Sweet Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls: Easy and Homemade

August 2, 2017 (Last Updated: December 23, 2019)

Ghana Sugar Bread (or sweet bread) is a sweet, dense and chewy textured bread roll that is commonly eaten in Ghana and also surprisingly rich in Vitamin C!

Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls - 5 bread rolls in picnic basket with one broken open

Ghana Sugar Bread (or sweet bread) is a sweet dense and chewy textured bread commonly eaten in Ghana. Other West Africans eat similar versions of this bread as well (for instance agege bread in Nigeria), and the recipe that I am sharing is  tweak-able to cater to your taste.

I enjoy eating bread! That might be a major understatement. My mini obsession with bread started very young, so much so that one of my aunts had to tell me that if I continued to eat bread the way I did, a bread tree would grow out of my belly button… Sigh! I believed this tale for a while, especially after she asked me “where do you think breadfruit comes from?”. The fear of becoming a human breadfruit dispenser ruined my love for bread, however once I later found out that trees didn’t grow from your belly button, my long-lost love re-ignited.

My mom as a baker runs a food service business.  The frequent varieties of bread she brought home from her bakery had me living in a mini paradise. I grew up with the privilege of eating extra fresh, good quality, homemade bread on an almost daily basis. My mom’s bread is the best, I tell you! Some days we had fruit bread, whole wheat bread, baguettes, bread rolls, cake bread, and one of my very favorites, Ghana Sugar bread.

Striving to be half the baker my mom is, has become one of my greatest motivations. And I must confess those are some grand shoes  to fill! Recently, I called up my mom and asked her for the secret to making Ghana Sugar Bread, and getting the perfect texture that for me was so illusive. The secret she shared with me, which I will be sharing with you guys is this: Use a dough conditioner! What is that you say? A dough conditioner is simply something added to bread dough to enhance the texture of the bread. For this sugar bread, my mum recommended scalded flour and ascorbic acid as dough conditioners to try. These natural dough enhancers  elevate your bread from basic bread to the most luxurious textured bread rolls characteristic of Ghana sweet bread.

You prepare the scalded flour by simply cooking 1/4 cup of water with 3/4 cup of  bread flour on low- medium heat until it looks like a thick custard. The color of the scalded flour mixture should turn from an opaque white to a translucent off-white color. This indicates that the starch granules have burst, and the flour is scalded.

Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls - Dough kneading collage - Scalded flour in pot, flour mixed with water, scalded flour thickening, scalded flour thickenedGhana Sugar Bread Rolls - Thickened flour in a bowl

The ascorbic acid is simply powdered vitamin c (167% worth) but be careful not to be too generous with it; a little goes a long way. Even when doubling the recipe, this is one ingredient I will not double. Sometimes in a pinch when I’ve run out of absorbic acid, I have used lemon juice as a substitute. Be careful when doing this though because it can affect both the texture and the flavor of the bread. If you use lemon juice, substitute 1/8 teaspoon of ascorbic acid with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls Dough mix collage - dough mixed with mixer, mixed dough kneaded with hand, completely mixed dough Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls Dough mix collage - mixed dough in pot, mixed dough on surface, mixed dough divided into 6, 6 mixed dough in baking pan Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls - 6 mixed dough in baking pan covered with nylon wrapGhana Sugar Bread Rolls - 6 bread rolls in picnic basket

Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls - 5 bread rolls in picnic basket with one broken open
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5 from 1 vote

Ghana Sugar Bread Rolls

Ghana Sugar Bread (or sweet bread) is a sweet, dense and chewy textured bread with the most luxurious rolls that is commonly eaten in Ghana.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Ghanaian
Servings: 6
Calories: 346.3kcal
Author: Yummy Medley

Ingredients

  • 390 g 2 2/3 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup scalded flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp 1 sachet active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ascorbic acid

Instructions

  • Fill a small bowl with 1 cup of warm water (between 105°F- 115°F), sprinkle one tsp of sugar in the warm water and the yeast. Whisk the mixture till dissolved and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, the yeast should be foamy and should have bubbled up; if this does not happen, then your yeast may be inactive. Dump that batch and try again with new yeast.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix in the flour, sugar, salt and ascorbic acid. Add in the scalded flour and activated yeast. Knead the dough for 15 minutes. It should be smooth to touch after kneading and not sticky.
  • Place the dough in a bowl that has been greased lightly with vegetable oil, cover, and allow to rise in a warm place till it doubles in size (usually about 1 hour).
  • After the dough is doubled, tip it out of the bowl on a clean work surface, and knead for five minutes.
  • Preheat an oven to 350°F
  • Divide the dough into 6 even balls and place in a baking pan covered with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until it has doubled in size.
  • Bake the bread in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Finally, cool the baked bread for at least five minutes and serve.

