Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Most Requested Recipe: The Caribbean Style Johnny Cake

My most requested recipe, Johnny cakes.  Give it a try for your dinner tonight.

Here is how I make my "Caribbean Johnny Cakes," a delicious fried bread.  It is soft, fragrant and deliciously addicting and brings back wonderful memories of my childhood days.  You can eat it plain, have it with cheese, tuna salad, fried fish or fried chicken.  My kids even have it with jelly.  A warm piece of bread can never be a bad thing.  Warning:  do not have these too often.

I always use a Kitchen Aid Mixer with the flat hook, so if you do not have a mixer you will have to do the cutting in of the shortening and the balling of the dough by hand.  It is an easy recipe and it is a soft dough, the trick is to not over knead the dough and to let it rest before you ball the dough and fry.  I will do my best to describe it here, but I took quite a few tries before I got the hang of it and learned the feel of the dough.  

1.  Put these ingredients in your mixer bowl:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening

2.  Mix on low speed to crumble the shortening to the size of peas.  Stop the mixer as soon as the shortening is distributed and the dough looks crumbly.  Now, add the water all at once.

1/2 cup water, room temperature 

3.  Mix on low speed just until the dough starts to pull together, 60 seconds or less will do it, it should be a soft dough and all the flour mixture should be mixed in with the water.  Not too wet or dry, and it should not be too sticky.  Add a little flour or drops of water if needed to get a cohesive dough.  This is not a yeast bread so you do not want to mix it for a long time.

4.  Remove the dough unto a floured area to shape into a ball and let it rest covered to keep moist for 30 minutes.  This step is important to relax the gluten in the dough and give a fluffy Johnny cake.

5.  Cut the dough into equal size balls and shape them while the oil is heating for frying.

6.  When the oil is hot, flatten the dough a little with your fingers and place in the hot oil.  Fry until golden brown on each side.  Drain on paper towels and enjoy every bite.

I hope it works out perfectly the first time you try to make your own Johnny cakes, they are delicious even when I don't get perfection.

Happy eating!  Please let me know how this worked out for you in the comments below.  Take a picture and let me have a look too.