In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Fried Bake For Bake And Shark.

Ever since Andrew Zimmerman raved about the Bake and Shark sandwiches he gobbled down on Maracas beach in Trinidad a few years back, requests for this recipe were overwhelming at times. This prompted me to post a recipe where I cheated a bit and used pizza dough I found at a local grocery store:  Rustic Fry Bake Recipe. I’m not a huge fan of kneading dough, which explains why I used pre-made dough. Today we’ll start off a three part series, where I’ll show you (with the help of my mom…and dad) how to make fried bakes from scratch, the fried shark for the sandwich filling and finally… the creamy coleslaw as the topping.

If you’re like me and intimidated by making dough.. “moms” will show us how simple it is and how easily we can be BEST at making fried bakes. BTW, these may also be known as fry roti, floats and fried dumplings.. very close to johnny cakes as well.

You’ll Need…

3 cups all-purpose flour *
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon yeast (instant)
1 cup water * (warm)
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
veg oil for frying

Notes: You can certainly use a combo of whole wheat flour and all purpose flour if you’d like… to make it a bit healthier? You may need a bit more water as the flour you’re using may be a bit different than the one I used..adjust accordingly. I ended up using 1 1/4 cups water.

In a large bowl place the flour, yeast, salt, margarine, shortening and baking powder. Use your hands to mix everything together.. break up the margarine and shortening. The flour will take on the consistency of peas. Now start adding the water and form into a smooth dough. Please make sure the water is luke warn to help the yeast activate. It will take about 5 minutes of kneading to form a smooth dough. You can always use your standing mixer or food processor if you wish.

Now cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap to make it air tight and place it in a warm corner of your kitchen. Allow it to ‘rest’ for about 45 minutes. (we dusted the top of the dough with some flour)

After 45 minutes, it’s time to work the dough into smaller dough balls.  All you have to do is break the main dough ball into 5 equal sized smaller balls (like the size of a tennis ball). Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet (after you smooth them out) and cover with a kitchen towel to ‘rest’ further. All it takes is 15 minutes this time.

It’s now time to shape them into bake-like form and fry them. Set up a sort of station… the frying pan with the vegetable oil and a draining basket lined with paper towels.

Rub a little veg oil on your kitchen counter surface (we won’t be using a rolling pin) and place one of the dough balls.. rub some veg oil on your fingers and start to stretch the dough while pressing to form a 6 inch (diameter) circle. Work from the center out.

Heat about 2 cups of vegetable oil (any oil you like) on med/high and gently add the now formed bakes into the pot. Remember to place it away from your body, when adding it to the hot oil.

As soon as it hits the oil, be prepared to flip them over (my dad used a fork), this way you’ll have evenly fried and shaped fry bales. Allow them to cook for about 3 minutes, flipping them a couple times so each side cooks evenly. You can also spoon the hot oil on the exposed surface if you like.. not really necessary though. You’re looking for a crispy surface and a golden colour.

It’s then time to fish them out of the hot oil and place on the paper towels to drain off the extra oil. Repeat the steps until they are all fried.

See how easy this was? All you have to do now is slice them open and stuff with the fried shark, saltfish buljol or any of your favourite Caribbean dishes. I also like ripping these and eating with curry dishes..especially vegetarian ones.

Stay tuned for the other 2 parts in this bake and shark 3 part series.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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  1. Candice
    September 6, 2020 / 3:08 pm

    I don’t know why I didn’t find this recipe on your YouTube. But I’m glad google directed me to it, the best fried bake recipe I’ve made. It was exactly how my mother made her fried bakes just for me, she always made mines separately from everyone else because I like my bakes more meaty and they like theirs with the emptiness on the inside to eat their shark or saltfish. But I added sugar to mines cause i like a bit of a sweet taste to mines, I didn’t have shortening but with the butter alone it was still very soft. I would probably add another tsp of salt as well or maybe not, either way I lovvvvvveeeed this recipe! I moved from NYC where Caribbean dishes was always available and my Trinidadian family reside to a state where I don’t have access to such dishes. So I’m having to learn how to cook on my own something I hated doing and during this quarantine, I’ve been following your YouTube recipes and I feel like I’m a chef now lol. Thanks Chris

    May 10, 2020 / 8:47 pm


    • Lisa
      February 16, 2021 / 10:50 am

      Trinis do. Don’t knock till you’ve tried it.

    • Gillian
      August 6, 2021 / 3:02 pm

      Love your recipe

  3. Luisa
    April 28, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    I have tried the recipe and I think it turned out great except it needs more salt but than that it is good in my book

  4. Akeem
    July 12, 2019 / 2:31 pm

    Your recipe worked out really well! I did add a tablespoon of sugar to the mix just because I like my bake with a tiny bit of sweetness.

