Caribbean holiday Baking, Christmas, Breads, Cakes and Cookies.
Christmas in the Caribbean is a big island event, and more so with the traditional holiday baking. Local bakeries and home cooks mark the holidays and festivities with the best cakes, breads, puddings and cookies’ Many of these rich cakes are rum soaked fruit -studded, crowned with creamy icing. Are made for sharing, each family always has some of these local delectable’s to share. Growing up I an remember our neighbor Ms Barnes who was originally from the island of Montserrat always bringing over one her famous Montserrat Coconut plate Tart. My family owned a local bakery and we spent days chopping dried fruits, grating coconut and sweet potatoes, Soaking fruits in rum months in advance to be used in steamed puddings and rum cakes. This Month I will be sharing some traditional Caribbean holiday recipes, To include Barbados, Coconut Bread, Antigua, Sunday Bread, Caribbean Christmas Cakes, Dominica Coconut Drops, Avocado Mango Bread, Cassava Biscuits, and more. Some of these recipes are taken from my new cookbook Caribbean Bread Basket which will be on the newsstand by summer 2012
Barbados Coconut Bread
Wherever you travel in the Caribbean you will always find a local coconut bread this one from Barbados is one of my favorite its great sliced toasted and served with butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups freshly grated coconut
2 tablespoon butter melted
½ Cup dried cherries or Cranberries ( Optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 mini loaf pans or 1 large and dust lightly with flour. A non-stick cooking spray can also be used. In a large bowl combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add the grated nutmeg. Add the coconut along with the milk and butter light mix all ingredients together. Pour into prepared pans and bake in the oven for 45 to 1 hour or until the bread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from pan and lightly cool serve warm sliced with butter.
Antigua Sunday bread
Antiguans bakers pride themselves with their breads especially the Sunday bread made by the local Antigua Bakeries. This recipe will produce 4 large loaves
4 tablespoon quick rising yeast( or 2 ¼ oz packages )
3 tablespoon sugar
3 cups lukewarm water
6 ½ Cups All purpose flour plus 1 cup for dusting and kneading
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoon lard or butter
2 teaspoon salt.
Pre- heat the oven to 350 degrees, grease 2 large cookie sheets and set aside
In a medium bowl add the yeast, sugar and water cover and let sit for 10- 15 minutes until the mixture is bubbly. In a large bowl sift the flour, form a well in the center add the shortening, lard and salt. Pour the yeast mixture in mix into a smooth dough, dough should not be sticky. Cover and let rise until dough double its size 45 minutes to 1 hour. Place dough on a floured surface and knead for 5 more minutes dust lightly with flour and cover, let rise for another 45- minutes to 1 hour or until dough double in size. Cut dough into 4 large pieces roll into balls and rest for 15 minutes to relax the dough. Cut a small piece from each circle to decorate the top of the loaves. Form dough into 4 large long loaves beginning from the middle fold dough in half circle and roll on a lightly floured surface with palm of the hands until a nice loaf is formed. Place on a greased cookie sheet, being careful that the seam is at the bottom of the pan. Using the small pieces that was left from each loaves roll each pieces into a long strips, cut strips into 3 pieces join together at one end and plait into a long braid. Brush top of bread lightly with water and place braid on top of each loaves. Secure each ends by pressing securely into top of the loaves. Cover loaves and let rise for 10- 15 minutes or until loaves are double in size. Bake until golden, or sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.