outside on the grill, I rolled them all out and placed them on a bread board.
Note: if you are going to do this, be sure to put pieces of parchment paper between each layer. My rotis were completely stuck together when I was ready to cook them.

Place a cast iron skillet on medium heat. I placed mine on the burner side of my grill. When the skillet is warm, place a rolled out roti onto the skillet. When small air pockets form on the roti, flip over to the other side.  When large air pockets form, remove roti from skillet and put directly onto the flame.  Roti will rise into a round ball.  Once roti forms a ball remove and place in a dish towel (to keep warm). Continue steps until you've cooked all of the rotis.

Place a cast iron skillet on medium heat. I placed mine on the burner side of my grill.
When the skillet is warm, place a rolled out roti onto the skillet.
Cook until small air pockets form on the roti, then flip over to the other side.
When large air pockets form, remove roti from skillet and put directly onto the flame.
Roti will swell into a round ball.
Once roti forms a ball remove and place in a dish towel (to keep warm).
Continue steps until you’ve cooked all of the rotis.

You can see the grill lines in my rotis. They were so delicious.

You can see the grill lines in my rotis. They were so delicious.


Sada Roti (Makes 8)


Ingredients:

4 cups of all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups of

Directions:
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients together. Then form a well in the center of the ingredients. Add water and mix together to form a soft dough. Let sit covered for at least 30 minutes. Then separate into 8 equal pieces and knead into smooth balls. Let sit for another 30 minutes. Then roll into flat disks about 8 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Warm a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add a rolled out roti disk and cook until small air pockets appear. Then flip to the other side. Cook until large air pockets appear. Then remove from the skillet and lace directly onto the open flame. Cook until roti swells into a round ball. Remove from heat and place in a dish towel to keep warm. Continue steps for cooking until all the rotis are cooked.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. You can choose to leave your roti on the cast iron skillet until it swells into a ball. That’s how my mom makes it and it’s just as delicious.
2. The longer you let the dough sit, the softer the roti will be.
3. Extra rotis can be placed in the refrigerator. Cover with a paper towel when reheating in the microwave.

Happy Cooking!

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Pone… Cassava and Coconut Pone

Cassava Pone

Last weekend, I picked up about 2 lbs of cassava (yuca) from H-Mart (Asian supermarket). My intentions were to make cassava ball and maybe try making some metemgee (I know, I know… the metemgee recipe is long overdue). I started peeling the cassava and started thinking about cassava pone. Once I mentioned it to my hubby and mother-in-law, I knew I would be making pone.

If I had to describe pone, I would say that it is like a crustless pie or a soft, flourless sweet bread. When I googled pone, I found out that it originally referred to a Native American dish of flat cornmeal cakes baked in ashes. I started to wonder if pone is an Amerindian (Indigenous Guyanese) dish and whether it originated from similar beginnings! Perhaps they substituted cornmeal for cassava because cassava grows in abundance in Guyana. I’ll keep digging. Someone, somewhere has to have a story to tell about how we started making pone (smile).

Now for this quick and easy pone recipe. I promise it’s really simple, but it takes about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to bake so allow yourself time for that.

For this recipe I'm using 1lb cassava (peeled and cubed) and 2 cups of shredded coconut.

For this recipe I’m using 1lb cassava (peeled and cubed) and 2 cups of shredded coconut.

I ground/processed the cassava in a food processor until it was a fine paste-like consistency.

I ground/processed the cassava in a food processor until it was a fine paste-like consistency. Traditionally you would grate the cassava with the fine side of a grater. Thank God for modern technology!

I am using store bought coconut flakes so I processed that in the food processor until it was really fine.

I am using store bought coconut flakes so I processed that in the food processor until it was really fine.

Combine the processed cassava and coconut in a mixing bow. Then add, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, about 1 tbsp grated nutmeg, 2tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla essence. Mix together well.  Then add 1/4 cup of water until it form a soft batter.

