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Cynthia’s Guyanese Butter-Flaps

I didn’t have the slightest idea about Caribbean food until one day I came across Cynthia’s renowned blog – Tastes Like Home, where Cynthia writes about Caribbean food and culture, weaving her personal memories into her writing, all this  accompanied with beautiful photographs that Cynthia takes herself. Cynthia and I became instant friends, at the moment virtual ones, with hopes to meet one day in some part of the world  (I  secretly hope that the place will be somewhere in the Caribbean, that I would love to explore).

When a while ago Cynthia announced that her book was going to be released, I was ecstatic. I didn’t have a Caribbean cookbook in my collection and I couldn’t wait to see a great one on my shelf. Cynthia’s book was released recently, just before Christmas. Cynthia was very kind to send me a copy of her book and guys, I’ve been hooked ever since!  Cynthia not only provides the very detailed recipes for over 100 authentic Caribbean recipes but also talks about Caribbean food practices, customs and traditions, and demystifies native ingredients common in the Caribbean cooking. I’ve read the book from cover to cover in a breeze and have bookmarked almost every recipe as they all sound and look equally good!

One of the first recipes that caught my attention was for butter-flaps, delicious breads indigenous to Guyana where Cynthia is originally from. Needless to say, I made them immediately. These are folded rolls stuffed, yes, stuffed, with butter, which melts away slowly soaking the breads as they bake in the oven. Have them for breakfast, with your dinner, or snack. So good! I have a feeling you will love them too. Give them a try.

I can’t wait to try other recipes from the book. Cynthia, thank you for enlightening me about the beautiful Caribbean culture and cuisine.

Cynthia’s book is available for purchase on Amazon and on her Publisher’s web site.

Guyanese Butter-Flaps
Barely adapted from Tastes Like Home: My Caribbean Cookbook, by Cynthia Nelson

My slight changes to the recipe  include, 1)  I smeared less butter than suggested onto the dough circles and I was quite pleased with the result.  2)  I brushed half of the just baked hot flaps with butter and left the other half as is, and I liked those not buttered more. It is a matter of personal taste. So please do as your heart desires.

Makes 12 to 18

Ingredients:

1 + 1/2 cups warm water (110-115F)
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
About 1 cup high quality salted butter, softened at room temperature

Equipment:

1 medium-sized bowl
Plastic wrap
1 fork
1 large bowl, oiled
Damp kitchen towels
1 tablespoon
2 baking sheet-pans
2 wire racks
1 small pastry brush

Directions:

Add sugar to medium bowl, pour in water and stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in yeas.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in warm place to proof for 10 minutes.

Add flour to large bowl along with salt and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the centre of the flour; pour in the yeast mixture (scrape the bow) along with oil.

Using the fork, stir, mixing the flour and yeast mixture until combined. Turn dough and remnants onto work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, dusting lightly with flour to avoid stickiness.

Place dough in oiled bowl and dab a little more oil on top of the dough to avoid a skin. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour and 15 minutes or until dough bulks up.

Punch down dough, knead 1-2 minutes, cut into half, and shape into logs then cut each log into 6 equal pieces (Farida: I cut mine into more pieces as my dough has risen a lot). Working as quickly as you can, form each piece of dough into a solid round ball and then roll into a round disk on a lightly floured work surface. Disk should be about 3-3 1/2 inches in diameter.

Take 1-2 teaspoons (Farida: Cynthia suggest 1 tablespoon or more, so do as you wish), and smear the butter all over the insides but not close to the edges.

Fold over dough to make like a half moon; now fold across to form a triangle. Press down the edges (do not seal them). Place dough on ungreased (!) baking sheets; repeat until all the balls have been shaped, rolled, buttered and folded.

Cover with kitchen towel and leave to proof for 1 hour in a warm place. 20 minutes before the hour is up, preheat oven to 400F. You will need to use both oven racks.

Place pans in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the butter-flaps are nicely browned (not dark brown). You will notices some of the butter has released from the dough onto the baking sheet –  this is normal. The butter inside will melt into the dough.  (Tip: As soon as  the pans are removed from the oven you can turn the butter-flaps upside down so that the melted butter inside trickles down to the top).

If desired, melt 2 tablespoon of butter and brush the butter-flaps as soon as they come out of the oven (you can also use the butter from the baking sheets). Let cool on wire racks.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

19 Comments
  1. Gorgeous rolls! An interesting recipe.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. I heart you my friend!

  3. Oh my, this recipe is a breath taker! So deliciousssss yummy! Will totally make this!

  4. I love Cynthia’s blog and have tried many of her recipes with much success. I also love the fact that she’s a fellow Guyanese. These butterflaps are beautiful! I’ve never made these but do love a hot butterflap.

  5. I love Cynthia’s recipes (well, the vegetarian ones). :)
    Have made these butterflaps so many times, they’re a favourite in my home.

  6. Success! They were lighter and had a much more pleasant taste than I imagined. I was afraid mine would be heavy and greasy, but they turned out heavenly. Thank you!

  7. Thank you for all your comments, friends. Glad you like Cynthia’s recipes. They rock!

  8. I think i did it right! My partner liked it and so as his parents! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Being from Cuba, you’d think I’d have known about these, but sadly, no.
    No matter. Any recipe that includes ‘butter’ in the title, automatically gets my approval. And I love how they’re folded like a crepe. Wonderful idea Fari!

  10. Doesn’t butter always makes it better :-)and I am happy that Cynthia is spreading the knowledge of our delicious Caribbean food.

  11. I have to make this sometime! They look marvelous, and I can imagine those buttery rolls just melting in my mouth! Yummmm!!! :)

  12. Feride, these are adorable! Look like Turkish pogaca, except butter stuffing. I can imagine the flavor butter adds to these beauties. Would love to have these at breakfast!

  13. Hey, Lubos from slovakcooking.com here. I am sort of like you. I have yet also to try Caribbean food but I know Cynthia’s blog. She makes it sound so delicious, makes you wanna hop on a plane and travel there. Which would be especially great now, given how cold it is here on the east coast.

  14. I didn’t know Cinthya’s blog but after your recipe it has been impossible not to click on that link! :-)
    Ciao!

  15. I am Guyanese too – I love to make fish sandwiches with butter flaps!! They are the best comfort food. I usually season, lightly flour and deep fry (yes, DEEP FRY) a nice fillet of fish. I prefer catfish, flounder or tilapia. When it cools down a bit, I take a l wedge of lemon and squeeze it over the fish. Then I make a sweet and hot ketchup/pepper/lemon/sugar sauce, slather my fish, and sandwich it between the butter flap fold!!! HOLY!! Now that I know how to make butter flaps (many thanks to you and Cynthia) I will be making my fish sandwiches more often!

  16. Hi,
    I am Trinidadian, and a great lover of breads….with butter(!) being the ultimate in comfort food! I had not a notion of Butter flaps until I bought one yesterday at a little Bakery at 34 Green Street, Arima. I had lived in that building as a child for 5 years, and was just reminiscing as I passed by.
    I had it this morning, lightly warmed, with butter, Edam Cheese, and the West Indian staple……Pepper Sauce! It was wonderful, so I searched for info about this new bread. I had figured how to make it, but wanted to confirm if there was instructions on line.
    I certainly will be adding this to my repertoire!

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