De Johnny Cake is a delicious, airy bun that you bake in the oil. In the Antilles they are often eaten with a filling of cheese, fish or salad. You can use the Antillean Johnny Cake make it yourself. The recipe — including video — here..
However, sometimes a little extra help is needed, because they can fail the first time. Don't be afraid: you're not alone... it's one of the most common problems: flat, hard Johnny Cakes. Impossible to cut open and just not the way you want them. Let's do something about that together!
Quickly read our checklist with 5 tips to prepare your next 'batch' with Johnny Cakes extra light to bake:
1. Knead it Johnny Cake dough not too long
We often think 'the longer the better' when it comes to kneading dough, but nothing could be further from the truth: it is best not to knead dough based on soda for too long. Bread dough (with yeast) must be kneaded as long as possible to develop the gluten in the flour. Soda dough gets tough when you eat too much of it. It's best to knead the dough until it's smooth – and especially no longer.
2. Leave the dough for the Johnny Cakerest for a while
After kneading it is wise to leave your dough alone for 15 minutes. Do you have time? Then 30 minutes is even better. It can then cool down a bit (the warmth of your hands really influences your result) and 'relax'. This will make it less elastic and therefore easier to roll out. Which brings us right to point three:
3. Rolled Johnny Cakes to the correct thickness
When you roll out the dough, it is best to make 'slices' from 7 mm to a centimeter thick. In this way you ensure that the dough will be thin enough to cook quickly in the hot oil, but still has enough 'body' to expand and create an airy bun. If your slices are too thin, the Johnny Cake guaranteed flat… and vice versa: if you leave the dough too thick, the buns will not be cooked on the inside.
Bonus tip: make the edges of the Johnny Cakes slightly flatter than the middle section!
4. The right temperature
It is important that the oil is really hot. Between 170 and 175 is optimal. If you use a deep-fat fryer, you can choose this as the setting on the pan. Do you use a 'normal' pan? Then make a number of small balls of dough that you hold back for testing. Place the balls in the oil. You've got the right temperature when the Johnny Cakes immediately begin to fizz and float to the top. A trained ear will at some point recognize the sound of this.
5. The correct leavening agents
Are you using enough baking powder? Isn't it too old? Is it not open too long? Baking powder consists (among other things) of a basic and an acidic ingredient. These two ingredients react when they come into contact with moisture or heat. They will fizz and create small air bubbles that turn the dough into a tasty Johnny Cake.
You can also mix your own baking powder by mixing 1 part citric acid (powder) with 2 parts baking soda (soda bicarbonate) – in dry form you can mix these ingredients and store them together. When water is added, they will fizz and cause a reaction that causes dough or batter to rise. You need about half of this baking powder as you would with baking soda from the store, because it is not diluted with starch.
Good luck! You will find our recipe for the tastiest Johnny Cakes here: RECIPE
Prefer a video?
Would you rather watch a video in which I show you how to make the most delicious Johnny Cakes bakes? That's okay! We've put it down for you below:
Johnny Cakes investing
With our tips you should be able to make delicious airy next time Johnny Cakes to bake, just like on Curaçao, Aruba of Bonaire. And then of course the question is: “what do you invest them with?”. As mentioned before, the Johnnies are irresistibly delicious with a simple slice of cheese. But if you really want to unpack, you can choose to invest them with the following things:
- braised cod
- tuna salad
- Pulled Pork
- Chicken Salad
- beef jerky (pulled pork)
- vegan pulled pork (with jack fruit)
These dishes are all great options for 'n Johnny Cake to invest with. My personal favorite is the tuna salad. The children sometimes choose to cover their Johnny with jam or peanut butter. Even that is tasty!
Do you have our new website SOULFOOD.NL seen already? There you will find many more delicious recipes that not all come from the Antillean kitchen!
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