Absolutely easy Jamaican hard dough bread you will love

9.11.16 | Recipe by Renz

If you want bread synonymous with Jamaica, you definitely need a slice of this Jamaican hard dough bread. A dense, but the slightly sweet loaf is just what you need to make the perfect sandwich.

A baked loaf of hard dough bread with some slices on a cutting board.

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Making a good sandwich really requires you to have the perfect bread. A nice dense one, that is still tender on the inside that can hold all the yumminess we are going to put in there.

This is a popular Jamaican bread. Almost as popular as coco bread.

With a slightly sweeter hint than other bread, it's perfect for sandwiches that require a firm base. It's a little firm on the outside, and the inside is a nice soft, tender dough.

It's also great to use to sap up the gravy from stew chicken, or with some fried sausages. Or even just to eat with your jerk chicken. It's also great on its own.

Well, well, look at me making bread and being so happy about it.

Every week I go to the grocery I grab a loaf of hard dough bread and a loaf of potato bread. Before I could turn around, for sure the hard dough was done.

Since it's perfect for making grilled cheese sandwiches, which my toddler loves, we usually go through it quickly. Also, it's the main one we use to make those nice turkey sandwiches, with cheese and lettuce and tomato. Yum!!

This may not be the exact replica of the authentic bread, it comes pretty close.

If you are looking for another sandwich bread that is smooth and buttery then check out my Caribbean Butter Loaf recipe.


Why is this called hard dough?

This bread gets its name from its consistency. As I mentioned this is a heavy, sturdy loaf.

It stands up to the weight of fillings and also doesn't get soggy.

But don't be mistaken to think that the inside is hard. It's sturdy but tender.

Ingredients for hard dough bread

The good thing about this bread, the things we need are basic pantry staples. You don't need to go digging to find anything fancy

  • Flour - I use all-purpose flour for this. I do not know if bread flour really makes a difference or not.
  • Butter - I try to always use unsalted butter when I'm baking. I usually still to Kerrygold brand. If you do decide to use salted butter then I would omit the addition of salt.
  • Sugar - I use white sugar, but you can also use brown sugar. I would use the one with the smaller grain though so that it incorporates well into the flour.
  • Instant yeast - I would initially use Saf instant yeast. But I only get it when my mom comes up. So I've actually been able to successfully bake using Fleischmann's active dry yeast.
  • Water - use at room temperature
  • Salt
  • Egg white


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Mixer (optional)
Rolling pin

How to prepare hard dough bread

I am especially proud that my bread journey has come to the point where I'm happy to bake.

Baking requires a little strength and a lot of patience. Especially when using yeast.

You do not need a mixer to make this bread. You will have to put a little handwork in, though.

Expect a firm, heavier bread.

Make sure your butter is at room temperature.

In a medium bowl (or in your mixing bowl) mix your dry ingredients. Combine your sugar, yeast, cups of flour, and salt.

Slice the butter into small pieces, then using your fingers (or your dough hook) rub the butter into the flour mixture. make sure the butter really gets mixed in well.

Then add your room temperature water to the batter, gradually, then knead your dough till it's elastic, about 10 minutes. I use my dough hook. I would get tired of kneading.

Resting time now for about 45 minutes. In a greased bowl, place the dough ball, and cover with a damp towel.

Transfer dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, then punch it down.

Using your rolling pin, try your best to roll the dough out in a rectangular shape. I do not get this perfectly, so don't worry about that. We really just need two long sides and two shorter sides.

We now want to tightly roll the dough up. Flour your fingers a little, then grab one long side and roll to the other side as best as you can.

Then place it into your greased bread pan. If the roll seems to be longer than your pan, just push the ends in for it to fit.

For another 30 minutes, we will leave this to rise again.

Just before we put it in to bake in the preheated oven, we will brush the loaf with the beaten egg white to help it get a nice golden color while baking.

Unbaked hard dough bread rolled up to show the tightness of the roll.

What do you eat hardo bread with?

No really, because it's a sandwich loaf you can use it for anything.

It's great with cheese, butter or jam or with ham to make sandwiches.

You can also have it with some of your regular food, and use the bread to sap up the sauce from your jerk chicken or steamed fish.

Hard dough bread sliced  on a cutting board to show the inside of the bread

Storage and reheating

You are probably wondering how long hard dough bread lasts.

Once baked, store the loaf in a bag for up to 5 days outside on the counter, but should be transferred to the fridge after to extend use.

You can also freeze it. You have two options to freeze. You can freeze the dough mixture not baked or freeze it after baking.

If you are freezing just the mixed dough: After mixing, I double wrap it in plastic wrap then place it in a Ziploc bag and freeze.

When I am ready to use it, I take it out and get the dough to room temperature making sure all ice is gone.

I then put it in my loaf tin and bake it as instructed.

If you are freezing after baking: Get the loaf to cool. Then slice it a little thicker than you would normally do. Add to a loaf bag or Ziploc bag and put the freeze.

Make sure no air gets in there so it does not turn to ice.

This option works great if you are a single or small family. You can then take out either one slice or a few. Get it to room temperature and it's ready to use.

I like to stuff a few slices in my toaster oven to warm it up.

A full loaf of baked hard dough bread on a cutting board


  • This recipe yields one loaf but it can be easily doubled. You might as well double it now.

  • Don't want to use white flour? Easily substitute with whole wheat flour to get that "healthier" version.

  • Now if only I can get my slicing of bread to be perfect.

And also some other Caribbean bread recipes I have: