An easy flatbread, roasted (baked) in the oven.
This week I have just been pushing out my all time favourite comfort foods that I lived on growing up. I feel though that my list of "all time favorites" is long. Lol. But I guess that is what happens when you are surrounded by good food. But this roast bake is definitely a favourite and a popular item in West Indian food. This flatbread, commonly called roast bake, or bakes, is a coconut "bread" you should surely try.
The Caribbean has so much food. The more I make things from Trinidad and Tobago and venture into the other islands I realise how many different foods (some we have in common and some that are unique to each island) we create.
Roast bake though seems to be a Trini thing. It's the cousin of fried bake and fried dumpling (Jamaican).
What makes this even more special is the use of fresh coconut husk and milk in the mixture. The flavor really takes it to another level. I mean you are free to use tin milk and store bought coconut but I can tell you it cannot compare
Have you ever made your own coconut milk from scratch? (coming soon). Though it takes a little work, fresh coconut milk is so much better than those canned ones. And I am in no way knocking those canned coconut milk, my pantry is usually stocked with a couple tins at a time.
This has no raising time to it. Which is good since I have no patience. I usually am impatient to let things rise and end up with some heavy bread. I do leave this to sit for a little after mixing just so that it can hold better.
And when you have a nice sticky dough then we are ready to roast in the oven. We usually just use a sheet pan but I know people use large pots so that they get a nice round shape. Or if you are skilled enough to create an even roundness with a rolling pin. And if you are, you need to come to my house and show me how.
Then we just leave this bad boy to bake and take some color.
At this time, you can go ahead and prepare what you are going to eat this with. Fried fish is a very common accompaniment. My brown stew fish would be great, and it has gravy to dip in too. Another plus. But some regular cheese and butter will also do the trick. Or saltfish!!
I love eating roast bake fresh out the oven. Warm with a little coconut flavor. Not too sweet, but not savory.
Great for breakfast, or an afternoon snack.
The dough stays well too. It's not uncommon to mix the dough then freeze it till ready to use. Just get it to room temp and roll and bake.
And if you have leftovers and put it in the fridge, just pop it into your oven for a little and it's as good as new.
Ahh coconut bake.. I love you!!
yield: Serves approximately 10
Easy Coconut Bake (Roast Bake)
Roast bake is a quasi bread made with coconut milk and grated coconut and roasted in the oven. Perfect for breakfast or a snack.
prep time: 40 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 65 mins
If making your own grated coconut and coconut milk
- 1 dry coconut
- 1 lb flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp crisco/cookeen
- 2 tbsp margarine
- 2 cups grated coconut
- 3/4 cups coconut milk
- 3/4 cups water
If making your own coconut milk and grated coconut
- Follow these instructions for making coconut milk. Keep coconut husk to be used
To make dough
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl
- Add sugar, and fat and mix in with fingers so that it resembles fine bread crumbs
- Make a well in the flour mixture and add coconut milk and mix
- Add grated coconut and form a soft dough
- Leave to sit for about 20 minutes
- Roll dough out and place on greased baking sheet
- Pierce lightly with a fork
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes
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