Jamaican festival bread recipe – Bex’s Kitchen

Last Updated on December 28, 2023

Jamaican Festival Bread is a popular Caribbean snack that’s easy to make, and perfect for any occasion. This traditional dish is made with flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices, and is usually served with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 

It’s a delicious treat that’s sure to impress your friends and family, and can be enjoyed any time of day. In this article, we’ll take a look at the traditional recipe for Jamaican Festival Bread, as well as some variations and tips for making it even better.

Best Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe

What is Jamaican Festival Bread?

Jamaican Festival Bread is a traditional Caribbean snack that is made with flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices. It is usually served with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 

The bread is usually fried in oil or butter, giving it a crisp and crunchy texture. It is often served with a side of jam or honey, and is a popular snack for parties, holidays, and other special occasions.

Why You’ll Love this Jamaican Festival Bread?

This Jamaican Festival Bread recipe is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. It is also an affordable dish, perfect for feeding a large group of people. 

The bread has a light, fluffy texture, and the spices give it a unique flavor. Additionally, the bread can be served hot or cold, giving you lots of options for how to serve it.

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The Ingredients

To make this delicious Jamaican Festival Bread, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 3/8 cup all-purpose flour/Bread flour: Flour is a fundamental ingredient in bread recipes, providing the structure and texture. All-purpose or bread flour is used in this recipe to create a balanced and tender texture in the Jamaican Festival Bread.
  • 1 tablespoon of White Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness to the bread, enhancing its flavor profile. In Jamaican Festival Bread, a small amount of white sugar contributes to a slightly sweet taste that complements the other ingredients.
  • 2 tablespoons of Yellow Cornmeal: Cornmeal not only adds a subtle nutty flavor but also contributes to the unique texture of Jamaican Festival Bread. It provides a slight crunch and enhances the overall mouthfeel.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil: Oil adds moisture to the bread, resulting in a softer and more tender crumb. It also contributes to the flavor and helps in the overall richness of the bread. Adjusting the quantity allows for a balance between a moist texture and desired taste.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt: Salt is a crucial ingredient in bread recipes as it enhances the flavor and regulates the yeast activity. In Jamaican Festival Bread, a small amount of salt is used to balance the sweetness and bring out the other flavors in the bread.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder: Baking powder acts as a leavening agent, helping the bread rise and become light and fluffy. In this recipe, it contributes to the texture and ensures the bread has a pleasant, airy structure.
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk or water: Liquid ingredients like buttermilk, whole milk, or water are essential for hydrating the flour and forming the dough. They also contribute to the overall moisture content of the bread. Using half of the suggested amount ensures the right balance of hydration without making the dough too wet.
Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe

Directions

To make this Jamaican Festival Bread, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Preheat the Oil

  • In a deep frying pan or skillet, heat enough oil over medium heat to deep-fry the festivals. Ensure that the oil is adequately heated before proceeding with the next steps.

Step 2: Prepare Dry Ingredients

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 3/8 cup of all-purpose flour (or bread flour) with 2 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal.

Step 3: Add Sweetness

  • Incorporate 1 tablespoon of white sugar into the flour mixture. Mix well to ensure even distribution of sweetness throughout the dough.

Step 4: Raise the Dough

  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute the leavening agent, helping the festivals rise during frying.

Step 5: Season with Salt

  • Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Stir well to combine, ensuring that the salt is evenly distributed and enhances the overall flavor.

Step 6: Introduce Moisture

  • Pour in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil according to your preference. Mix until the dough starts to come together, providing moisture and a cohesive texture.

Step 7: Bring It Together

  • Gradually add 3 tablespoons of buttermilk, whole milk, or water to the mixture. Stir continuously until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms, achieving the desired consistency.

Step 8: Shape the Festivals

  • Dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking. Take portions of the dough and roll them into elongated shapes, similar to dumplings, allowing for customization in size based on your preference.

Step 9: Fry the Festivals

  • Carefully place the shaped festivals into the preheated oil. Fry until they achieve a golden brown color, turning them occasionally to ensure even cooking and a crispy exterior.

Step 10: Drain and Serve

  • Once the festivals are golden and crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil. Place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil before serving. Enjoy your delicious and freshly fried festivals!

Notes

Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect Jamaican Festival Bread:

• Make sure the butter is melted before adding it to the dough, as this will help the bread rise.

• Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, as this will help it become light and fluffy.

