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slice of caribbean bread

Caribbean bread

  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 25 minutes (including rising time)
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 1 bread 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Caribbean
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Caribbean bread will satisfy all your cravings for a rich fluffy bread with none of the hassles of a brioche! It has a crunchy dark crust, a very soft center, and the most buttery crumb.



For the Caribbean bread dough:

  • 125ml whole milk (½ cup)
  • 1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 8g active dry yeast (2 tsp), around 1 packet
  • 500g all-purpose flour (3 ½ cup)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 200g butter, cubed (fridge-cold if you’re making the recipe on a warm day) (7 oz)
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp milk


For the Caribbean bread dough:

butter bread dough in mixing bowl

  1. Activate the yeast. Heat the milk to 32°C (90°F) and pour it down into a small bowl. Add in the sugar, yeast and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 min. Bubbles should start to appear, meaning you will have activated the yeast.
  2. Make the dough. Mix the flour and salt together in a big mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the milk mixture and the beaten eggs. Using one of your hands, bring the mixture together until a soft dough is formed. Tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 min, until you have a smooth dough that is just slightly sticky.
  3. Rest. Lightly oil another mixing bowl, put the dough in it, and cover the bowl with a damp dishtowel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, around 1h30 to 2h, in a warm place. Your dough will thrive at 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F).


For the 3-strand braid:

3-strand bair on baking parchment

  1. Divide the dough. Punch the dough and fold it in on itself to knock it back and remove the air. Weigh your dough and tear off 1⁄3 of it. Cover it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. You’ll need it later on for the decoration. 
  2. Prepare 3 ropes. Now divide the 2⁄3 of the dough left into 3 equal pieces. Roll each of these on a lightly floured surface or using the palms of your hands into ropes measuring 50cm (20in). Try to keep each rope the same thickness and length. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the ropes on it (lengthwise). It’s okay if the ropes are sticking out of the tray for now. Pinch the ends together at the top to join them. Rotate the tray vertically so the ropes are in front of you. It’ll be easier for you to braid if you’re not used to it.
  3. Shape the 3-strand braid. Take the outside rope on the right and place it over the rope next to it (the rope to the immediate left).  The rope that had been on the right becomes the middle rope. The original middle rope is now on the right. Now take the rope on the left and place it over the ‘new’ middle rope (the rope to the immediate right). The rope that had been on the left is now in the middle. Now repeat the sequence (alternately placing the right rope over the middle rope, then the left rope over the middle rope) until you get to the bottom. Keep the braid fairly tight as you work your way down.
  4. Make a circular crown. Pinch the ends together and tuck them underneath. Then join the ends of the braid to form a circular ‘crown’. Don’t worry if a spot looks a bit messy, you can hide any flaws with the decoration. Adjust the braid on the baking parchment so that it’s in the middle of the tray. Now, it’s time for the decoration that will be placed on top of the braid. If it’s a particularly hot day, you can place the tray in the fridge while you shape the pomme cannelles and vanille.


For the decoration:

butter bread dough shaped on baking parchment

  1. Preheat the oven and divide the dough. Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F). Take the dough out of the fridge. Weigh it and tear off 1⁄3 of it. You’ll use it for the vanille, but for now, cover it in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge.
  2. Shape the pomme cannelles. Now divide the 2⁄3 of the dough left into 3 equal pieces. These will be for the pomme cannelles. Roll each of these on a lightly floured surface or using the palms of your hands into ropes measuring 35cm (14 in). Wrap each rope around itself, placing one layer on top of another, like a snail shell. This will give volume to the small ‘pile’ of dough. The extremity of the bun should be pointy. With a pair of scissors, make small notches in the pomme cannelles every 2cm (1 in). Then place them symmetrically on top of the Caribbean bread.
  3. Shape the vanille. You’re almost done! Now it’s time to shape the vanille. Take the small dough out of the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each of these on a lightly floured surface or using the palms of your hands into ropes measuring 60cm (24 in). Pinch the ends together at the top to join them and twist the two ropes together tightly. Place the vanille all around the exterior of the Caribbean bread.
  4. Bake. If you want your Caribbean head to be extra fluffy, put a roasting tray on the bottom shelf of your oven, and carefully fill it with boiling water. This will create steam that will keep your bread soft. Mix the ingredients for the egg wash in a small bowl and delicately brush the loaf. Bake the Caribbean bread for 35 min on the middle shelf of your oven. If the top browns too much, you can cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil during the last 10 min. Caribbean bread is ready when it has a dark brown color and sounds hollow when tapped. Leave the butter bread to cool completely on the baking tray before slicing it.


Caribbean bread is best the day it’s made but it’ll keep, wrapped airtight at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 297

Keywords: breakfast, yeast dough, caribbean, butter bread