Buss Up Shut – Trinidad Roti bread

Buss Up Shut - Trinidad Roti pinit View Gallery 3 photos

No Trini Curry Chicken would be complete without a generous portion of Buss Up Shut. This quirkily named bread apparently gets its name because it resembles a ‘busted up shirt’. Whatever the origins of the name these flaky roti are perfect for mopping up curry chicken.

The trick to creating the flaky texture is to ‘beat’ the roti with some wooden spatulas once cooked to separate the layers and create the flakiness. These breads should be eaten immediately as they don’t stay fresh and flaky for long. I’ve tried freezing them but the result is poor – always make fresh.

Serve Buss Up Shut hot with Trini Curry Chicken, rice and vegetables.

Buss Up Shut – Trinidad Roti bread

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 20 mins Cook Time 30 mins Rest Time 30 mins Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 6



  1. Add 2 cups flour, 1 heaped tsp baking powder, 1 tsp brown sugar and 1 tsp salt to a mixing bowl.

  2. Add the cup of milk and water to the bowl a small bit at a time. Mix the flour with your hands to form a slightly sticky dough. Don’t add all of the water at once as the amount you need will depend on your flour and kitchen humidity.

  3. Knead the dough for a full five minutes until the dough is smooth and soft. Don’t cut back on the kneading otherwise your breads will be tough.

  4. Pour 1 tbsp of oil onto the dough making sure the dough ball is covered.

  5. Cover the bowl with the dough with cling film. Leave the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes or until the dough has relaxed and feels soft.

  6. Once the dough has rested divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll the dough into balls to make a smooth shape and place on a lightly floured tray. Cover with damp kitchen roll and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

  7. Once rested flatten each dough ball into a circle. Using a rolling pin roll the dough circles to as thin as possible (about 0.5cm thick).

  8. Mix 2 tbsp of melted butter with 1 tbsp of oil in a small bowl. Spread a thin layer of the butter/oil mixture across the whole of the dough circle. 

  9. Make a cut in the dough circle from the centre to the outside edge. The cut should only cover half of the dough circle. Take one edge of the cut and fold/roll the dough so that a cone is formed.
    Rolling Buss Up Shut
  10. Turn the cone over and push the edges of the cone into the centre of the dough. Turn the dough back over and press the tip of the cone towards the centre. You are aiming for a rough ball with a dimple on each end.

    Making Buss Up Shut
  11. Cover the rolled dough balls with a damp paper towel and a tea towel and leave for a minimum of one hour (preferably more).

  12. Once the dough has rested and you are ready to cook roll a ball into a flat thin circle approx. 0.5cm thick

  13. Lightly oil a flat frying pan and heat on a medium to low heat. Traditionally a tawa would be used but a crepe frying pan works well, if not a large non-stick frying pan.

  14. Fry the bread on one side for 1-2 minutes. Flip the bread and fry for a further 1-2 minutes.

  15. When the bread is nearly done brush one side with a mixture of butter and oil. Flip the bread and fry for 30 seconds.

  16. Brush the other side with butter and oil and then flip and fry for 30 seconds.

  17. Turn off the heat. Take 2 spatulas and 'beat' the bread by folding and crushing the bread to release the layers and leave a flaky texture.

    Beating Buss Up Shut
  18. Serve the Buss Up Shut immediately with Trini Curry Chicken, dahl and rice


    Buss Up Shut
Keywords: buss up shut, roti, bread, Trinidad, curry,
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