Guyanese Bakes to serve with Salmon Hash

by Samantha Bacchus McLeod

Bakes (known as bannocks) is the only hangover from colonisation that I will accept. The Scots brought their bread from Scotland and left a version of bannock wherever they touched down. I guess, not unlike a Guyanese bringing their cookup recipes, or Americans finding innovative ways to make burgers wherever they go, or even Greeks spreading the joy of meat on a stick.

Food travels, a lot, and thereby leaves a forever impression. Foods from abroad is subtle and gentle as it slowly becomes a part of our history. We consume and rejoice in the sampling of foods from around the world…until one day we realise we do not know from whence this dish came.    

In Guyana, someone in history named them bakes. In my mind’s eye, I see the moment clearly…

A sweltering day in a place lush with thick forests, the haze of the cook fire trailing out the dark interior of the kitchenhouse. The dark-skinned cook, clad in a long shift dress overlaid with a tightly wrapped snowy white apron. A colourful head wrap taming her beautiful curls.

A tall red-faced man, severely overdressed for the weather, sweat pouring down his sideburns.

The man, gesticulating madly, his voice raised: BAAAANOCKS, BAH NOKS!

The cook, still and calm, her eyebrows knitted: Bakes?

So, there you have it, they are called Bakes in Guyana. We serve bakes with stewed fish, or sautéed fresh fish, or with roasted eggplants, or with cheese imported from New Zealand, or with just about anything we can fit nicely into a sliced bake.

I live in Vancouver so alas I must contend with fresh salmon from our pristine waters, woe are we:-)

Head over here for the green seasoning recipe.

Go here for the Salmon Hash recipe.

Serve your bakes with this fresh fish hash, made with local fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes and potatoes.

Guyanese Bakes To Serve with Salmon Hash

Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )
Serves: 10 Prep Time: Cooking Time: Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat


6 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup brown cane sugar

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup milk

1 cup water (a few tablespoons more or less depending on the consistency of the dough)

1 litre canola oil (for the frying) poured into in a deep pasta pot


Place all the dry ingredients into a big mixing bowl, add the liquids, and using your fingers, quickly mix the dough until everything is combined. Do not knead like you would bread – the dough should look like a smoother drop-dumplings dough.

Cover with plastic wrap, and tuck the edges around the dough to keep it moist. Set aside for about 1 hour.

Heat the oil on high, once it is at the deep-frying temp, lower the heat to medium.

Break the dough off into tennis balls size – you should get about 10 pieces.

Flour the board, and gently roll the bakes out into ½ inch thick circles.

Drop 3 circles into the hot oil, cook until one side is golden brown, then flip and cook the other side (it takes seconds to cook these, maybe 15/30 seconds per side).

Place on paper towels, then transfer to a tea towel in a bowl and cover with the edges of the towel (this is to keep them warm until service).

Continue cooking the others. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool, save it for reuse within the next week.

To serve, slice the bakes and butter one side, on the other slice dab a dash of hot sauce, layer 3 thin slices cucumber, fill with 1 tablespoon or more salmon hash (recipe on this blog). Make yourself a big cup of tea and enjoy your Guyanese-style dinner, or breakfast.


Remember to heat the oil on high, then reduce the heat to medium.

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