Combine the processed cassava and coconut in a mixing bow.
Then add, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tbsp grated nutmeg, 2tbsp butter and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
Mix together well, then add 1/4 cup of water until it form a soft batter.

Place mixture into a greased baking pan. Make sure mixture is no more than 1 inch thick.

Place mixture into a greased baking pan. Make sure mixture is no more than 1 inch thick.

When pone is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.

When pone is golden brown, remove from oven and let cool.

When cool cut into squares and enjoy.

Once cooled, cut into squares and enjoy.

Stacked squares of Cassava Pone

Stacked squares of Cassava Pone

Cassava and Coconut Pone* (Makes 9 servings)

Ingredients:
1 lb cassava (peeled and diced)
2 cups of shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add cassava to a food processor and process until it forms a fine paste-like consistency. Then, process coconut flakes in the food processor until fine. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cassava, coconut, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, all spice and vanilla essence. Mix together, then add water. Continue to mix until a soft batter is formed. Place batter into a greased baking dish (batter should be no more that 1 inch thick) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until pone is golden brown in color. Remove from oven and let cool. Once pone cools, cut into 9 squares. Enjoy with some mauby, sorrel or ginger beer.

*Recipe a modified version of the Cassava pone recipe found in Caribbean Cuisine by Dr. Betty “K.”

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you don’t have a food processor feel free to grate your cassava. Just don’t cut it into cubes first.
2. I rarely get fresh coconuts where I live so I have to improvise.
3. Originally I thought the pan was too big for the pone I was making but the pone was about 1/2 inch in thickness and had the right about of crunch to it. Next time I will try putting it into a loaf pan.
4. These were devoured the minute I was done taking the pictures and they were so delicious.

If you try a recipe, leave and message and let me know how it came out. Also let me know if you added or took away anything, maybe I can try it your way! Follow me on instagram @metemgeeblog or check out my youtube metemgeeblog.

And as always,
Happy Cooking!

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Guyanese Bread…Whole Wheat Plait Loaf

Whole Wheat Plait Bread

I love oven fresh bread but I don’t bake bread often. I mostly make homemade bread when I make pepperpot, once or twice a year. So when, one of my subscribers asked for a bread recipe and wanted a whole wheat version, I was super excited to get in the kitchen. I know, I know. I must be some kind of crazy person that gets excited about baking. But, I really do.

For this recipe I made a video tutorial. As usual there is no audio, so don’t adjust your volume. :-).

Whole Wheat Plait Bread

Whole Wheat Plait Loaf (Makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp oil (for oiling the bowl)

Directions:
Combine 1 tbsp brown sugar, yeast and water in a small bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves. Let sit until yeast ferments (about 5 minutes). Combine milk and butter in a measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts. Set aside and let cool. When cool add fermented yeast. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, remaining brown sugar and salt. Mix together. Then, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add milk and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead together to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and continue to knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Shape into a tight ball. Place in a grease bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour). After dough rises to double its size, separate into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strip. Plait strips together. Place plaited dough into a greased loaf pan. Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until doubles in size. Once dough doubles, brush with a bit of water and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When bread is golden brown, remove from oven and brush top with butter. Remove from pan and let cool.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I live in dry Denver that is also 5280 feet above sea level, so bread baking is often a challenge. I brush the top of my bread with water to prevent it from getting crusty while baking. I also bake it low and slow. Most bread recipes will say bake at 375 or 400 degrees. Try this temperature first and if for some reason it doesn’t work you can increase the heat.

Happy Baking!

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Roti, Roti… Potato Roti (Aloo Paratha)

  photo(159)

If you don’t know by now, I love roti! Once in a while I make aloo parathas or potato rotis. Not because, I don’t like them, but because they are so delicious I can’t stop myself when I make them and eat way too many. If you are not sure how to make roti, check out my recipe for paratha roti before attempting this version of the paratha. Trust me, it will help a lot in the first part of the dough making.

