Growing up in Nigeria, my family and I ate Agege Bread every weekend with a plate of akara and a bowl of piping hot custard.
Agege Bread is a popular, locally made bread that is loved by Nigerians across the board, especially blue-collared Nigerians, because of its affordability and ubiquitousness. Agege Bread can be found in any bakery or supermarket, but people prefer to buy the bread from street hawkers. The hawkers, who are typically younger girls, can be seen walking around with a tray of bread loaves balanced precariously on their heads. The hawkers are usually flagged down by sweaty bricklayers, boisterous carpenters, fatigued construction workers, and impatient policemen and traffic wardens.
Agege Bread can be paired with a number of staple Nigerian foods including: bean cake (moin-moin), pepper soup, spicy tomato sauce, and fried plantain. The soft texture of the bread makes it easy to break and pull apart without needing a knife to slice it into small, or large, pieces.
The traditional Agege Bread is quite difficult to find because the bread, mostly mass-produced in factories, is made with a lot of harmful chemicals and sugar.
The softness of the bread is its most loved featured and this is what we hope to achieve with this recipe.
This recipe will show you how to make your very own Homemade Agege Style Bread. This recipe is free of chemicals and significantly healthier, compared to a more traditional Agege Bread recipe.
- 4 grams of yeast
- 6 tablespoons of warm water
- 2 cups of flour
- ½ a cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- ½ tablespoon of salt
- Olive oil
For the egg wash:
- 1 egg
- A splash of milk
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons of water and your yeast. Leave the mixture for about 10 minutes until it becomes thick and frothy.
Heat a measured mixture of milk and butter over low heat. You want the mixture to be warm, not hot, to prevent the yeast from being destroyed.
In a food processor bowl, add the yeast, honey, warmed butter and milk mix, salt and 2 cups of flour. Start the food processor and combine all the ingredients. If you do not have a food processor, you can gently combine the ingredients with a spatula.
Remove the dough from the processor bowl. The dough should feel soft and silky. If it feels wet, add more flour to the mix.
When your dough is silky to touch, form it into a ball, place it in a bowl, coat the dough-ball and the bowl with the olive oil and leave it to rise in a switched off oven for 6 hours.
After 6 hours, pour out the dough, flatten it into a shape that can fit into your bread pan of choice. Whisk an egg with a splash of milk and gently brush the egg wash over the dough.
Bake your dough at 170 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the bread is brown on the outside.
Allow your bread to cool for a few minutes and enjoy with your choice of a traditional Nigerian meal.