Pimento Grain

the recipes of a nomadic Jamaican

Category: Pastries

Breadfruit Pain de Mie (Pullman Loaf)

breadfruit pain de mie: a perfect sandwich loaf

breadfruit pain de mie: a perfect sandwich loaf

I received a parcel of breadfruit flour in the mail this week. It’s my first time using the product so there’s quite a bit of experimenting for me to do before I’m completely comfortable with this fruit-based meal, but making this pain de mie was a most gratifying experience.  Breadfruit has been described as bland (I don’t think so, I love my breshe) but there is definitely a concentration of flavor in the flour, it does taste and smell a little like the young (green) fruit. I think a version made with the very fit (turned) fruit would be delightful, and if they could find a way to smoke or toast it before pounding, I’d be their biggest customer. My foreign guests to Jamaica had often described the taste of boiled breadfruit as that of boiled potatoes, and potato bread is my favorite sandwich-style loaf to make, so I decided to develop a recipe for a breadfruit sandwich loaf.

This recipe uses white bread flour along with breadfruit flour; it is not gluten free. It only took two attempts before I was comfortable enough to share the results. The flavor was good on both occasions but on the second time I decided to add more breadfruit flour for a nuttier flavor. The loaf was remarkably moist on both occasions. I will try this recipe a third time, sifting the breadfruit flour, in an attempt to achieve a more uniform crumb. There were a few distinguishable bits of breadfruit throughout the loaf, due to the coarse grind of this particular brand of flour, but the flavor and texture are very much top notch.

perfectly thin slices, ready to to be buttered up

perfectly thin slices, ready to to be buttered up

Please be sure to make this recipe by weight, as bread baking requires very exact measurements; you can buy a small kitchen scale here. If you do not have a pullman loaf pan, you can make this bread to fit into two 5×8 loaf pans. Simply cut the dough in half before the final shaping (step 8). Make a note of all ingredients before getting started, and be sure to have your butter out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start baking. Please be sure to add your wet ingredients to the bowl first if you are using a stand mixer, if mixing by hand add the dry first then make a well for the liquids.

1. To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook, add:

160 grams whole milk (at room temperature)

220 grams warm water (at 80°F)

38 grams sugar

30 grams nonfat milk powder

100 grams breadfruit flour (also sold as breadfruit powder)

500 grams strong bread flour

7 grams instant yeast

2. Mix on low speed for 3-5 minutes or until thoroughly blended, rest in mixing bowl for 15 minutes.

A smooth dough with visible flecks of breadfruit throughout

A smooth dough with visible flecks of breadfruit throughout

3. While dough is resting, in a small bowl, combine

20 grams warm water

13 grams sea salt

4. Add salt water mixture to the dough and mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, until dough is voluntarily pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

5. Add, one cube at a time, until incorporated

85 grams butter (at room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

6. After butter is incorporated into dough, transfer it to a lightly oiled container and mark where the top of the dough is. Cover tightly (with the container’s lid, plastic wrap or a processing cap) and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk. This should take between 1 and 2 hours depending on how warm your proofing area is.

7. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, return it to a lightly floured work surface, punch it down gently then roll it into a ball. Leave the dough on the work surface covered with the bowl or a towel for 10 minutes.

Dough deflated and rolled into a ball

Dough deflated and rolled into a ball

Visible bits of breadfruit on the smooth surface

Visible bits of breadfruit on the smooth surface

8. Gently flatten the ball into a rectangle then roll the dough into a tight 13-inch log. Place the dough firmly into a greased 13-inch pullman loaf pan. You may gently coax the dough into the corners of the pan by pressing the top until the log fits more snugly. Cover with clear plastic wrap or a processing cap and allow to rise until the highest point in the dough is almost in line with the lip of the pan. This will take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your proofing area is. While the loaf is proofing, pre-heat your oven to 400°F.

I was a little rough with my log but bread is very forgiving

I was a little rough with my log, ergo the tears, but bread is very forgiving

these processing caps are an effective and inexpensive way of covering containers in the kitchen

these processing caps are an effective and inexpensive way of covering containers in the kitchen

9. Once the loaf has adequately risen, uncover the pan then re-cover it with its designated metal cover. If you do not desire a pullman shape, you do not have to cover the loaf but I do recommend a light egg wash, in this case. Place loaf in oven then immediately lower the heat to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes, remove the lid then bake for another 20 minutes.

10. Turn the loaf onto a cooling rack. Slice and serve once your loaf is cool to the touch (after at least 30 minutes).


Wild Blackberry-Ricotta Coffee Cake

Good morning!

Good morning!

As it turns out, I am the only person in this hemisphere who was not aware, until recently, that coffee cakes usually contain no coffee. I made this discovery after being offered some coffee cake on an afternoon visit to a neighbor, I was stumped (and quite delighted) by the fact that it tasted like cinnamon and applesauce. On the walk back home, my husband made a quip about working off the ‘coffee cake’, which is when I asked him whether he had actually tasted any coffee. He sniggered, then informed me that coffee cakes are merely sweet morsels served during a coffee break, much like teacakes which contain no tea, and aren’t cakes yet are served at teatime.