Potato roti or aloo paratha, is a potato filled flat bread that is seasoned with Indian spices. It goes great with curry of any variety! I love mine with channa curry (chick peas curry or chola). My husband loves his with shrimp curry. My mom always made hers with chicken liver curry, which is also really delicious.

So here’s the recipe…

Making the dough…

In a mixing bowl combine: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp butter or ghee and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix together until butter is incorporated into the dough.

In a mixing bowl combine: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp butter or ghee and 1/4 tsp salt.
Mix together until butter is incorporated into the dough.

Add 3/4 cup water to flour mixture and knead together to form a soft dough.

Add 3/4 cup water to flour mixture and knead together to form a soft dough. Let dough sit for an hour.

While waiting on the dough,  prepare the potato filling…

Peel and dice 1.5lbs potatoes. Add to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Peel and dice 1.5lbs potatoes.
Add to a saucepan with 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1 tsp salt and cover with water.
Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

When potatoes are fully cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Crush with a potato masher.Then, add 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chili flakes.

When potatoes are fully cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
Crush with a potato masher.
Add 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chili flakes.  Then, mix together.

Bringing it together…

After about 1 hour, divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Then roll into smooth balls.

After about 1 hour, divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
Then roll into smooth balls.

1. Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk.2. Fill with 1/3 cup of the potato filling.3 and 4. Close up the dough dish to form a large round ball.5. The difference between a filled dough ball and a regular dough ball.

Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk.
Fill with 1/3 cup of the potato filling.
Close up the dough dish to form a large round ball.
Notice the difference between a filled dough ball and a regular dough ball.

Cooking the rotis/parathas…

To make the baste, add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil to a small bowl. Microwave until the butter melts, then mix together.

To make the baste, add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil to a small bowl. Microwave until the butter melts, then mix together.

On a floured surface roll a filled dough ball into a large round dish about 1/8 of an inch thick.

On a floured surface roll a filled dough ball into a large round disk about 1/8 of an inch thick.

On a warm skillet on low to medium heat add the rolled out roti. Then flip over using a metal spatula. Baste with the butter and oil mixture. Then repeat on the other side. Roti will inflate (swell up) into a large ball.

Add roti to a  warm skillet on low to medium heat.
Then flip over using a metal spatula.
Baste with the butter and oil mixture.
Then repeat on the other side.
Roti will inflate (swell up) into a large ball.

Placed cooked roti on a few sheets of paper towel to help absorb some of the oil from basting.

Place cooked roti on a few sheets of paper towel to help absorb some of the oil from basting.

The finished product.

The finished product.

I had mine with channa curry and my husband had his with shrimp curry. Yummy!

I had mine with channa curry and my husband had his with shrimp curry. Yummy!

Potato Roti / Aloo Paratha

Ingredients:

The dough:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter or ghee
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup water

Potato filling
1.5 lbs potatoes peeled and diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Baste:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil

Directions:

Making the dough: Combine flour, baking powder, butter or ghee and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until butter is fully combined with flour. Add water and knead to form a soft dough. Cover with a damn paper towel and let sit for 1 hour. After an hour, separate dough into six pieces and roll into smooth balls.

Making the filling: Add potatoes, salt and onions to a small pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Then bring potatoes to a boil on high heat, cook until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain water. Crush potatoes using a potato masher. Add cumin, masala, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to potatoes. Mix well and set aside.

Filling the rotis/parathas: Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk. Fill disk with 1/3 cup of the potato filing. Close disk up to form a potato filled ball. Repeat process for the remaining pieces of dough.

Cooking the rotis/parathas: For the baste, combine 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil in a small bowl. Microwave until butter melts, then mix together. On a floured surface roll a potato filled ball into a large flat disk about 1/8 inch thick. Place on a warm skillet on low to medium heat. Flip over and baste with butter and oil mixture. Flip over and repeat. Cook roti for about 2 minutes on each side making sure to baste both sides. Roti should become completely inflated. Remove from heat and place on a few sheets of paper towel to allow excess oil from basting to drain. Repeat process until all the parathas are cooked.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Please see my paratha roti recipe and video for more details on how to make the roti dough.
2. Potatoes must be mashed to a smooth consistency or it will be hard to roll the parathas out into a disk without it tearing.
3. When filling the dough balls with the potato, you can adjust the filling amount if the dough is being stretched too thin.
4. When rolling out the roti, please ensure that the surface and dough ball is completely floured. Roll gently to prevent the roti from tearing.

