In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

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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73 Comments

  1. July 6, 2018 / 8:00 am

    Ivstuff my fried bakevwith curried channa,delish !! Great receipe

  2. July 6, 2018 / 7:59 am

    I love fried bakes with curry channa stuffed in it,delish !!
    Great recepi

  3. September 22, 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Sounds a lot like fried dough!!! We top it with either cinnamon and sugar or tomato sauce or powdered sugar.
    YUMMY!!!

  4. Phylicia
    June 25, 2017 / 9:04 am

    This is quite different from how my mom made this
    can’t wait to try this!!!

  5. July 21, 2016 / 4:06 am

    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.

  6. Mary M.
    December 5, 2015 / 5:46 am

    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.

  7. October 5, 2015 / 10:09 pm

    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 http://authoritynutrition.com/healthiest-oil-for-deep-frying/

  8. Penny
    October 2, 2015 / 1:29 pm

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

  9. Trevor
    September 19, 2015 / 7:22 am

    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 .

  10. Clary Regis
    August 28, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    Hi Chris where can i buy the dough

  11. Rebecca
    June 21, 2015 / 12:18 pm

    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!

  12. June 8, 2015 / 10:37 am

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

  13. Kada
    March 15, 2015 / 3:11 pm

    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.

  14. Shalimar Ali-Ryan
    February 1, 2015 / 9:07 am

    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.

  15. January 31, 2015 / 10:05 pm

    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.

  16. eureka
    December 30, 2014 / 6:38 pm

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

  17. Patricia
    October 5, 2014 / 4:19 pm

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

  18. Lucy
    September 11, 2014 / 4:20 pm

    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

  19. donette
    August 22, 2014 / 4:41 pm

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

  20. Trish
    March 5, 2014 / 9:47 am

    I never thought of using pizza dough; definitely something for me to try since my fry bake comes out like hockey pucks when I do it from scratch. I will let u know the outcome.

  21. Judy
    January 3, 2014 / 12:32 pm

    Happy New Year Christ.
    Roti, bread, bake etc. is in the kneeding
    & the required amount of ingredients, its a skill
    U have 2 acquire..Thanks 4 the info on pizza
    Dough, tried 2 many times. Thanks Chris
    Judy

  22. Shirmel
    December 14, 2013 / 10:28 pm

    No need to use pizza dough, try this:

    3 cups whole wheat flour – sifted – King Arthur’s flour is the best
    3 teaspoons baking powder – sift into whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tbs butter – rubbed into flour and baking powder mixture
    3 cups freshly grated coconut – if desired – add to flour and baking powder after butter is rubbed in.
    1 3/4 cup warm water – tepid.

    Use a whisk to whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together for at least 30-45 seconds

    Spoon water into flour mixture and mix together with a wooden spoon. The mixture will start coming together. once the dough is together, but not too wet, cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes roll out and fry as desired or bake in the over at 350 for 30 minutes.
    The dough should be soft and easy to work with.

  23. K J
    December 7, 2013 / 5:21 pm

    Chris, do u by chance know where in Trindad u can actually get premade dough? I can’t kneed flour and everytime I try my fry bakes come out super heavy.

  24. Hylton Fernandes
    November 16, 2013 / 9:57 pm

    Chris, I normally make Bakes from scratch but I am now hooked on the Pizza dough.It is less labour intensive and messy and it is much easier to work with, with great results! I make a side dish of Salted Cod choka and my grand kids couldn’t get enough of it. Thanks Chris, great recipe!
    Hylton

  25. Giselle
    October 9, 2013 / 7:44 am

    Every time I make bake the middle is empty. Can you think of what I could b doing wrong, and why I’m not achieving fluffy bake.

