Categorized |Bits and Bites, Vegetarian

A rustic fry bake recipe.

trinidad fry bakeLast week while briefly helping my sister in the kitchen at the King and Queen of Caribana event, I saw how easy it was for my mom to make up batches of fry bake to stuff with saltfish and/or shark. She made it seem so effortless I was convinced that I could easily master this. The “one” problem though.. I can’t knead flour. Then I remember that when the girls and I make pizza we would get the dough already premade from the grocery store. Could this pizza dough work?

Typical fry bake does not contain yeast , but pizza dough does have this active ingredient. Don’t be alarmed though, the pizza dough gives it the normal crispy/crunchy outside but I find with the yeast the inside is much more fluffy and the dough itself is very easy to work with.

Fry bake is very similar to fry roti and the only difference I could see between the two is the shape. When my mom would make fry roti she would use the rolling pin to make a huge circle, then cut that circle in 4 wedges (like how you would slice pizza) and deep fry it the very same way as you would fry bake.  Same thing, different names!

Note: We all know the warnings about eating too much fried foods, so try to use an oil that’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

You’ll need…

1 package of pizza dough (I think it’s about 1 lb)
Vegetable oil for frying (about 3-4 cups)
flour for dusting

If you’re making the dough from scratch you’ll need…

4 cups flour (sifted)
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
* (Knead and allow to rest for about 30 minutes at least)

Using the pre-made pizza dough, remove from the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Then open from package and divide into tennis ball size dough balls. Dust your counter, hands and rolling pin with flour so the dough does not cling or stick while working with it.

fry bake dough

trini fry bake

dough for fry bake

fry bake for shark

Since 3 is more than enough for me I put the remaining dough in a freezer ziplock bag and into the freezer it goes for the next time I feel like having some fry bake. The next step is to put the oil to heat in a frying pan and start making the dough balls into the required circle shape. Using the rolling pin (remember to dust with flour) work back and forth, flipping to the other side until you form a circle about 6 inches in diameter.

fry bake trini style

fry bake

cooking fry roti

When the oil is heated place the dough you just worked into a circle. Remember to place it in the hot oil in an action so it’s away from you to prevent getting burned with the hot oil. As soon as you place it in the hot oil (within a few seconds), using a fork try to flip it to the other side in a quick motion. I was told that this helps it get that even surface and allows it to swell so you have that pocket that you can stuff. Continue flipping every 30 seconds or so until it’s swollen and gets to a nice golden brown colour. Remove from the oil at this point and place on paper towels to get rid of some of the excess oil used in frying. Repeat these steps for the remaining dough you have.

how to cook fry bake

making fry bake for saltfish

trinidad fry bake recipe

fry bake for saltfish

fry roti recipe

trinidad fry bake

Serve hot so your guests will get that crunchy exterior that’s so wonderful. To stuff, all you have to do cut it open as you would slice a bagel and stuff with whatever you feel like having. Typically it would be stuffed with saltfish buljol and/or deep fried tidbits of battered shark meat and topped with coleslaw, slices of tomato, cucumber and some sort of hot sauce and/or garlic mayo.

If you ever visit Maracas Bay beach in Trinidad you must try the bake and shark at Richard’s.. this joint is so popular with locals and tourists alike, it was even featured on Andrew Zimmern show, Bizzare Foods. Andy also listed it as one of the top 10 food he’s ever had.

Besides being something you can stuff, fry bake is our version of bread at breakfast and can also be used to eat with stews and curries. We’d just rip a piece and dip it into the wonderful gravies from curry and stewed dishes as I’ve featured here in the past.

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69 Responses to “A rustic fry bake recipe.”

  1. I love the idea of this as I’m not too keen on mixing flour. Can’t wait to try it.
    Great work Chris, love your recipes.

  2. Mary M. says:

    Seems a lot like Indian (Native American) fry bread, which we eat here (out West) with green chili stew, as a Navajo “taco” with ground beef and hamburger fixings, or with powdered sugar for dessert. I’ll have to try your easy method.

  3. You have it backwards! The main problem with fried foods is not the cholesterol and saturated fats—it’s that the fat is damaged (made harmful) by the heat. And the less saturated the fat, the more easily it is damaged! So for best health with fried foods, you want to use highly saturated fat like coconut oil or animal fat, and heat it no higher/longer than necessary. See

  4. Penny says:

    This is the first time my bakes actually came out nice and fluffy… THANKS!

  5. Trevor says:

    Hey Chris ,
    Thanks for the great site , For the health-conscious , they can try four tablespoons of grounded flax seed in their dough and they can let you know how it works .

  6. Clary Regis says:

    Hi Chris where can i buy the dough

  7. Rebecca says:

    Thank you! My Guyanese grandmother used to make bake for us grandkids for breakfast, usually with saltfish, mmmmmmm! I’ve been looking for a recipe but most the ones I have found use sugar, and she never put sugar in hers!

  8. juanita says:

    I thought that all carribean islands use some shorting, lard or butter, and a little bit of sugar, am I correct also.

  9. Kada says:

    Interesting way to make bake, but that’s the beauty of cooking one can develop many ways to create food. As home cooks it doesn’t hurt to learn a new or different way of making a traditional dish. I think it’s genius. I will certainly put this to the test.

  10. Shalimar Ali-Ryan says:

    I am so surprised, that being a Chef/Cook, that you would use pizza dough to make bake.(I would be ashamed to say that out loud) My mother would say, that is just plain lazy. I love bake & I learnt to make it. By the way, If you would add some butter to your recipe, its to die for.

  11. korease says:

    Thank you so much Chris. I made the dough from scratch. Anytime I want bake now I have this recipe on hand. My kids love it. I give them a little of my upbringing when I make these recipes. You are truly the best.

  12. eureka says:

    have to try this i want the saltfish for the inside now

  13. Patricia says:

    Hi Chris I am a Guyanise and we do put sugar salt and butter,bakeing powder or lard in
    our bake’s

  14. Lucy says:

    Hi Chris thank you for all the delicious recipes. Have you try using the hook on the food processor if you have one, it makes very good Dough.
    Regards lucy

  15. donette says:

    great great recipe. I tried it from scratch and it came out splendid. Thank you.


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