Happy Cooking!

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Guyanese Staple… Tennis Rolls

Tennis Roll

Let me start this post by saying, that this was my 3rd attempt to make tennis rolls. The first time, the rolls didn’t taste close to tennis rolls. The second time, it had the flavor but was raw on the inside. Finally, I got it to taste right and cook all the way through. The top did get a bit browner that I wanted it to, but I will adjust this the next go around.

Now for the story… Tennis roll, I will assume started out as a dinner roll. But if you’re Guyanese you know it’s an anytime roll and most often eaten with extra sharp cheddar cheese from New Zealand (Anchor cheddar cheese is the best cheddar cheese hands down). As a kid, I used to go to the local neighborhood shop and buy a tennis roll and cheese for $20 (about US 10 cents). Some like their tennis roll and cheese with Mauby (a local drink made from the bark of a tree). I preferred mine with cream soda. Just the thought of this combination is making me salivate.

Tennis rolls, have a rich citrus and vanilla flavor and is semi sweet. It’s dense but soft. Has a nice crumble but holds its own. Before I could only get tennis rolls when I go to NY and buy it from the Guyanese bakery in Queens or Brooklyn, but now I can make my own, and you can too!

The recipe I am using was taken from guyanaoutpost.com

Well, let’s get to it….

First let's set the yeast.Add 1 tbsp dry active yeast and 1 tbsp brown sugar to 1/4 cup of warm water and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

First let’s set the yeast.
Combine 1 tbsp dry active yeast, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

Then let’s prepare the wet ingredients…

1. Scald 1/2 cups milk in a small sauce pan.2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.3. Add 2tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract4. Add 1/4 cup butter 5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

1. Scald 1 cup milk in a small sauce pan.
2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add 2 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract
4. Add 1/4 cup butter
5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.
6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.
Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very soft, stretchy dough.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very, soft, stretchy dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

when dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I measured out 2.5 ounce pieces).

When dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I weighed out 2.5 ounce pieces).

Place rolls in a  (or two) greased baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Place rolls in a (or two) greased baking pan/s, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)
Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

tennis rolls

tennis rolls

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Tennis rolls (taken directly from guyanaoutpost.com)

Thanks to Jennifer Szala Snyder for this recipe for a Guyanese Classic.

Ingredients

1 pkg. active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water, 110°F
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk beaten
1 egg white
1 tsp grated lemon rind or orange rind
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4½ to 5 cups flour

Preparation

  • Soften the yeast in warm water.
  • Add butter/shortening, sugar, salt, lemon rind, lemon extract and vanilla extract to the scalded milk. Let cool to luke warm.
  • When cool add yeast, eggs and enough flour to make a batter. Beat well.
  • Add more flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until satiny.
  • Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double in size.
  • Punch down, shape into rolls and let rise again.
  • Brush with egg white mixed with water and bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 min. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen rolls.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This does not make 3 1/2 dozens. I’ve tried it 3 times and only get 1 1/2 dozens. I think it’s a typo.
2. Patience is key when making this. Make sure you have enough time to let the dough prove twice.
3. The dough has to be soft almost like a thick batter.
4. I always put oil on the top of my dough while it proves the first time, this prevents it from getting crusty.
5. My tennis rolls were a bit browner than I wanted them, so next time I will try baking them at a lower temperature.

Happy Baking!

