News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. April 13, 2017: A Happy Holy and Safe Easter to all! It is that time of year for meditative contemplation and festive gatherings with family and friends.
It is also the time of year in the Caribbean community, including the Diaspora, for the preparation of plenty fried fish, hard-dough Bread and Spicy, Sweet Easter bun and cheese.
As tradition dictates, little or no meat is eaten during lent into Easter Sunday, so fish is the go to protein and it is cooked in various ways.
Salted fish, especially Cod fish, becomes a staple at meals during the season. Fresh fish is prepared fried, Escoveitched, steamed or roasted.
Sweet spicy Easter Buns are also baked and paired with Cheddar cheese. Theses buns are made with yeast, flour, sugar, butter, spices and dried fruits or with Guinness stout, baking powder, flour, fruits, sugar, butter and spices.
These buns are coveted at Easter and are served at various times through the day. They are eaten by both adults and children and there must be in ample supply for family friends and neighbors.
Some people like to buy their Easter buns from the Bakery, while others like to bake their bun at home. I prefer to bake my own Easter buns. The recipe I use for my Easter buns is the recipe where Guinness stout is one of the ingredients so I call it Guinness Stout Bun.
Today, however I will share with you the recipe for an Easter Bun made with Yeast.
Spicy Jamaican Easter Bun (with yeast)
6 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
8 tablespoons melted butter
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
3 tablespoons vanilla
1 to 2 cups warm water
1/2 cup molasses
2 cups Raisins
1 cup candied cherries
1 cup candid mixed peel
1/2 cup melted butter for greasing etc.
1. In large bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and yeast until well mixed. Add vanilla, butter, molasses and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle. Fold in candied fruits.
2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Grease large bowl with melted butter. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Grease bottoms and sides of two 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pans with melted butter.
4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into 18×9-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Pinch each end of roll to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
5. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 425°F.
6. Bake buns for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with Honey. Cool and serve with Cheddar cheese.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president of the Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/bestfoodscaribbean/