    • dahlia ambrosine
      October 30, 2013 / 7:35 pm

      Hi Giselle,

      I am also a Chef. I’d like to attempt to help U correct your problem. Firstly, is the dough scratch made by U? If so, then normally, the dry ingredients should consist of 2 leveled tsps baking powder to each cup of flour,(best used..AP flour), some cooking fat/medium, e.g. butter, ghee, etc., salt to your taste and luck warm water. Make sure that your dough is soft after kneading. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes, covered. If dough is store bought or frozen, let thaw to room temperature, every thing to room temp, then form in balls, cover with clean, moist kitchen towel, plastic wrap or moist paper towels while making the balls and rolling out the dough. When rolling out, lightly sprinkle flour on the rolling surface to avoid the dough/pastry from sticking to the surface. May sure you roll each ball as thinly as possible. Also make sure that the liquid frying medium, oil, Crisco, or ghee is enough to cover the rolled out dough and that your frying medium is hot but not too hot to burn the pastry. First time, fry one @ a time to make sure that U have the right temperature. If the medium is @ the correct temp, the dough should begin to puff shortly after submersion. If it does, turn the pastry immediately and U may want to turn the pastry once more before removing it from the pan. Drain on paper towels. Do not let pastry brown too much. You may want to experiment with a thermometer to see where the medium’s temperature is on it when your pastry is frying. Purchase a pastry or frying thermometer from the grocery, hardware, department, or pastry/cooking store, one with a clip on the side to attach it to the pan/pot. In this case, U will have to fry in a dutch oven or a pan with tall sides to hold the thermometer clip making sure that the ball at the end of the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan used for frying and that the ball is always submerged in the medium. If medium gets low after some frying, add more and wait for the temp to increase. Adjust the flame according to where the thermometer reading is good for you once U have decided what temp works best. When beginning to fry and U already know the temp U need, add the medium to the pan while pan and medium are @ room temp, adhere the thermometer to the side of pan, adjust the flame to maintain the temp you need before U begin to fry. If the pastry was rolled too thinly, it may crisp too fast, then, roll out a little thicker or reduce the temp. Then also, U may prefer your pastry thicker for stuffing. Just experiment with small portions of pastry dough for size, thickness, colour and temp that will work best for U.

      Two points: the appropriate quantity of the leavening agent, that is, the baking powder and 2ndly, the temperature of the frying medium. If any problems after this, my e-mail: [email protected].
      Happy cooking!

  26. Faye
    September 21, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    Thanks Chris. This remind me of the native American Indian fry bread we make for our Indian tacos. I have to send you my recipe and pictures

  27. Angela
    May 24, 2013 / 1:05 pm

    Hi Chris:

    I followed your method of frying and it was the first time that I got my bakes to puff up. Thanks again.

  28. Clare
    May 10, 2013 / 8:58 am

    Pizza dough, really? Definitely want to give this a try. I have been looking for an easy way of making bakes that I really like. Thanks for all the tips Chris

  29. Debbie
    January 27, 2013 / 1:09 pm

    Wonderful recipe

  30. Debbie
    January 21, 2013 / 10:12 pm

    Thank you Chris for this truly wonderful fry bake recipe. I have tried making fried bakes over the years, couldn't get it right until now Thanks again.

  31. Selina
    January 7, 2013 / 2:21 pm

    Yay! My roommate calls Roti the 'Cool Bread'. So I'm going to blow her mind tonight! Thanks Chris!

  32. texas girl
    January 6, 2013 / 12:04 pm

    Thanks so much for this recipe. My boyfriend and I were just talking about this and his mom makes them w/ this cod fish stuff she is from the islands and we love it. Now I am gonna have to try this to surprise him. I can’t wait!!! Thanks so much!

  33. Kheera Hilton
    December 17, 2012 / 5:29 am

    Thanks Chris. will try this recipe this weekend!

  34. Marcia
    November 19, 2012 / 3:29 pm

    I make these all the time frm scratch and i use SR (self raising )flour, milk an a little sugar. I am frm London with Jamaican parents. Luv ur site.

  35. Pam
    August 15, 2012 / 2:38 am

    Hello Chris, I applaud you for keeping our culture alive, well and thriving. Even as a recipe innovator, I am also a loyal szzle subscriber and admire your drive to keep our cuisine authentic, and embracing other island cuisines in a like manner. The simplicity, step-by-step instructions and videos you provide can make a 'go to' cook of "a never step foot in the kitchen non-cook". Here's to continued success.