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One a penny, two a penny… Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns

This week was a long and trying one. My little one is sick with a nasty virus. And after trips to the ER and doctor’s office he’s finally getting better. Amidst all the craziness, I realized that when I am stressed, sad, frustrated, anxious… all I want to do is bake! So I made cross buns, a bit early so that you lovely people could get the recipe to try in time for Good Friday. This is a recipe I created last year, when I was pregnant and wanted cross buns. I don’t even think it was Easter. Anyway, I couldn’t stand the smell of currants so I used some fruits I had soaking in good ole Guyanese rum. Don’t worry, the rum cooks off in the baking process so no harm was done to my unborn. I loved the taste of the cross buns with the fruits that this year I nixed the currants again. I made these cross buns on Monday and today they are all gone… and it’s just me and hubby – who’s asking…”you’re making more for Good Friday, right?” Guess I have to.

Hot Cross Buns… There is no audio in this video (as usual).

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns (makes 12)

Ingredients:
1 pkt Active Dry Yeast (1tbsp)
1/4 cup & 1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup mixed fruits or currants or raisins
2 eggs
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup shortening or butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 egg white

Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Place 1 tbsp sugar, yeast and warm water in small mixing bowl. Let stand until yeast ferments (about 5 minutes). Melt butter and add to warm milk. Then whisk in eggs. Add yeast and milk mixture to a stand mixer. Add mixed fruits and mix together on low speed. Sieve flour, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.Increase mixer speed to medium (number 2 speed) and add flour mixture to the milk and yeast mixture about 1/2 cup at a time until all the flour is combined to form a soft dough. Remove dough from the mixer and knead, on a floured surface, into a tight ball. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour). When the dough has doubled in size, punch down, then divide into 12 equal pieces (reserving a small piece of dough for the crosses). Knead each piece into a small ball/bun/roll. Then roll out the reserved dough into thin strips. Use strips to form crosses on top of the buns. Place rolls in a greased baking pan and let sit until it doubles in size (30 to 45 mins). Brush rolls with egg white and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with Simple syrup (see below for recipe). Serve hot!

Simple Syrup:
Combine sugar, water and vanilla extract in a small saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes then remove from heat.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you have a better recipe for hot cross buns, please feel free to share.
2. Some people use simple frosting to make the crosses on the buns. This is how my mom made it when I was little.
3. You can increase the cinnamon and nutmeg if you want a more spiced flavor.
4. There are a few typos in the video (sorry, trying to do this with a sick baby :-()

Happy Cooking!

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Bananas over Banana Bread… Banana Walnut Bread

Banana Bread

I got this recipe from foodnetwork.com, it is by M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger. The first couple of times I made this banana bread it came out quite dry. So I tweaked the recipe a little and added some more milk and walnuts. Now it’s perfectly moist and delicious. With banana bread, the riper the bananas the better. So if the banana is spotted and looking a little beat up, it’s perfect for banana bread.

What you’ll need…

Ingredients:1 cup granulated Sugar1/2 cup butter2 cups flour3 ripe bananas1/4 cup milk2 eggs1/4 cup chopped walnuts1 tsp ground cinnamon1 tsp baking powder (not pictured)1 tsp baking soda (not pictured)1 tsp salt (not pictured)

Ingredients: 1 cup granulated Sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups flour, 3 ripe bananas, 1/4 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp baking powder (not pictured), 1 tsp baking soda (not pictured), 1 tsp salt (not pictured)

 

First, preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then let’s cream the butter and sugar.

Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of butter to a mixing bowl and cream until fluffy. This is not cake so you don't need to cream until all the sugar has melted. Then add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, until completely mixed into sugar and butter mixture.

Add 1 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of butter to a mixing bowl and cream until fluffy. This is not cake so you don’t need to cream until all the sugar has melted.
Then add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, until completely mixed into sugar and butter mixture.

 

Now let’s prepare the bananas…

Peel bananas and crush. I am using a potato masher, but you can also use a fork. Add 1/4 cup of milk to the bananas and mix together.

Peel bananas and crush. I am using a potato masher, but you can also use a fork.
Add 1/4 cup of milk to the bananas and mix together.

