Jamaican Hard Dough Bread & Gratitude

Sep 5, 2013 by

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been in this space. It took a few inquiries to realize how long it has really been since my last post. Funny how time flies when you’re having fun! I’m truly happy to get back to some sort of “normal” as my life is falling into a new routine. In life’s many twists and turns, there is never a dull moment. Through it all, one thing for sure that I have learned is to always live in gratitude. I’m grateful to be able to share a post with you today.

Upon realization that I would have to spend my summer in Canada, I decided that this summer had to be special. A summer filled with firsts – my favourite kind of experience. There’s no use dwelling on how things used to be. Things are changing, so its time to embrace what is coming and smile while you’re at it. Earlier this year, I was suffering with a bout of chronic pain and I vowed to feel better before my birthday. I spent weeks in physiotherapy and made some major changes to my diet. No joke – I even gave up baking for a few months. I also limited my consumption of grains/legumes and reduced my wheat intake drastically. I started to feel different and also look different. Which was perfect considering one of my favourite experiences this summer was participating in Toronto’s annual Caribbean Carnival – Caribana. Yes, I did it. I put on a costume and walked (and sometimes danced) for hours, all the while praying that I would not suffer too much when it was all over. I’m grateful that I had an awesome, pain-free experience.

I have more things to be grateful for. I have a houseful of students! My husband has been on a course for quite some time now. My son just started First Grade and my daughter is officially in Kindergarten. Oh, and there’s more. I also returned to school. Can you believe it? I’m officially a University student! So many changes are happening all in one go. If I thought I was busy before, well I guess life just got busier. We all have to run with it and try not to get overwhelmed. We are doing exactly what needs to be done. This is indeed a September like no other!

Now that the summer is over, I can reminisce on food from home and maybe even steal some time to whip up a few things. I could not wait to try this Jamaican Hard Dough Bread recipe by Enid Donaldson. There is no bread that compares with authentic Jamaican Hard Dough Bread. I am fully aware that I’m biased, but I need you to understand. Jamaican Hard Dough Bread is the TRUTH! You just can’t go wrong! Although I don’t eat as much bread as I used to, I will still bake from time to time and share my experience. The occasional slice will be just enough for me.


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Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry


For those who are not familiar with Hard Dough (or “Hardo Bread” as we call it) please allow me to provide a sort description. Hard Dough bread may be considered a true staple in Jamaican fare. It is a basic white bread. There are whole wheat versions available too as a healthier alternative. Hard Dough Bread is a rich, dense, chewy textured bread that can be eaten at any time of the day. It can be enjoyed with the following meals: Ackee & Saltfish, Steamed Callalloo (similar to spinach), Corned Beef (in a sandwich, if you like), Cheese, Jerked Chicken, Jerked Pork, Fried Fish, Avocado, Fried Eggs, your favourite porridge, Jamaican Hot Chocolate, your favourite fruit preserve (I LOVED Guava Jelly on my Hardo Bread), French Toast, or even just a slice with butter – you name it, it works well. Just trust me on this one. You can’t go wrong.


Jamaican Hard Dough Bread

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 Loaves


  • 2lbs All Purpose Flour, Unbleached
  • 2 Tsp Instant Dry Yeast
  • 4 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cups Water


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt
  2. Using a pastry cutter (or your fingers) incorporate the butter into the flour mixture
  3. Gradually add water and knead for about 15 minutes using the kneading attachment of your mixer
  4. Remove from the mixing bowl and form into a boule
  5. Place dough into a well greased bowl and cover with a towel for at least 40 minutes
  6. Preheat oven to 375F
  7. Remove the risen dough to a floured surface. Divide into two equal parts then shape dough to fit into 2 well greased loaf pans
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes
  9. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely


Adapted from The Real Taste Of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson



I saw the ingredients and loved how easy it was to prepare. However, I thought the suggested quantity of butter was not enough for 2 loaves, in my opinion. Being the rebel that I am, I added more butter. Yes. Yes I did.