  36. Joanne
    June 15, 2012 / 9:25 am

    Thanks Chris for the pizza dough idea. My fry bake always seem to come out flat and hard. Will definitely try the pizza dough

  37. Jennifer
    May 22, 2012 / 8:58 pm

    Hi Chris! I am from Trinidad, I just want to thank you for making cooking simple for me because most of the days I never know what to cook and having the video to look at is just wonderful. God bless, and thank you again.

  38. Gee
    April 8, 2012 / 6:53 pm

    I am so glad I came upon your website. My background is Caribbean but I was born in Toronto so I am not that well versed in Caribbean dishes. I used your website all weekend to cook for Easter. God Bless!!

  39. jinsette
    February 21, 2012 / 1:10 am

    I love cooking, and living in Trinidad there are a lot of foods I have wanted to try my hand at over the years and had no one to show me – classic example dhalpuri! I am so happy to have found your website. Your recipes are authentic and you make them so easy to follow. I love the fact that you show pictures so I can be sure of what I am doing each step of the way. Also nice to have recipes from other islands – I have a lot of friends from other parts of the Caribbean and have eaten their foods. Thanks much and I will definitely keep checking for recipes I have long wanted to try

  40. lovejoy
    February 8, 2012 / 6:18 am

    i love the recipe from this page l make th bakes and it was so good my boyfriend eat 3 bakes thats how good it was.i want to make one off the recipe every day i love home made food.it remind me off dominica cooking

  41. baby girl
    May 23, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    oh my rustic bakes was good am trying it again. i also made it part of my combining food life style eat it with some lettuce or celery. it contains no fat. i love it. oh i also roast instead of fry

  42. baby girl
    May 1, 2011 / 11:15 pm

    neither seen it in Grenada
    but am trying from scratch in the morning will let you know how it came out

  43. sue
    April 22, 2011 / 2:00 pm

    never seen the pizza dough in Barbados

  44. Arlene
    April 12, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    I Love fry bake and really appreciate the tip on using the pizza dough because sometimes I really dont feel like mixing the dough from scratch……. My mother would sometimes roast the dough instead of fry it.

  45. TrinJam
    April 3, 2011 / 12:52 pm

    Fry bake and tomato choka…mmm…

  46. Natalie
    March 26, 2011 / 5:14 pm

    So i am just sitting here thinking of making frybake and thinking i have to look up a recipe for it when i get your email on how to make fry bake….coincidence? i think not…fate? i think so! 🙂 Thanks so much…you always know what i am feeling to eat!

  47. jeanne
    March 8, 2011 / 1:12 pm

    My husband only eats wheat flour. Have you ever tried making this recipe with wheat flour?

  48. cooking buddy
    March 4, 2011 / 12:44 am

    guys.. if you ever had a hard time cooking something just visit me….
    ill give you your request!! http://tinyurl.com/4neun3j

    thankssss

  49. Richard Reid
    March 3, 2011 / 11:59 pm

    I ate fry Bakes since i was small but could never get the dough right like my Mom used to do so well.
    The pizza dough is an excellent idea.
    I tried it and it's great with Buljol,Smoked herring etc.
    Thanks Chris.Makes cooking a bit easier..

  50. Sandra Young
    May 26, 2010 / 6:27 pm

    I just love fry bakes. I will give this one a try next Wednesday evening as I'm having guests.

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:53 am

      So easy and very tasty.. just can't go wrong.

  51. clotelle
    April 25, 2010 / 11:53 pm

    Hey Chris, I have always wanted to know how to do that. Bake and shark is my favorite thing to eat at cricket in trinidad. I will most definetly do those so they can become my favorite thing at home in Barbados too. thanks a million.

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:53 am

      You won't believe how much bake and shark sandwiches my sister sells at Caribana and all the events leading up to it. For me.. Richards at Maracas bay in trinidad is the true home of great bake and shark. I'm sure there's some tasty options in Barbados as well.

  52. selena
    April 17, 2010 / 11:58 pm

    hi chris, do you hav the recipe for dalphuri roti?

