Saltfish Souse and Bakes

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    • 2¼ cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
    • 1½ tsp. baking powder
    • ¾ tsp. fine salt
    • ¾ tsp. sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. plus 1½ tsp. unsalted butter
    • 2 cups vegetable oil
    • 5 oz. boneless, skinless dried salt cod
    • 1 Tbsp. virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, melted
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped
    • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and finely chopped
    • 1 mini or Persian cucumber, finely chopped
    • ½ medium green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    • ½ medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    • ½ medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    • ½ small Madame Jeanette or Scotch bonnet chile (see headnote), finely chopped
    • ½ medium white onion, finely chopped
    •  Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 ripe medium avocado, sliced


  1. Make the bakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using your fingers, work in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly consistency. Add ⅔ cup of cold water and, using your hands, stir the dough until it forms a coherent ball, about 5 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Roll out the dough to a slab about 1 inch thick. Using a floured drinking glass (about 3 inches in diameter), cut out 5 rounds from the dough. Transfer to a plate, cover with a damp kitchen towel, and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the souse: To a large pot, add the cod and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 20 minutes, skimming the foam. Using a fine-mesh sieve, drain, then rinse under cold running water. Cut off a small piece of cod and taste it. If the cod is still too salty, fill the pot with fresh water, add the cod, and boil for 5 minutes more. Drain and rinse again, then set aside to cool. Using your fingers, tear the cod into small pieces and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the coconut oil, scallions, tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, chile, and onion, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  4. To a deep medium skillet fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, add the oil and turn the heat to medium-high. Using your hand, gently flatten the rounds of dough. When the temperature reads 350°F, fry the rounds, turning once, until golden brown, about 6 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bakes to a paper towel-lined plate.
  5. To serve, slice the bakes in half horizontally and fill them with the cod mixture and avocado.

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