Coming from island living to the Somerset countryside was a BIG change. My life, up until our move, was on the tiny Island of Bermuda which is smack dab in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Just 53.3 square kilometres (20.6 square miles) – really! Surrounded by the ocean and beautiful pink sand beaches to fields of cows and sheep. I do love Somerset and find country living absolutely delightful but there are times when I do feel a little homesick for my Island Home. When those feelings come along I always do the same thing – make up a batch of Bermuda Johnny Bread.
When this bread was originally baked (‘back in the day’ as we Bermudians would say!) it was called Journey bread because it was quickly noted that it kept better than regular bread while on board a vessel or ship for long periods, when out to sea. Bermuda has a rich maritime history so this bread would have been baked in many a household and packed up for local sailors to take on their journeys with them.
Johnny Bread is a favourite amongst Bermudian households mainly as a quick alternative breakfast idea. It is made without yeast and therefore has the appearance of unleavened bread. All ages love it and you can eat it on the go.
Every Bermudian household has their own recipe for Johnny Bread. This recipe (below) has been our family favourite handed down through the generations. Give it a try. I like my Johnny Bread warm from the griddle slathered with butter and a cuppa by the side. It’s a little taste of Bermuda, and in our house it’s definitely not just for breakfast!
Bermuda Johnny Bread
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. butter
1/2 C. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Measure milk, add egg and beat slightly.
Add to dry ingredients. Roll out onto a floured board to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into rounds using a cutter.
Bake on well buttered griddle, medium heat, turning once.