  5. July 10, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    Hey Chris,
    Can you bake this dough vs. frying?

  6. Vanita
    March 9, 2018 / 11:54 am

    I’ve been using your recipe for a long time now, and my bakes are amazing! Everyone in my family prefers when I make them. Thank you, Chris!

  7. Nicole
    February 2, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    My gosh first time my bakes came out perfect…Thank you so much i followed the video of your mom making it and it came out great…Thanks alot

  8. Rod
    December 20, 2017 / 10:46 pm

    What you call fried bake…I grew up knowing them as floats. As my mother is from Guyana. That is what they called them.

  9. Donna
    May 12, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    Thank you for all your recipe! I will try this tonight.

  10. Jocelyn
    November 6, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    After having tried multiple recipes, I’m glad to say this is by far the best!! I substitute 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour, and use coconut oil as shortening. Perfect every time. Thank you!!!!

  11. K
    October 15, 2016 / 12:59 pm

    I made this twice. The first time I followed it exactly. It came out perfectly. The second time i did not have shortening so I used ghee instead. It was really great and almost the same except the bake was crispier.

  12. Judy
    August 11, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    Just finished trying your fried bake recipe. They came out GREAT! Also made some buljol to go with them. Beautiful. Blessings to you. Keep up the good work.

    • admin
      August 11, 2016 / 10:19 pm

      thx for getting the recipe a try and sharing your thoughts.

  13. March 25, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    I have made fry bake many times and not once has it turned out as good as when I used your recipe. It was delicious.

  14. Rain
    January 26, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    Just tried ur recipie and it was amazing! The bake was soft crispy and hallowish just how I love it! Thank u soo much

  15. Jessica M
    December 19, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    I’m not seeing anything for Jamaican fried dumplings only Jamaican fried festival, u guys doing any?

    • admin
      December 19, 2015 / 11:34 pm

      on the massive ‘to-do’ list. will get to it soon

  16. elaine
    November 4, 2015 / 7:03 am

    Thanks Chris, making bakes will be a lot easier for me now aftre this video

  17. nikita
    October 29, 2015 / 4:18 pm

    Is there alternative for vegetable shortening?
    I dont know what that is

  18. Danielle
    September 13, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    Hi there,
    My grandmother was born in Guyana and grew up in Trinidad. She made bake more like how you would make cornbread in a frying pan, cut it in slices and butter it, and I was wondering if this is the same recipe just Fried?

  19. Debbe
    May 31, 2015 / 8:41 am

    Oh is this a blessing….years ago I had a Guyanese friend who’s mom would make these for me….loved them.Moved to NC and found someone to make me some but now with your recipe I will try and make my own….thanks so much!

  20. Sarah
    April 26, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    The fry bakes looks yummy however i will love a all whole wheat recipe if possible.

    • Shel
      February 25, 2017 / 11:07 pm

      With whole wheat, just add more water.

  21. kerryl-lyn
    April 18, 2015 / 6:23 pm

    Best fry bake recipe I have ever tried it came out really soft love it

  22. Nieceyrh
    April 18, 2015 / 2:52 pm

    I have been making fry bake from ever since, however this is the best best recipe and fry bake I ever had!!! I feel like selling bake after making this recipe.. Thanks Chris! Once again u score!

  23. it was great
    February 19, 2015 / 8:37 am

    It is a good recipe I love it

  24. Cheryl
    November 19, 2014 / 2:43 am

    I love your cooking videos. Since, moving to Hollywood Florida & working & living near carribean folks I’ve tasted many good foods from them. I’m a backwoods country girl & I love your videos thanks. Looking forward to your next video.

  25. Mee
    November 12, 2014 / 4:02 pm

    Can I use olive oil to fry? Can anyone answer this for me please.

    • admin
      November 12, 2014 / 5:20 pm

      Olive oil breaks down at high temps and it will also taint the flavor of this (positive or negative – I don’t know).

  26. Sandee
    November 5, 2014 / 8:40 pm

    Hi, if I use self rising flour instead of all purpose, can I eliminate the yeast.

  27. Sue Sim
    October 16, 2014 / 11:49 am


  28. Sue Sim
    October 16, 2014 / 11:48 am

    I made and they were awesome. I used 2cups flour, 1tbsp white sygar and 1/2cup water, that gave ne six bakes

  29. Sue Sim
    October 16, 2014 / 11:42 am

    It was awesome I used 2cups flour and half cup water and added a little white sugar and I got six bakes

  30. Kate
    May 3, 2014 / 9:22 pm

    Tried this and my bakes turned out awesome!!!! Thx much!

