Jamaican hard dough bread with its soft thick crust and dense chewy interior is the perfect vessel for your favorite sandwich fixings. Or with butter alongside a mug of steaming hot chocolate. But, don’t take my word for it. Give this super easy recipe a try and taste for yourself. I think you will agree that this chunky Jamaican bread really is second to none.
Just like any other yeast bread, baking harddough bread is a labor of love. I suggest baking this bread when you have several hours of time available. Between mixing, rising and baking it takes about 3 hours in total. Unlike other yeast bread dough that can be refrigerated for hours this bread is very dense with a soft crust. So I do not suggest letting the dough rest beyond the recommended time.
The concern I hear most often from bakers is that they are inexperienced with yeast.
Well, I can assure you that yeast is just as easy as using baking powder. You only need to keep 2 things in mind type and temperature
1. Quick/active/ instant yeast gets mixed into the dry ingredients. Any other yeast is mixed with liquid before it is combined with the dry ingredients
2. Water, milk or other liquid should be lukewarm (think baby formula) anything hotter than 110° will likely kill the yeast too quickly.
Jamaican Hard Dough Bread Recipe
- 4 ½ C all- purpose flour
- 3 TB sugar
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp instant yeast
- 3 TB butter (, softened)
- 1 C. warm water (105 – 125°)
- ½ C. warm milk (105 – 125°)
- 2 TB vegetable oil
Reserve ¼ cup flour for rolling.
Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Attach dough hook to mixer, turn on low and slowly stir in the milk, water, and butter. Continue mixing on lowest speed for 5 to 7 minutes, until flour is completely absorbed and the dough begins to lift away from the side of the bowl. Rub the entire surface of the dough and sides of the bowl with vegetable oil. Return dough to the bowl and cover it with a dry towel. Let dough rise for 30 minutes.
After 25 minutes, flour a smooth clean surface and remove the dough from bowl. Knead dough on floured surface for about 3 minutes to release air bubbles. Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a flat rectangular shape. Roll up dough into a tight log shape and put it inside a loaf pan. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes.
After 20 minutes, turn on oven to preheat to 350°. Bake bread on center rack of oven for 40 minutes. Store in a bread box or other airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
*pay close attention to the times listed. Just a few minutes can mean the difference between a dry or chewy loaf of bread.
Substitute whole wheat flour for white flour, to make a healthier version of this bread. It may require the addition of a little more water. If more water is needed, add water 1 TB at a time.