 

Now the dry ingredients…

Add 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cinnamon powder (or ground cinnamon) to a small mixing bowl and mix together.

Add 2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp cinnamon powder (or ground cinnamon) to a small mixing bowl and mix together.

 

Bringing it together…

Add banana mixture and chopped walnuts to sugar, eggs and butter mixture.Then, add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Mix together until it forms a thick batter. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. I lined the bottom of my pan with parchment paper.

Add banana mixture and chopped walnuts to sugar, eggs and butter mixture.
Then, add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Mix together until it forms a thick batter.
Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. I lined the bottom of my pan with parchment paper.

 

Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees Fahrenheit…

Delicious!

Delicious!

 

 

Banana Bread

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 325 F.
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time and mix until completely incorporated into sugar and butter mixture. Crush bananas in a small mixing bowl and add milk. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon in another small mixing bowl and set aside.
Do not use the mixer for the next steps.
Add banana mixture and chopped walnuts to butter, sugar and eggs mixture. Using a wooden spoon mix thoroughly. Then add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until it forms a thick batter. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Let cool, then remove from loaf pan and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. Only use your mixer when creaming the butter and sugar. Trust me, the first couple of times I used it for everything and the banana bread was dry like cardboard.
2. Try not to crush your bananas into big chunks. Otherwise it will get black in the bread and look unappetizing.
3. I line the bottom of my loaf pan with parchment paper. It makes it easier to remove the bread from the pan after baking.
4. You can pour the batter into muffin tins for a banana walnut muffin.

Happy Cooking!

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Pinwheel… Cheesy, Beefy Pinwheel!!!

Guyanese pinwheel

I remember a time in high school when my friends and I tricked the security guard into letting us go out for lunch (there was a period in high school when administration became super strict about who could go outside the gates during lunch time). We went to Arapaima (a local bakery) and bought the most delicious pinwheels for about GUY $60.00, (less than US $.50). They were meaty and pretty satisfying. Well on our way back to school we notices that the Headmistress was at the gate and we were definitely in trouble. These pinwheels took me right back to that day. They are meaty, cheesy and oh so delicious. It does take a bit of time to make the dough, but everything else after that is pretty simple. I forgot to glaze my dough with egg whites before baking (this helps it to have an even golden color), but none the less, it still came out pretty good. You should allow at least 2 hrs when making this recipe (the dough takes about an hour to rise).

First let’s prepare the wet ingredients. I am using rapid rising yeast, so the dough making step is a bit different from traditional dough making. If you are using regular yeast, add your yeast and sugar to a small mixing bowl, then add 1/4 cup warm water. Mix together and let sit until yeast ferments (about 10 mins). Then you will add the other wet ingredients to this, followed by the dry ingredients. If you have rapid rising yeast, follow my steps below to make the dough.

1. Warm 1 cup of milk until very hot.2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of shortening.3. Add 1 egg and beat together. 4. Add to a mixer with a dough hook or to a large mixing bowl, if you don't have a mixer.

1. Warm 1 cup of milk until very hot.
2. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of shortening.
3. Add 1 egg and beat together.
4. Add to a mixer with a dough hook or to a large mixing bowl, if you don’t have a mixer.

Now for the dry ingredients…

Sieve 3 cups flour, then add 1 packet rapid rising yeast (about 1 tbsp).

Sieve 3 cups flour, then add 1 packet rapid rising yeast (about 1 tbsp). Add 1 tsp salt and mix together.

Bringing it together…

Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time to the dry ingredients and knead together to form a soft dough. If using a mixer use mixer setting 1 for this step.

Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time to the wet ingredients and knead together to form a soft dough. If using a mixer, use mixer setting 1 for this step. Once all the dry ingredients have been added, knead on a floured surface to form a smooth ball.

Add about 2 tbsp oil to a large mixing bowl. Coat dough with oil. Cover and let sit in warm place, until dough doubles in size. For about 1 hour.