  31. Urban
    April 6, 2014 / 1:47 am

    Like this recipe and will try soon. What I’d like and have looked and searched around site and couldn’t find is a “Johnny Cake” dish/recipe. I remember eating lots of things often breakfast dishes like Saltfish and Johnny Cakes.

    • MaryTX
      August 10, 2014 / 5:32 pm

      My husband’s family is from the island of Saba. They make awesome johnnycake! I’ll get the recipe and post here soon.

  32. Christy
    January 23, 2014 / 11:02 am

    the bakes were perfection, i used 3 tablespoons of butter and no shortening.

  33. Christy
    January 22, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    The bakes were perfection!!! I did 3 tablespoons butter and no shortening

  34. January 12, 2014 / 12:14 pm

    The bakes turned out perfectly. My Irish-Canadian husband loved it. Said it was the best bake he has ever eaten. Boy, were they ever big. Think I would make six bakes next time, instead of five. Had to settle for scrambled eggs, baked ham and avocadoes instead of shark or salt fish, but it was still great.

  35. Ms. Panda.
    October 7, 2013 / 9:02 am

    Listen, this is the best recipe for bakes or (float in my country). I used butter only, brown sugar and a little nutmeg. YUM

  36. Elizabeth
    August 21, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    Great recipe! I used my bread maker (on dough setting) to mix and kneed the dough and it turned out wonderful, without the work 😉 I followed my machines instructions, liquids on the bottom (water and soft butter), followed by flour and then the rest. I did add abt 3 tbsp more water. From the machine right to the stove. No more rest needed.

  37. Browne
    August 12, 2013 / 11:44 am

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for sharing. I tried this recipe and it was perfect. I love bakes but never had a good recipe, so thanks so much!

  38. Beverly
    August 10, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    My mom used to make this a lot. I use self rising flour (do not add salt, baking soda/powder). They turn out great.

  39. Amina W.
    March 18, 2013 / 7:28 pm

    I thank you for sharing this easy recipe. It came out perfect. I used all butter and and not as much water and added a touch of brown sugar. My kids didn't even want to eat dinner they only wanted the bake. I am going to try more recipes. Thank goodness you are using your gift to help others.

  40. Gis
    February 22, 2013 / 5:44 am

    Just tried this and they came out perfect!

  41. anita
    November 26, 2012 / 2:07 am

    its excellent…

  42. Michael
    November 18, 2012 / 11:34 pm

    Hi Chris, I made the bake yesterday for the first time for our family picnic we used saute salt fish "hake" as the fill. They were wonderful every body love them.I will be making more of this bake with diffren tfilling. Thanks for shearing.

  43. squishymonster
    November 8, 2012 / 8:49 pm

    This looks so perfect!!

  44. Brian
    October 29, 2012 / 5:54 pm

    Nice recipe as always.. thanks

  45. Andrea
    October 15, 2012 / 9:04 pm

    Hi Chris: Its the first time I am trying the fried bakes with yeast. Great stuff as usual. They remained lovely and soft on the following day. Thanks again and God Bless!

  46. October 14, 2012 / 8:44 am

    Love your cheat's version of the floats! Using pizza dough is a great time saving idea:-)

  47. Carisa
    October 13, 2012 / 1:45 pm

    Omg! Great recipe! Made it twice already. Finally, my bakes are not hard as rock stone. I love you, man!

  48. Pam
    October 6, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    For the first time my fry bakes came out perfect. Thank you for the recipe. Had it with saltfish and it was delicious. Sure enjoy your website. You are my go to for all my trini food instructions. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you on the "Food Channel" soon.

  49. Kay
    October 3, 2012 / 3:52 pm

    This looks so gooood! By the way, the new Print Friendly option for the recipes (I'm assuming it's pretty recent) is a great addition! It'll make it easier to print and keep track of these recipes. Thanks!

  50. Ramona
    October 3, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    Hi Chris I tried it and Wow!! it came out great and they stayed really soft next day. Thanks for sharing agin. God bless

  51. Priya
    October 3, 2012 / 1:36 pm

    Thanks for posting the recipe, I will be trying this tonight with some stew tomatoes and saltfish!

  52. Maddy
    October 2, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    love it! Came out perfect!

  53. natasha
    October 2, 2012 / 6:33 pm

    Looks great! Will try it tonight!

  54. Derrunay Russian
    October 2, 2012 / 6:32 pm

    Excellent recipe as always!!!!!!!!!!! Waiting for the other tow parts. I will try this one very soon. Thanks from Venezuela Chris!!!!!!!!!!

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