Notes

Ghana Sugar Bread Nutrition

Serve these bread rolls warm with butter or with Akara as Akara burgers.

Akara Burger - Using bread rolls to make a burger with caramelized onions, tomatoes, sprouts, akara

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Renee Gardner
    October 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    5 stars
    A bread tree out of your belly button?!?! Hahaha!! Sounds like something I would tell my nieces! Love this recipe and the trick about using scalded flour. Please thank your mom for sharing her secret with you and for you sharing it with us. I can just imagine the extra depth of flavor that would add to a bread dough. I’m going to have to try it.

    • Reply
      Lois. O
      October 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      My mom says you are welcome. Let me know how you like the bread if you try it. It is really good!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 9, 2018 at 7:41 am

    so looking forward to this! is it ok to sub ascorbic with citric? many thanks!

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 20, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      I would not substitute ascorbic acid with citric acid per say. Citric acid tends to give your bread a sour flavor and is not as tenderizing as ascorbic acid.

  • Reply
    Lboflartey
    October 11, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    I found the ratio for the scalded flour didn’t work. It took more equal proportions of water and flour.

    • Reply
      Lois
      October 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm

      It typically depends on the type of flour you are using. Flours react very differently by brand, gluten content, location and humidity. I would say go with the texture you are trying to achieve more than the exact ratio.

    • Reply
      Stephanie
      September 29, 2019 at 9:02 pm

      I had the same problem! 1/4 cup of water with 3/4 of bread flour created something more the consistency of cornmeal! So, I added 1/4 cup more water. And another quarter cup. And ANOTHER quarter cup – and AT LEAST another 1/2 cup before I got anything resembling the consistency of the photos! Obviously, it was still sticky after 15 minutes of beating the whole mixture and an hour later, when I turned it out onto a floured surface, I had to add more than a cup of bread flour to keep it from sticking to my hands!

      And what’s up with the tomatoes, bell pepper and onions that get added to the honey beans? Should we rough chop? Finely dice? Pulverize in a food processor?

      I haven’t rated either recipe yet (reserving that until everything has been cooked, but I urge you to consider whether some edits to these two recipes might be appropriate.

      • Reply
        Lois
        December 1, 2019 at 7:51 pm

        Hey Stephanie, I will be reviewing the recipe for the Ghana Sugar bread rolls to see where I can add notes for address some of the concerns that have come up. It is particularly challenging to adequately describe baking recipes and more so bread recipes with differences in flour consistency and technique without a video to demonstrate.
        As far as the beans recipe, step 3 says “While the beans are boiling, blend the tomatoes, peppers, and onions and set aside”.

  • Reply
    Racheal
    March 7, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Thanks for posting this… It looks so yummy, I cant wait to try it soon especially the addition of scalded dough and vitamin C. I dont see powdered vitamin C in the stores here in Canada, is it advisable to buy the tablet vitaminC and powder it for this purpose? . I’m also curious because you didn’t mention butter or any kind of oil being added to the mixture because I have been used to adding oil whenever I bake bread. Is it a fitfam thing or it has a good way it makes the bread turn out? I hope to hear from you soon because I cant wait to try these rolls.Thanks.

    • Reply
      Lois
      March 18, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      Hey Racheal! I have never tried using regular vitamin c and crushing it. It might work if it is 100% ascorbic acid. It really depends on the recipe if you choose to add oil. The oil is generally added to tenderize the bread, but since in this recipe there are other tenderizers oil is not added.

  • Reply
    Bukola
    September 27, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Hmm this idea of scalded flour is something I want to try out. I have been really curious about those Ghana breads. Thanks for this post

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