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Mar 9, 2021

Buss Up Shut Bread

This buss up shut bread, a Trinidad flatbread also called paratha roti, is such a fun bread to make and eat. Serve it with curries, stews, and use it to sop up sauces on your plate. 

Buss up shut bread shredded

Why is it called "buss up shut?" This griddle bread got its name from a tattered and torn shirt, or "busted-up shirt." It's a griddled flatbread that is lightly beaten with wooden spatulas while still on the tawa (a round flat griddle) after it is fully cooked, in order to shred the buttery layers. 

This bread is layered with ghee (clarified butter) and is luxuriously buttery. It's so soft and flaky, and so hard to resist. It's a Trini bread meant to be used in the place of utensils to eat your favorite dishes. 

Buss up shut bread shredded in hand

The layers of dough and fat/butter in this paratha roti create a flaky bread that is so easy to shred. The concept is similar to Chinese scallion pancakes or even croissants

When the heat melts the butter layer, the dough layers separate, resulting in bread that is flaky and so delicious. Fresh off of the griddle, you might even be tempted to add more butter. 

Buss up shut bread shredded in napkin

To make the dough for this bread, you mix flour, water, salt, baking powder, and a little bit of sugar and oil by hand in a large bowl. The dough will be be super sticky. You'll probably wonder how you will ever be able to roll it out. 

Fortunately, as the dough rests, the flour absorbs the water, giving you a dough that, with a generous amount of dusting flour, will become quite easy to work with. 

I dusted both my work surface and my rolling pin with flour, and was able to roll out the dough to a thin disk. 

Having a bench knife also helped to coax the dough off of the work surface if it was stuck. 

Buss up shut bread instructions

After mixing the dough and letting it rest, divide the dough into six equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out into a thin circle, about 12 inches in diameter. 

Note: You can divide the dough into 4 pieces instead of 6 for larger paratha roti. I made smaller ones because they were easier to transfer to the griddle. 

Next, rub the top of the rolled out dough with ghee with your hands. You can make your own ghee (clarified butter) or purchase it at an Indian grocery store. Trader Joe's also carries ghee. 

You can also substitute a 50/50 mixture of butter and shortening. 

Once you've spread out the ghee, sprinkle the the top with flour and then cut the dough as you would a radius. As pictured, begin rolling the dough into a cone. Once it's rolled up, tuck the bottom ends under and then press the top of the cone down into the dough. 

After that, let the "cones" rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Buss up shut bread shaped

Once the dough has rested, heat a tawa over medium high heat. If you don't have a tawa, you can use a griddle or cast iron pan. I don't have a tawa, so used a 14-inch cast iron pizza pan, which worked perfectly. 

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough out into a thin circle, making sure that the edges aren't thicker than the middle. Transfer the dough to the pan. I used the rolling pin to pick up the dough like you would a pie crust. 

Cook the roti about 30 seconds on one side, brushing the top with vegetable oil, then flip the bread and brush the other side with more olive oil. After that, continue to cook and flip the bread until it is lightly browned as pictured. 

Buss up shut bread shreds

Once the bread is fully cooked, gently beat the roti with two wooden spatulas, working from the outside of the bread in. hit the bread slightly sideways with the spatulas. 

I don't have an Indian wooden spatula, so I used the flat handles of some of my wooden utensils. I used the thick part for turning the bread and the handles for "beating" the bread. 

Buss up shut bread spatulas

Once you have griddled one of the breads, immediately wrap it in a dish towel in a bowl or basket while you are griddling the rest of the flatbreads. Continue to pile the griddled breads into the towel lined basket while you are finishing cooking the roti. 

Let the breads sit in the towel lined basket to steam and soften. While it may be hard, delayed gratification is a good thing. 

I actually spread more butter on warm shreds of this bread. True confession. 

Buss up shut bread with shrimp and chiles

If you have leftovers, this bread can be individually wrapped and frozen for up to a month. Thaw on the counter for about an hour and then reheat, wrapped in foil, in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. 

So good. 

