How to Break Bread in Cayman Brac
The best (and only) bakery on the island
By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor
Everyone me told I couldn’t leave Cayman Brac without a souvenir of the island’s famously delicious “Brac Bread.” So on the way to the airport I stopped at the only place you can get it: Pioneer Bakery, the sole bakery on this 14-square-mile island.
Emerging hot from the oven of the Creek Road establishment at about 10 a.m. each day, Brac Bread is very similar to Jamaican “hardough” bread, but coiled into a circular loaf about the diameter and height of a stack of four large dinner plates. A favorite of “Brackers,” the loaves are also the souvenir of choice of residents of “GC” (Grand Cayman), who come here to vacation.
Stewart says that Pioneer can sell as many as 300 loaves a day, although on a regular day they bake two dozen, which rarely last past lunchtime. “People here are spoilt; they’re used to having fresh bread every day. But we love our customers, so we’re happy to spoil them.”
Each tray of Brac Bread takes 50 minutes to bake, and once it comes out of the ovens is brushed with a generous coating of vegetable shortening, which imparts a golden sheen. Hot and chewy, it’s the ultimate carb and dangerously addictive.
Before I leave with my precious loaf in hand, Stewart offers a few more tips: Don’t slice it; just pull off a warm bite-size piece and pop it straight in your mouth, no butter required. You can also eat it with peanut butter, jam or cheese, or, as the four jerk stands here on the Brac do, serve it as an accompaniment to a quarter-pound of jerk chicken. Call to in advance to avoid disappointment (Brac Bread is baked to order). And be sure to bring cash. Because Pioneer doesn’t take credit cards.