Add about 2 tbsp oil to a large mixing bowl. Coat dough with oil. Cover and let sit in a warm place, until dough doubles in size. For about 1 hour.

Now lets prepare the filling…

You will need 1lb lean ground beef, 1/2 onion finely diced,  4 cloves garlic (finely chopped), 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp cassareep or soy sauce,  1 tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and let marinade for about 30 mins. Then, add 1 tsp oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot add marinated ground beef. Cook until beef is completely cook (about 10 mins). Then add about 4 tbsp ketchup. Mix together and let cool.

You will need 1lb lean ground beef, 1/2 onion finely diced, 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped), 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 1 tbsp cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste and about 4 tbsp ketchup.
Mix together all the ingredients (except ketchup) and let marinade for about 30 mins.
Then, add 1 tsp oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot add marinated ground beef. Cook until beef is completely cook (about 10 mins). Then add ketchup. Mix together and let cool. I usually do this step when the dough is rising.

Shred about 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese and reserve.

Shred about 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese and reserve.

Bringing it together…

1 hour later...

Once dough has doubled in size, punch down on a floured work surface. Then, using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Once dough has doubled in size, punch down on a floured work surface.
Then, using a rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness.

1. Roll out dough.2. Add cooked and cooled ground beef to dough, spreading evenly and covering the entire surface.3. Add 3/4 of shredded cheese. 4. Roll to form a log.

1. Roll out dough.
2. Add cooked and cooled ground beef to dough, spreading evenly, covering the entire surface.
3. Add 3/4 of shredded cheese. Reserve 1/4 for garnish.
4. Roll to form a log. Sealing ends by pinching. Then brush log with egg whites.

Cut log into 1 inch pieces. This will yield about nine large pinwheels.Add ketchup to each pinwheel.Then, add the remaining cheese.Bake at 375 F for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut log into 1/2 inch pieces. This will yield about nine large pinwheels.
Add ketchup to each pinwheel.
Then, add the remaining cheese. Let sit for 30 mins.
Then, bake at 375 F for about 25 to 30 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy…

Pinwheel

Cheesy Beefy Pinwheels (makes 9 giant pinwheels)

Dough
Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 pkt fast active / rapid rising yeast (about 1 tbsp)
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg white

Filling:
1 lb lean ground (mince) beef
1/2 large onion (finely chopped)
4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cassareep or soy sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp oil
About 4 tbsp ketchup for cooking beef and 9 tbsp for garnish.
1/2 lb shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
Dough:
Warm milk. Add sugar, shortening and egg to warm milk and whisk together. Add wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl, or stand mixer with a dough hook. In a separate mixing bowl sieve flour. Add yeast and salt to flour and mix together. Add dry ingredients 1 cup at a time to wet ingredients and mix together to form a soft dough. Place dough on a floured surface and knead together to form a smooth ball. Grease a large mixing bowl with about 2 tbsp oil. Place dough in greased bowl. Coat dough with oil from bowl. Cover dough and let sit until it doubles in size. For about an hour.

Filling:
Combine beef, onion, garlic, brown sugar, cassareep or soy sauce, thyme, mustard, and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix together and let marinade for about 30 minutes. Add oil to a large skillet on medium heat. When oil is hot add marinaded ground/mince beef. Cook until beef fully cooks, stirring constantly to ensure even cooking (about 10 mins). Add 4 tbsp ketchup. Mixing together, remove from heat and let cool.

