Arawak Bread

Cassava (also know as Manioc, or Yuca) is a staple of African, South American, and Caribbean cookery. Flour from this starchy root is rich in carbohydrates, calcium, and vitamin C, and can be used to make a variety of gluten-free baked goods that are delightful in taste, texture, and digestibility. Cassava flour is used to make the dough for a lovely chewy Bammy. This starchy Jamaican fry-bread traces its roots back to the island’s original inhabitants, the Arawaks.

 Basic Bammies

In a large bowl add:

  • 2 cups of cassava flour,
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder,
  • 1 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup fat (half ghee and half coconut oil works great)
  • 1 tablespoon rich yogurt
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Mix up the ingredients with your hands, merging the fat, flour, and warm water into larger and larger lumps, and then slowly working the lumps together to form a cohesive dough.

Once the dough has become both integrated and resiliant, lift it from the bowl and spend a couple of minutes kneading, enfolding, smoothing, and compressing. At the point that a skin has formed on the dough but it still feels warm and springy to the touch, divide it into smaller balls, each about the size of a baby’s fist and then flatten them onto a wooden chopping block with a rolling pin.

Now smear some coconut oil over the bottom of a cast-iron pan or griddle. Fry the flat rounds of cassava dough in the thin layer of hot fat for about two minutes on each side twice.This will create a golden, spotted, chewy and delicious flat bread with which to accompany spicy soups, curries, stews, etc.