Antiguan Bun | Spiced Raisin Bread

This recipe I am about to share with you brought me back to my childhood. So as you know I grew up in the Caribbean on an island called Antigua. Where I am from bun is an absolute staple for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner. Yes, it’s that serious!

For YEARS I have been searching high and low for an Antiguan bun recipe that replicates the taste of my childhood and I’ve always come up short. Most recipes were either too hard or too dry and I began to feel as though I was chasing a ghost! My first major attempt was in 2016 and based on the pictures you can see it was a struggle. The buns were hard but full of flavour.

I tried again over the course of a few years which led me to 2018. Now this finished product was the best I created since I started making bun. Before this particular bun was baked, I brushed it with melted butter (think egg wash) and it gave a nice colour, added flavour but it was just greasy. The buns of my childhood were not greasy so I had to try again.

During my recipe hunt (back in the day, I’m talking YEARSSSSSS), I realized there weren’t many resources for Antiguan recipes, especially for bun. It’s so serious that those who know how to make this scared Antiguan treasure refuse to share the recipe but I will!

I would travel back to Antigua just to step off the plane and to be disappointed with the bun that is NOW being produced. You have to understand, I used to purchase bun with the sole purpose of bringing it back to Canada. Let’s be real, bun doesn’t last long in my house and since it is not readily available I had to create my own!

Antiguan Bun is a version of raisin bread, think hot cross bun but with a lighter texture. It can sometimes be made with or without coconut and raisins. I’ve been told that the addition of coconut is not traditional to Antigua but some people like it with it! This isn’t an Easter bun for us, like I said this is a YEAR ROUND treat.

Now let’s get into the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 300g Flour
  • 5g Instant Yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 180g Milk
  • 50-60g Raisins
  • 30g Brown Sugar
  • 3g Salt
  • 50-60g Mixed Spices

Method:

  • Preheat oven at 350F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  • Warm milk and melt butter
  • Add ingredients in stages to a mixing bowl. First add yeast, warmed milk, and sugar, then add flour followed by salt and melted butter.
  • Mix on speed 2-3 for 8 mins, check for dough development then gradually increase the speed to 6 for another 10-12 minutes.
  • Gradually add spices while your dough is mixing, then add raisins.
  • Once the dough is fully developed (do a windowpane test) round dough on a work surface and rest for 30 minutes.
  • After resting, give the dough a final shaping before proofing. The dough can be divided into 2 equal portions or can be baked as 1.
  • Proof dough in a warm place for another 30 minutes before baking.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, score (cut) 2 slits in the top of the dough and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Things To Note:

  • Increase or decrease ingredients to achieve your desired taste or texture.
  • Bun can be mixed by hand as well.
  • Fresh yeast can be used, as long as it is properly converted.
  • Your environment determines the rest and mixing times of dough.
  • Let bun cool completely before cutting it or else it will look gummy.
  • This bun is best eaten warm with butter and cheese!

Here is the full video of how this bun was created.

6 thoughts on “Antiguan Bun | Spiced Raisin Bread

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