Thursday, January 31, 2013

Johnny Bread

Most Bermudians wake up mornings and crave Johnny Bread. Well…any right in their mind Bermudian anyway.

The quest for the perfect Johnny Bread is something that has drove me a little nutty. So I turned to my fellow Bermudians on this quest and asked for a few recipes that they use. I received 3. Although the ingredients where the same the amounts of each ingredient differed. Also the technique in executing the delicious breakfast bread differed as well.

My first attempt was with baked Johnny Bread. Although easy to execute I felt I failed because my bread was a tad dry. Perhaps I should NOT have baked it in my cast iron pan. Perhaps I should have cut in the butter better. However, the taste was great! And  my 13 year old teen boy child enjoyed this one more so over the others.

This recipe came from my friend Jenita. I will definitely be making this again and updating you on the outcome!


Jenita’s Recipe for Johnny Bread

Jenita Johnny Bread

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter

Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in butter.  Add beaten egg and milk.  Make dough in to a ball adding more flour if dough is too wet.
Put dough in greased rounded cake pan and flatten into circle.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


My next recipe comes from Julianna. The is out of the Ethiopian Orthodox Cookbook. It uses less sugar.. and less butter and the outcome was not only pretty Johnny Bread like but also darn delicious. It’s technique was to roll the dough and cut round circles which is the typical way to prepare. It allows for good judgment in sizing your bread so that it is perfect enough to cut and butter up and put cheese on. Johnny Bread is friggin delicious toasted with your favorite melted cheddar.

Ethiopian Orthodox Johnny Bread


1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp margarine
2 tsp baking powder

Mix dry ingredients then add water. Knead lightly into a ball. Let sit for 10 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured board and bake in cast iron frying pan on low heat. I use a glass and cut round circles and fry in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil. Keep an eye on them low heat. I have also baked in the oven. Flip to brown other side.  Enjoy.




My third and final recipe comes from a recipe that I have wanted to try for ages. Again..same ingredients but vastly different in amounts. This one has more volume of ingredient therefore making more bread which is good for my family of 5. I found the execution very difficult as I tried to follow directions on each one as they were written so I can compare. This recipe suggest that you break of the dough in tennis ball size pieces. Now that is pretty big size pieces…and the trick to perfect Johnny Bread is when you are “baking” them in the pan over low heat you have to make sure your inside is baked as well. This method caused me to over cook the outside and under cook the inside. I had to make the dough more like 3/4 of the size of a tennis ball!

This recipe got my vote for BEST tasting recipe! They are all similar and great in taste but this one reminded me of my younger days spent in Bermuda eating toasted Johnny Bread with cheese.

I am going to try this recipe again with the technique of rolling and cutting dough in circles and this recipe in full does suggest trying it that way.

Lambes Johnny Bread

source: Big Oven


Pictured sliced and toasted with cheese! YUM!

3 cup Flour

3 tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Sugar

1 cup milk

1 Egg

1/2 cup Margarine; or shortening

Oil; for frying


Cut margarine into dry ingredients until crumbly.

Mix the milk and egg together and slowly add to the crumb mixture.

Combine thoroughly and knead on a floured board until well incorporated and not too sticky.

Break off pieces about the size of a tennis ball. Flatten to about 1/2 inch and fry in shallow oil over a low to medium flame until golden. Repeat on other side. –  (((I would use the roll out on floured board and cut in circles technique instead.)))

Drain on paper towels and serve with butter and/or cheese.




  1. I'm not familiar with Bermudian food but this sounds like our bake. This would be closer to pot bake which is very delish! The last recipe made my mouth water lol.

    1. Jehan! I love bake! And it is similar but I think Johnny Bread has a more distinct taste... It can easily be enjoyed alone!

  2. Now you have me tempted to make some since it was being discussed in the office today. Hmmm

  3. I live in the Bahamas .Johnny cake it is called . Which goes very well with a bowl of stew fish , stew Conch or boil fish .

  4. We had some yesterday after our Church service. They were probably cut out with a glass. They were oh soooo delicious. Now I need to make my own.