Haitian bread

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Haitian bread……..mmmmm  ……….oh Haitian bread. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it. Especially caressed with some butter and accompanied with a cup of good REBO cafe (or any Haitian coffee).
I remember those genial squares that would ride in the baskets of the walking merchants passing by our neighborhood. I remember wondering how  they would keep it so moist and warm?
I guess it was because of the sun rays that would directly hit them from the height at which the merchants would hold them.
Well here in NY, we don’t have the privilege of having merchants passing by in our neighborhoods to sell us products. Instead, we have to walk to the grocery store to get some basic needs.
I just had to look up  the Haitian bread recipe online after receiving some good LAKAY coffee from a dear friend  of mine in North Carolina.
So, try it!

INGREDIENTS:

I found this recipe here
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105 to 155 degrees F)
1/4 cup honey ( You don’t have to use as much honey. It’s really optional)
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freeze-dried instant coffee
2 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in honey, oil, salt, nutmeg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until very smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 50 minutes. Dough is ready if indentation (A deep recess in the surface)  remains when touched. (For this part, since I don’t have any stone oven- which we usually use in Haiti-  I put the dough in a 200 degrees F heated oven)
  3. Punch dough down. Press into greased 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch jellyroll pan. Cut dough into about 2 1/2-inch squares with sharp knife, cutting two-thirds of the way through dough. Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes. (As you can see, I made disks of bread instead)
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Dissolve instant coffee in milk; brush over dough. Bake until bread is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

Break bread into squares to serve.

Makes 24 squares.

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Published by Nathalie JB

Bonjou! My name is Nathalie Jean-Baptiste. Yes! I know, my last name doesn’t get any more Haitian than that! Who am I really? I consider myself a renaissance woman. I looooooove learning new skills in any field possible: Culinary, baking, painting, crafting, designing, writing, knitting, sewing. You name it! I often joke while saying “ I’m a tout bagay”. Which literally translates to “I’m everything”. Most say I'd make a great surgeon due to the agility in my hands. Sure, I can manage any tasks requiring detail and precision. It drives my audacity to venture in the kitchen with absolutely no experience. What better motivation than to share my culinary journey with you? To help you get better at things you probably thought you couldn't do. At least, that was my drive! I guess by now, you’ve already figured out that I'm the cook and photographer behind “Pilon lakay”. This blog started 8 years ago as I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about Haitian cuisine. Back home, I was never taught how to cook nor was I ever interested in being in the kitchen unless it involved baking. Instead, I loved preparing cakes and cookies. (Shhhh! I still do). After a couple of years in the US, like most of us immigrants, I missed food from home. The good stuff, you know! So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make of this a personal exploration of Haitian food. Boy what a journey it has been! While cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I wanted to encourage others like me to actually learn and explore Haiti’s gastronomy. I made sure my instructions were personal and beginner friendly. My recipe directions contain a lot more details than any other regular recipes. With a personal touch, it's a depiction of my thought process when I do these many tasks. I'm sure you can cook anything on here! If I can do it, you can too! Come experience Haiti through your taste buds! Meet you in the kitchen! Love, N.

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