Johnny Cakes, Festivals, and Bammy (great names!) are all starchy sides in Jamaica. Johnny Cakes were originally called Journey Cakes as men would bring them with them to eat on journeys. Jamaica’s famous breakfast of Ackee and Saltfish wouldn’t be complete without some puffy Johnny Cakes on the plate.
Johnny Cakes- Jamaican Fried Dumplings
- Wok or large skillet
- Large bowl
- 3 cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp Baking powder
- 4 tbsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup Whole milk (Sub: any kind of milk)
- ½ cup Water
- 2 cups Cooking oil for frying
- Make Dough – Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. Work in butter with your fingers, like a pie crust. Add milk and water. Stir in with a fork. Add ¼ water at a time until mixture forms a soft dough.Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough with your hands for a few minutes to blend and allow gluten to form. Add a little bit of flour if dough seems too tacky. Be careful not to over-knead the dough so it doesn't become rubbery. Cover bowl with a kitchen for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the dough to rest.
- Assemble – Flour hands and countertop. Break off 12-15 round balls of dough and set them aside. Heat oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, flatten the dough balls a little with the palm of your hand.
- Cook – Oil is hot enough when a drop of water pops. Working in batches so as not to overcrowd them and make greasy. When the underside turns golden brown, flip them to turn golden brown on the other side. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve in a basket or on individual plates along with other foods.