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Ingredients for Jamaican Hard Dough Bread (water not shown)


I loved that I didn’t have to get too physical with this dough. Cutting in the butter was the step that used the most energy.

 Jamaican Hard Dough Bread_3


My handy-dandy dough kneading attachment did the hard work for me.


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The dough did not rise too much, but you could definitely see a change in volume.


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The dough is placed in a bowl, generously greased with butter



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The dough is divided evenly and placed in 2 loaf pans


Both loaves turned out perfectly. I have no complaints whatsoever. We all enjoyed this bread very much. The next time I make it, I will have to give a loaf away. It’s too good not to share!


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Jamaican Hard Dough Bread – The Lovely Pantry


As much as I love Hard Dough Bread, I haven’t found any in local stores that taste great to me. Usually the bread is just too hard or has a weird texture. Although this bread isn’t as dense as the “Hardo Bread” I know and love, it is a great alternative. I will wait until I am in Jamaica to fully enjoy my Hard Dough Bread. But until my next visit, I will gladly use this recipe and have freshly baked Hard Dough Bread whenever I’m in the mood.


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  1. Omg … it was more than a pleasure to see this post this a.m. I had to pause to comment immediately after reading!! So proud of you and all that you have achieved. Now … the hardo bread … YUMMY! I need to try this one soon and can corroborate (hope that’s how it’s spelt .. lol) all you have said. Guaranteed to please, especially when it is warm.
    Nioka recently posted..RefocusMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Nioka. You have been right there with me through my accomplishments. This is just another journey :-) Fresh bread from the bakery…is heavenly. I have such fond memories of eating the bread right out of the bag on the way home. We would get home with half of the bread! Good times!
      lovelypantry recently posted..Jamaican Hard Dough Bread & GratitudeMy Profile

  2. Wow Lyn, so many changes, and they’re all good! That carnival sounds so much fun, I’m glad you did it. This looks like a wonderful bread to have toasted in the morning!
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes recently posted..Lemon Frangipane Bundt Cake #BundtaMonthMy Profile

  3. Aw congrats on school!! It sounds like you’re doing great!

    This bread looks SO delish and versatile, amazingg!

  4. Lovely bread! I hope you get some relief of your pain. Nice to see with it you still have such gratitude. Staying positive is the best thing to do.
    Renee recently posted..Little Bundt Pound Cakes for #BundtAMonthMy Profile

  5. Yaaaaaaay! Lyn, you’re back with a new post! Although we chat on Facebook, I’ve really missed your blog posts. Whoa, you’re a busy momma! What are you back in school for? That’s exciting! And you’re also a hot momma – you looked amazing at Caribana! That must’ve been so much fun. I can’t tell you how much I adore bread and this loaf looks delicious. Gorgeous photos too, girl. Good luck to you and all the other students in your house this school year :)
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently posted..#IFBC 2013, Kathleen Flinn and Caramel Swirl Chocolate Ice CreamMy Profile

  6. Tya

    nice..although i rarely do white bread, this looks good..gosh you make me feel bad for not using my Enid Donaldson book more often..;)…lol

  7. Lyn, Congrats for becoming a student university :)
    I hope you’ll can keep up with all of your business…
    Btw, I’m so interested with this jamaican bread. Although it’s my first time make it, I hope it will turn out just like yours. It’s so fabulous you know …. 😀

  8. Oh, dear Lyn. You are one brave, beautiful angel. Your attitude is absolutely admirable. I pray you dance through more and more days pain-free. And are able to bake breads such as this hardo one. I trust/hope this recipe is adaptable to my bread machine because I’m going to give it a go…Unless you advise otherwise =)

  9. Georgia

    Time to bruk out di condensed milk! Lawwd!

  10. That is some lovely looking bread. And by your description I could see how it would go really well with your other recipe for Jamaican Hot Chocolate. Thanks for sharing these recipes. :)

  11. Your bread looks quite lovely! I’m researching recipes for hard dough bread when I stumbled on yours.