I had a tub of ricotta and frozen wild blackberries that needed to be used up, so this recipe was the only natural outcome. It is not very dessert-like but was an excellently dense, indulgent breakfast with a hot cup of spiced coffee. I recommend cooling the cake for at least an hour before serving, and you can make it a day ahead and store, tightly wrapped, at room temperature.

Wild blackberry-ricotta coffee cake

1. In a large bowl, whisk together

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups demerara or turbinado sugar (use less if using white granulated sugar)

2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp cardamom

1 tsp ground ginger

2. In a separate bowl, whisk until combined

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups ricotta

zest of medium lemon

1 Tbsp lemon juice

3. Fold wet mixture into dry ingredients until just blended then mix in

1/2 cup melted butter

1 cup frozen wild blackberries (or blueberries, or cherries, or raspberries, or, or, or…)

4. Scrape batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan, spread evenly then top with

1/2 cup frozen wild blackberries (or, or, or…)

5. Bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes, until cake is set and lightly browned on top

6. Remove from oven and cool for at least an hour before serving at room temperature. 

Deliciously dense

Deliciously dense cake, riddled with blueberries

Mini Callaloo Patties

Flaky pastry stuffed to capacity with delicious callaloo

Flaky pastry stuffed to capacity with delicious callaloo. The ubiquitous Red Stripe in the background

Callaloo is one of the crops I wasn’t convinced  would do well here in the Pacific Northwest, but I was wrong. Until a couple weeks ago when the deer returned to ravage our garden, I was reaping callaloo on a daily basis; I always had enough of the prolific vegetable amaranth to serve at least two meals a week and even more to share with neighbors. The plant bounced back, somewhat, but now we are only reaping a small amount each week. I have been using it in all sorts of dishes: creamed like spinach, steamed with saltfish, baked in galettes, stuffed inside fish and most recently in patties! If you are not lucky enough to be growing callaloo in your backyard, you can find it fresh in most Asian markets, labelled as Yin Tsai, it might be purple instead of green but it tastes the same. Canned is another option that I do not recommend.

One of my favorite callaloo dishes from home is a loaf from Juici Patties that is basically a callaloo pastie but with a coco bread crust instead of the traditional flaky pastry. In homage to Juici’s delicious fillings and the unbeatably light crust of my favorite hometown patty-erie, Green Shop, I have made these mini callaloo patties with my favorite puff pastry recipe. Warning: This is not a low calorie food. 

Get the crust ready:

1. Whisk together

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2. With a pastry blender, cut in

2 sticks very cold butter, cubed

3. In a separate bowl, stir together

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup ice water

1 Tbsp lemon juice

4. Pour cream mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overwork or your pastry will not be flaky. It should be shaggy with butter solids still distinctly visible.

5. Divide into two equal halves, Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours, until you are ready to make the patties.

Prepare the filling:

6. In skillet over medium heat, melt

1 tbsp ghee (or cooking oil of your choice)

7. Stir in

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup finely diced carrots

8. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until Onions are translucent.

9. Stir in

2 finely minced cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

2 tsps finely chopped Scotch Bonnet / Habanero (or 1 tsp Scotch Bonnet sauce) 

10. Return heat to medium and add

3 cups callaloo, washed, drained, chopped and firmly packed

11. Cover and let steam, remove lid and stir after about 5 minutes.

12. Lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until callaloo is at your desired tenderness. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now it’s time to make your patties!

13. Roll half your crust out into a 12-inch square, cut 9 four inch squares from your dough

14. Drop a spoonful of prepared filling onto half of each square,  ensuring a 1/4 inch border

15. Fold empty half of square over the other half and seal the edges together using your fingers.

16. Repeat with other half of crust.

17. Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with a combination of

1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water

18. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Spiced Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler

Served warm with a small scoop of coconut gelato… yum!

I bought a five pound bag of frozen blueberries at Costco a few weeks ago and yesterday I realized that I probably won’t prepare enough yogurt smoothies to use them all up, so I decided to make a cobbler.


To give my recipe a little character, I added two of my favorite spices, cardamom and ginger, to the crust and filling, respectively. If I may say so myself, the crust turned out excellently and I will be using cardamom in pastries more often.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Grease deep pie dish using

1 tsp coconut oil

3. Mix together

2  cups frozen blueberries

1/2 cup sugar (Demerara/turbinado)

1 tsp shredded ginger

Set aside in refrigerator.

4. Combine

1 cup sugar (Demerara/turbinado)

1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Set aside.

5. In a large bowl, combine

3/4 cup milk

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

6. Slowly add dry ingredients and whisk until smooth

7. Pour batter into greased pie dish

8. Remove blueberries from refrigerator and evenly sprinkle over batter; wait for them to sink

9. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes

10. Serve hot with a scoop of your favorite ice-cream.

Serves six

Blueberry Cobbler

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