Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart Bread)

Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread)
Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread)
  Bread roll is also one of the popular breads in Nigeria. 
  In Lagos state and some parts of Nigeria, the pull-apart rolls are known as''Ji-ja bread'' .

  I remember the first time I saw this bread at my dad's bakery. As a kid I was fascinated by their pull apart shape and in no time, it replaced the usual Sandwich loaf, 'cos everyone just loved them.

 So if you've ever wondered how these lovelies are made, here's how to make the Nigerian pull-apart bread rolls (Ji-ja bread), just as it is done in the bakeries,
but I'll be replacing the chemical additives with one of my favorite natural dough enhancer , known as Tangzhong  .

 For our highly rated Agege bread recipe, I made use of the Scalded flour'' method(see steps here) and to prove to you that the ''Tangzhong method'' works equally well, I'll be using it for this Ji-ja bread recipe.

  *Check out our Agege bread recipe*


For the Dough enhancer
- 125ml Water
- 25 grams Flour(bread flour or normal plain flour)

(that is, 5 part water, to 1 part flour)

For the main Dough:
- 475grams Bread flour(Plain flour)
- 35grams Powdered milk
- 80gr sugar

- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7g or 2 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 130ml lukewarm water, adjust as needed
- 40g butter, at room temperature, cut into tiny cubes

If you're using evaporated milk(peak milk) , add 4 to 5 tablespoonful

inside of Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread  rolls

**Please click here for how to make the dough enhancer(Tangzhong)**
Once you have prepared the dough enhancer you can go forward and make the bread.

The dough enhancer(Tangzhong)
Now to Make the Ji-ja Bread rolls
1. In a wide bowl, sift in the flour and powdered milk.
Then add the sugar, salt and yeast. Mix together and then make a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg and water roux.

Mix well and gradually add the lukewarm water as you mix, and stop when you get a slightly sticky rough dough.

2. Hand knead the rough dough for about 20 minutes until it is soft and stretchy like pulled chewing gum. Then knead in the butter for 10 more minutes until well incorporated.
  For my hand kneading I usually use the ''stretch, slap and fold method''(in this method the sticky dough is stretched, folded over itself, lifted up and thrown back down onto the table  repeatedly until the dough is less sticky and elastic)... you'll need a scraper to help bring the sticky dough together while kneading.
 The dough will be very sticky at first, but keep on kneading, and incorporating as little flour as possible. Too much flour will result in a hard bread. So resist the urge to add more flour.. use the scraper to remove sticky dough from your fingers.

 But alternatively you can make use of a dough/ bread machine. Knead on medium speed for 30 minutes, using the dough hook , until you get a smooth and stretchy dough. If you have a food processor, knead the dough for 3 to 5 minutes and check the dough's elasticity every 20 to 30 seconds.

3. Now roll the stretchy(but slightly sticky) dough into a a ball, place in a large bowl that has been greased with butter or oil, cover with a foil or a cling wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour or until double in size.

4. Punch down the risen dough, knead for 2 minutes and form again into a ball, then divide it into 12 equal portions or more depending on the size and depth of your pan.

5. Then mold each of the portions into small balls and place on a greased baking pan, cover with a cling wrap and let it rise again until it doubles in size, this takes about 1 hour depending on the weather.

Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread  : before second rising or proving
Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread  : second rising or proving
6.  About 10 minutes, before the rolls are fully risen, preheat oven  for 8 minutes at 170C/ 335F , brush the rolls with egg wash and bake the jija bread for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart  Bread)

We love to hear from you, do leave us a comment and feedback if you try out this recipe. Stay tuned for Special bread loaf recipe and Onisha brown bread :)


  1. Anonymous7:08:00 PM

    Wooaw thumbs up my Big Sister. God blessed u real big.

  2. Beautiful as usual, thanks

  3. Abigael Adeleke11:46:00 AM

    Lovely rolls.I can,t wait for the Special bread recipe, I really need it Nky, pls post it fast sweetie.

    1. Thanks Aby, the recipe will be up soon :)

  4. thank you so much for this recipe, I hope it will have a video link soon; using 475grm of flour how many roll of 12 jija bread did you make?

    1. Video recipe coming soon. I made 12 jija rolls with some extra dough left.

  5. Tried it and it came out so nice.u are the best Nky,I never knew your parents owned a bakery.now I know where u got all your beautiful snacks recipes from :-)

    1. Thanks for your lovely feedback and yes my parents used to own a bakery and I learnt a lot from them :)

  6. beautiful. looking forward for d special bread. cant wait

  7. Anonymous9:46:00 AM

    will certainly try this and give you feedback. Can the rolled though be preserved for use later

    1. yes it can be frozen, but you'll have to thaw it before baking.

  8. Anonymous10:42:00 AM

    Enter your comment...what if u don't Av an oven

  9. My little angles just loove this so much. Thank you!

  10. Anonymous7:53:00 PM

    wonderful writeup, sister..more grace 2 u, in d Lord's Name, Amen!

    **pls, is it possible 2 bake d bread without an oven? probably, by using d stove, pot n sand method? thanks in anticipation... more blessings!


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