    • June 17, 2010 / 2:51 am

      sorry not yet as I need my moms help for that one. But I did post a sada roti and buss up shut one.

  53. selena
    April 3, 2010 / 3:13 pm

    Thanks so much for the recipe, it is simple and delish! I

    • April 4, 2010 / 2:12 pm

      I'm very happy your enjoyed it Selena.

      happy cooking

      chris…

  54. shannon
    March 19, 2010 / 6:09 pm

    It is also called fry Bread where we are here in Arizona. you can top it with red beans meat or chicken and fave cheeses……….hope everyone enjoy’s

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:41 am

      Shannon, nice to have you here and commenting. If ever I make it down to Arizona, I’ll be sure to try it as you guys do.

      happy cooking

      chris…

  55. Jenelle
    March 18, 2010 / 8:09 am

    Thank you, they came out perfect! Last time I went home I got the Naparima Girls’ Cookbook which basically has the same recipe as you do, but somehow they always ballooned. Thanks for sharing the secret of flipping them as soon as you put them in.

    • admin
      March 26, 2010 / 10:43 am

      Jenelle, thanks for stopping by. I learned that tip watching my my make it a few years back.

      happy cooking

      chris…

  56. martha
    January 4, 2010 / 10:11 pm

    hey chris i was making pizza dough for over 28 years but i have to try yours recipe

  57. Debbie
    December 11, 2009 / 10:02 pm

    Hey Chris:
    Thanks for the sizzle recipe from time to time. I am a novice cook. I am just learning to cook. For your stew chicken ( with or without curry), you said to marinate overnight. My question is: Is it to marinate for this recipe overnight also? What about your other recipes? Shorter marinate or overnight? Which is better? What will you suggest to a novice cook?

    Thanks< Debbie

  58. Dawn
    December 9, 2009 / 9:31 pm

    Chris, tried these today and they came out wonderful! Thanks so much for suggesting using the pizza dough. They were tasty and so easy. I served mine with smoked herring fillets (made up like buljol). Delicious!

  59. Dawn
    December 4, 2009 / 8:00 am

    Thanks for the suggestion of using pizza dough. I can knead flour but my bake dough was never consistent to get that nice puffy look when fried. I’ll aim to pick up some pizza dough and try these in the next week or so. Thanks for sharing.

  60. November 12, 2009 / 8:39 am

    Love the results you got with the pizza. I made a large batch of these this past weekend. I was hosting a birthday brunch. All was gone in no time. I served mine with buljol.
    .-= Cynthia´s last blog ..About Cooking Shrimp & An apology =-.

  61. October 8, 2009 / 8:59 am

    Re: Donna, here’s a link from a fellow blogger who shows the full recipe for fry bake from scratch http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/fried-bake-n-fish/ Sarina has a lot of passion for cooking and does an excellent job sharing the culinary culture of the islands with everyone.

    Re: Casandra.. thanks for your kind comments.. It’s appreciated. Here are a couple links you may eb interested in:

    Videos I make: http://www.youtube.com/caribbeanpot (work still in progress)

    Picture collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/caribbeanpot/

    Happy Cooking

    Chris
    .-= Chris De La Rosa´s last blog ..How to make green Mango Chutney. =-.

  62. September 29, 2009 / 3:00 am

    Thanks for the tip on buying the pizza dough…..Many peoples don't have the time to prep…..And i just want to say your the best, because many of these other cooking websites don't have step by step with pictures. I just want to say this helps out a lot when u don't somethings…….Thanks Chris…….May be you should make more videos on your recipes that would be even perfect……Once again Thanks

    • Sadira
      September 10, 2012 / 2:53 pm

      I agree about the steps and pictures. Very helpful. I love this site!

    • Sherry
      March 6, 2013 / 9:59 am

      Hi,
      I agree; Chris recipies with pics are one of the best!!!

  63. September 27, 2009 / 9:14 am

    I would like to see the process of making bakes from scratch. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet.

  64. September 24, 2009 / 7:59 pm

    Nice recipe. I am going to give fry bake a try this weekend!

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