Trinidad fry bake is a traditional fried bread of Trinidad and Tobago. Also known as a "float," the bread is deep fried, sliced in half and served as a bun for fried fish or shark. When combined with fried shark, the resulting sandwich is known as a "shark and bake." Fry bake bread takes various forms, but it's simple to make at home and serve as a flavorful side item, a breakfast bread or a bun for any type of sandwich.
Combine the flour and a pinch of baking powder in a bowl. All-purpose flour is usually used in Trinidad, but you can substitute whole wheat flour for a healthier fry bake. When the fry bake is used for a shark and bake, a pinch of salt is typically included in the dough. However, you can omit the salt if you prefer; the oil adds its own flavor to make up for it. Alternatively, for a sweeter version of the fry bake that is appropriate for breakfast, add a few tablespoons of sugar and omit the salt.
Slowly add cool water, kneading it in with your hands. When enough water is added, the dough should be tender and should form a soft peak when pinched with the fingers.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes and allow it to rest for at least for 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into balls. The larger the ball of dough, the larger the fry bake will be, so adjust the size according to your preferences. For example, make the balls approximately 1 1/2-inches for sandwich buns or 2 inches or larger for bigger pieces of fry bake.
Flatten the balls by rolling them out with a rolling pin. For a fry bake that is made in the traditional Trinidadian style, roll out the dough until the resulting pieces of dough are approximately 1/4 inch thick. However, you can make the dough thicker to yield a puffier piece of fry bake.
Pour cooking oil into a frying pan until it is about 1 inch deep. In Trinidad, canola oil is often used, but you can substitute peanut oil if you prefer a healthier fry bake that is free from trans fats. Heat the oil on medium-high. When the oil begins to bubble slightly, it is ready.
Place one piece of dough into the frying pan. If the dough begins to puff up in about 2 seconds, the oil is the right temperature.
Add 2 to 3 more pieces of dough to the oil. Do not overcrowd the pan or the fry bakes will not cook correctly.
Turn the dough after approximately one minute and fry the dough for another minute; thicker dough might take a bit longer. When the dough is finished cooking, it should be a light golden brown.
Remove the fry bakes from the oil with a skimmer and allow them to drain on a platter covered with paper towel. Serve hot or allow the fry bakes to cool slightly and then slice them in half horizontally to create a bun for a sandwich or for a shark and bake.