Pot Bakes Anyone?

>> Saturday, 4 April 2009

I frequently get emails from second, third and fourth generation Caribbean people living abroad, seeking recipes for dishes that they would have heard of, or that their parents or grand-parents used to make. That is what prompted this week's column on Pot Bakes. I'm glad it did because it gave me an opportunity to learn something. Please keep the emails coming. Click here for the column which also explains the three main elements required for making pot bakes. The recipe is in the column as well.

Knead your dough and then make a filling of your choice. For my fillings, I made sauteed salt fish and spicy mashed potatoes.

This is what the Pot Bake looks like when it is cooked. Serve hot and feel the crunch from the crust.

Cut into quarters to serve.

It's ideal for breakfast with a large cup of tea. Actually, you can make this for any meal you like.

Tomorrow - for Christians throughout the world - marks the beginning of Holy Week. If you're looking for ideas for some things to make this week, read my post here. This is the time also when many people make and share Hot Cross Buns - a spiced raisin or currant studded yeast bun. Scroll down for my recipe.

Hot Cross Buns

Yield: 18 - 20



5 ½ cups all purpose flour, divided (4 cups plus 1 ½ cups)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ cup butter (4oz) (salted or unsalted)
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup currants or raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel (or mixed citrus peel)
1 egg and 1 tablespoon water for egg-wash


1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk or water


2 large baking sheets, greased or lined with parchment paper
2 wire racks
1 whisk
1 small bowl
1 pastry brush
1 medium bowl
1 spoon
1 small saucepan
1 large bowl
Plastic wrap2 damp kitchen towels


  1. Add 4 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices and mix thoroughly
  2. Stir in raisins and orange peel
  3. Warm milk and butter in saucepan to 110 degrees F
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add milk & butter mixture, and knead to form dough. The dough will be sticky at this stage, add the rest of the flour and knead gently to incorporate into dough
  5. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until the dough is risen
  6. Punch down risen dough and gently bring the dough together
  7. Cut dough and shape into balls
  8. Divide balls evenly between the two baking sheets, cover with damp towels and let rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until buns have risen
  9. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F 20 minutes before the time of the second rising is up
  10. In a small bowl, whisk egg and water and brush buns before putting them into the oven
  11. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes switching the baking sheets half way through the baking process (no need to switch if both sheets can hold on the same self)
  12. Cool the buns on racks. Let the buns cool completely before glazing. When you are ready to glaze insert racks with buns back to baking sheet (this is to provide protection for any of the glaze that drips
  13. Add icing to bowl along with milk and whisk to incorporate and form a smooth thick glazeDrizzle icing on each bun to make a cross. Let icing harden and serve
And last but by no means the least, heartiest congratulations to Siri of Siri's Corner, the winner of Monthly Mingle - Caribbean Cooking! Congrats Siri. Siri wins herself a signed copy of my book!

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