• Be sure to flatten the dough balls before baking, as this will ensure they bake evenly.

• Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving, as this will help it keep its shape.

• If desired, you can brush the bread with melted butter or oil before baking, for a crispier texture.

Storage Tips

Jamaican Festival Bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze the bread for up to 3 months. 

To thaw the bread, simply place it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.

Easy Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe

Nutrition Information

This Jamaican Festival Bread recipe makes 12 servings. Each serving contains approximately 

Serving Suggestions

Jamaican Festival Bread is a great snack to serve with a cup of hot tea or coffee. It can also be served as an appetizer or dessert. Here are a few serving suggestions to try:

• Serve the bread with a bowl of stewed fruits or a homemade jam
• Top the bread with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream
• Spread a thin layer of cream cheese on top of the bread
• Serve the bread with a side of honey or syrup
• Stuff the bread with a filling of your choice, such as nut butter, cheese, or fruit

What other substitute can I use in Jamaican Festival Bread?

If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, you can substitute some of the ingredients in this recipe. Here are a few substitutions to try:

• All-purpose flour: You can use whole wheat flour or a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour.

• Sugar: You can use honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar instead of sugar.

• Baking powder: You can use baking soda instead of baking powder.

• Spices: You can substitute any of your favorite spices in place of the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

• Butter: You can use coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter.

• Water: You can use almond milk, coconut milk, or any other type of non-dairy milk instead of water.

Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe

Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe

Jamaican Festival Bread is a popular Caribbean snack that’s easy to make, and perfect for any occasion. This traditional dish is made with flour, sugar, baking powder, and spices, and is usually served with a cup of hot tea or coffee. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, dinner
Cuisine: Caribbean, Jamaican
Keyword: Jamaican Festival Bread Recipe
Servings: 3 Servings
Calories: 532kcal
Author: Bex Smith

Equipment

  • frying pan or skillet

Ingredients

  • 3/8 cup all-purpose flour/Bread flour.
  • 1 tablespoon of White Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk or whole milk or water.
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil: Adjust according to your preference
  • 2 tablespoons of Yellow Cornmeal.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.

Instructions

Preheat the Oil:

  • In a deep frying pan or skillet, heat enough oil over medium heat to deep-fry the festivals.

Prepare Dry Ingredients:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 3/8 cup of all-purpose flour (or bread flour) with 2 tablespoons of yellow cornmeal.

Add Sweetness:

  • Incorporate 1 tablespoon of white sugar into the flour mixture. Mix well to ensure even distribution.

Raise the Dough:

  • Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder over the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly to evenly distribute the leavening agent.

Season with Salt:

  • Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Stir well to combine, ensuring that the salt is evenly distributed.

Introduce Moisture:

  • Pour in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil according to your preference. Mix until the dough starts to come together.

Bring It Together:

  • Gradually add 3 tablespoons of buttermilk, whole milk, or water to the mixture. Stir continuously until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.

Shape the Festivals:

  • Dust your hands with flour to prevent sticking, then take portions of the dough and roll them into elongated shapes, similar to dumplings. The size can vary based on your preference.

Fry the Festivals:

  • Carefully place the shaped festivals into the preheated oil. Fry until they achieve a golden brown color, turning them occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Drain and Serve:

  • Once the festivals are golden and crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Notes

Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect Jamaican Festival Bread:
• Make sure the butter is melted before adding it to the dough, as this will help the bread rise.
• Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, as this will help it become light and fluffy.
• Be sure to flatten the dough balls before baking, as this will ensure they bake evenly.
• Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving, as this will help it keep its shape.
• If desired, you can brush the bread with melted butter or oil before baking, for a crispier texture.

Nutrition

Calories: 532kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze Jamaican Festival Bread?

Yes, you can freeze this bread for up to 3 months.

Can I use baking soda instead of baking powder?

Yes, you can use baking soda instead of baking powder.

Can I use coconut oil instead of butter?

Yes, you can use coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter.

Can I use almond milk instead of water?

Yes, you can use almond milk, coconut milk, or any other type of non-dairy milk instead of water.

Conclusion

Jamaican Festival Bread is a delicious Caribbean snack that is easy to make and is perfect for any occasion. It’s made with a few simple ingredients and can be served hot or cold. This recipe is sure to impress your friends and family, and can be enjoyed any time of day. 

With a few simple substitutions, you can customize the recipe to your liking and make it your own. Give this recipe a try and enjoy a delicious Caribbean snack today!

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