Newfoundland Fisherman’s Breakfast with Molasses Tea Buns
With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up this weekend, we’d like to share our favourite breakfast recipe to sustain you through the day. Thanksgiving supper holds centre stage in the hearts and minds of many Canadians, but what about the sustenance necessary to make it to supper time on this often-hectic day? This traditional Newfoundland fisherman’s breakfast is sure to keep you going through a Thanksgiving Day full of visiting, cooking, and all the general mayhem that comes part and parcel with holiday gatherings.
Thanksgiving happily falls in the midst of our Berry Season here on Fogo Island: when the westerly winds typical of this time of year have made the salt cod ready for use. A fisherman’s breakfast lends itself well to being eaten in a hurry, and it combines the staple white bread of every Newfoundland home, the tart and acidic partridgeberries of our barrens, and the salt cod that is the backbone of traditional Newfoundland foodways.
This is followed by a molasses tea bun, which was born of the triangular trade that brought molasses to Newfoundland in the 18th century by European traders. These traders also brought the salt from the Caribbean that our ancestors used to make salt cod.
1 slide of thick-cut white bread
1. Toast and butter the bread
2. Spread with a layer of partridgeberry preserves
3. Top with flakes of salt cod
Molasses Tea Buns
(Yield: 22 small buns)
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ginger
3/4 cup butter
2 cups raisins
3 tea bags
2 eggs + 1 more for egg wash
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Boil several of water and steep 3 bags of tea in hot water until strong. Add raisins and soak overnight.
2. Mix together dry ingredients and grate in cold butter using a cheese grater. Mix with hands to work the mixture down to pea-sized pieces.
3. Stir together eggs, molasses and buttermilk. Pour this wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and mix to combine.
4. Roll dough out to 1" thickness. Cut out biscuits with round cutters and brush with egg wash.
5. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not over bake as this will result in dry biscuits.