Bread Bakers logo

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month by choosing the theme/ingredient. This month the Bread Bakers are making Griddle Breads, a theme chosen by Sneha from Sneha's Recipe.

And don’t forget to check out all the amazing breads baked by our talented bakers. Bread Baker's Event for March 2021-Theme Griddle Breads

Buss up shut bread - Paratha roti

This Buss Up Shut Paratha Roti is a celebration bread from Trinidad and Tobago. It's delicious and so worth making at home. 

Buss Up Shut Bread Recipe - Paratha Roti

Buss Up Shut Bread Recipe - Paratha Roti
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This buss up shut bread, a Trinidad flatbread also called paratha roti, is such a fun bread to make and eat. Serve it with curries, stews, and use it to sop up sauces on your plate.


  • 18 ounces (4 cups) unbleached all purpose flour plus extra flour for sprinkling
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teapoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups water, lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons ghee, butter, or a mixture of butter and shortening or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or peanut oil


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. 
  2. Add all but the last 1/4 cup of water to the bowl and mix by hand for about a minute, until you have a shaggy dough. Add more water if necessary. 
  3. Add the vegetable oil and mix by hand. 
  4. Cover the bowl and let rest for 30 minutes. 
  5. Sprinkle your work surface generously with flour and turn the dough out onto the counter. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Form each piece into a ball. 
  6. Press each ball into a disk and sprinkle with more flour. 
  7. Working with one dough piece at a time, roll out the balls into thin circles, about 12 inches. Rub one tablespoon of ghee onto the top of the dough and sprinkle with more flour. 
  8. Cut a radius into the circle of dough (see photo). Roll the dough into a cone. Press the bottom of the cone into the center and stand it up. Press the top into the center and place the shaped dough onto a flour lined plate or quarter sheet pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap. 
  9. Repeat with the rest of the dough. 
  10. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. You can also refrigerate the dough for 2 hours to make it easier to work with. 
  11. Heat a tawa, large cast iron skillet, or large griddle over medium high heat. 
  12. Working with one dough piece at a time, roll the dough out to a thin disk. Place the dough on the hot griddle and immediately brush with oil. After 30 seconds, flip the roti and brush the other side with more oil. Continue to flp the bread about every 30 seconds until fully cooked. 
  13. Once the bread is done, using two wooden spatulas, gently beat the bread from the outside in until the bread flakes and creates layers. 
  14. Place the finished roti in a towel lined basket or bowl and wrap completely. 
  15. As you continue to cook the bread, add each piece to the basket and rewrap. Once you have cooked all of the rotis, let the breads sit wrapped for 15 minutes to continue to steam. 
bread, roti, paratha
Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Recipe adated from several sources, including Cooking with Ria, Immaculate Bites, and Caribbean Pot

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love these crushed bread, more like our Hyderabadi parathas which are crushed by hand but these with spatula.

  2. What a fun recipe. Thanks for sharing Karen.

  3. This looks delicious I made distant cousin of this bread.

    1. That's exactly what I thought when I say yours!

  4. In Malaysia they make a similar bread called roti canai (in Malay the c is pronounced like our ch so the name sounds like roti chanai) and the vendors use their palms to push the bread in from the sides to create the flakey layers. This is one of my favorite breads from wherever it comes!

    1. Swathi's bread is very similar to what you describe. It's amazing how these breads travel the world.

  5. You really nailed it. I'm definitely going to follow your instructions for my 1000th attempt this weekend. My edges are always too thick.

  6. What a lovely name and everything about it so Indian. It is like our paratha with layers. The ghee adds so much flavour to it. You've shaped it perfectly Karen. It looks yum with all those accompaniments.

    1. Thanks Namita! I'm sure this bread is a derived from Indian imigrants, but voluntary and nonvoluntary. The roots of food are so interesting.

  7. Those flaky buttery layers!! They're gorgeous!!

  8. Love the flaky roti. Absolutely delicious and want to have it right away!

  9. I was intrigued by the name Karen. This is much like the layered paratha we make. I love the texture the bread has come with. So flaky and so delicious


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