Making the pinwheels:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
Once dough has doubled in size, remove from bowl. Punch down dough on a floured surface, then using a rolling pin roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Spread cooked, cooled beef evenly onto dough. Add 3/4 of shredded cheese. Roll dough into a log. Seal ends by pinching them together. Brush log with egg white. Then cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Top with swirls of ketchup, then remaining shredded cheese. Let sit for about 30 minutes, then bake for 20 to 35 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. I got the recipe for the dough from the salara recipe from Caribbean Cuisine by Dr. Betty “K.” I was making Salara one day and realized it was going to be way too much salara for just hubby and I, so I split the dough in half and made pinwheels. I forgot that step when I was making these pinwheels, hence why these pinwheels were so gigantic. You can split your dough in half and make smaller pinwheels if you prefer.
2. Be sure to get the filling all the way to the edge of the dough so that the pinwheels can be really meaty.
3. Ketchup is the secret ingredient in these pinwheels. Similar to how it is the secret ingredient for meatloaf.
4. If you don’t brush the log with egg white, it will still bake and be brown, but the color may be uneven. I completely forgot this step when making my pinwheels.
5. Pinwheels are really fattening. It’s like having a giant cheeseburger. But they are hard to resist. I ate 2 of these bad boys (the two ends) as soon as mine were done.

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Roti, Roti… Paratha (oil) Roti

Guyanese Paratha Roti, Roti, Guyanese Roti

You’ve requested it and here it is… a tutorial for roti making. Roti is a Guyanese flat bread with Indian influences. It is a simple paratha with flour, shortening of some form, baking powder and oil. It is a staple in most Guyanese households and go well with curries or anything you want to eat it with. Seriously, I’ve had mine with peanut butter. Making roti takes time. You will need at least 1 hour. This video is 20 minutes long… I know. But here’s the thing, it repeats a lot of the process for those who might not get the hang of it right away. The video also has no audio. I tried doing the voice over, but it doesn’t work with a 7 month old constantly vocalizing in the background. So put on your favorite music and watch the video!

Enjoy… I’m having my roti with some dahl and ockra/o and chicken.

Roti with dahl and ockra and chicken

Paratha (Oil) Roti (Makes 3 large rotis)

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp shortening (lard, ghee, vegetable shortening, butter)
1 cup water

Oil and Butter Baste:
2 tbsp butter/margarine/butter substitute
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:
Combine flour, baking powder and shortening in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until shortening is blended into the flour. Form a well in the center of the ingredients. Add water and knead together to form a soft dough. Cover dough with a damp paper towel to prevent the top from crusting and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. After dough has sat for at least 30 mins, separate dough into 3 equal pieces.

Oiling off the roti:
Using a rolling pin, roll a piece of the separated dough into a large thin disk (similar to a large tortilla). Add about 1 tbsp of oil and butter baste to the rolled out dough (see end for directions for making baste). Using a knife make an incision from the center to one end of the dough, and roll dough to form a cone. Tuck ends into bottom of cone and push cone tip into the base. Repeat for other two pieces of dough. Let sit for another 30 minutes. Reserve remaining oil and butter baste for cooking the roti.

Cooking roti:
Preheat a large skillet / tawah (traditional cast iron skillet for roti) on medium heat. Roll out one oiled off roti into a large thin disk, about 1/8 inch thickness (like a large tortilla). Place roti on the warm skillet or tawah. Cook until tiny bubbles / air pockets appear on the top of the roti. Flip and baste with the remaining butter and oil baste. Cook for about 1 minute (for as long as it will take to apply the baste). Flip again and apply baste to the other side. Cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Then remove from heat. Clap roti (if you have those skills) or put roti in a covered bowl and shake to separate the layers and release the air pockets (see video for how to).

Oil and Butter Baste (for oiling and cooking roti)
Combine 2 tbsp butter / margarine / butter substitute and 1/2 cup olive/vegetable oil in a small mixing bowl. Microwave until butter has melted (about 30 seconds). Mix together melted butter and oil. Use to baste roti.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Roti takes time. If you try to rush it you will end up with a not so flaky dough.
2. Don’t let dough sit for more than 1 hour in the first stage or it will get dry and crusty.
3. Roti is fattening. There is no way around it if you want great roti.
4. You can substitute 1 cup flour for 1 cup whole wheat flour.
5. Traditionally roti is cooked on a tawah. I have a tawah, but found a really great cast iron skillet that is flat and more reliable than my tawah, so I prefer to use that.

Happy Cooking!

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