Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart Bread)

Jija Bread Rolls (Nigerian Pull Apart Bread)
Nigerian Bread Rolls – (Jija  Bread)

  This Nigerian bread rolls are 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 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)

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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

Tip: 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(Tangzhong/ enhancer).

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. 

See also  Japanese 65ºC Water roux starter (Tangzhong natural dough enhancer )

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.

See also  Ewa Agoyin: How to cook Ewa Agoyin

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 🙂


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  1. Kace
    January 23, 2021 / 3:28 am

    This is hands down the bestest bread I’ve ever made. I just modified mine by adding in a little ginger and vinegar. I hear they are one of the best improvers out there. Thank you thank you. I’m a fan infact ac

    • January 25, 2021 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback Kace
      I am so happy you enjoyed the bread recipe
      and yes ginger and vinegar are also good bread improvers
      Glad to have you as a fan, a big hug.

  2. bimbo
    July 13, 2020 / 6:23 pm


    • July 13, 2020 / 7:00 pm

      Bimbo sorry about your bread but
      if I may ask, whose bread recipe are you using?
      And if it’s mine, did you follow every step
      Did you also use all the ingredients

      Hard bread can be caused by so many factors but
      the common ones are

  3. Franca
    June 30, 2020 / 2:16 pm

    Thank you for this recipe Nky lily. I love to try it. Please what do you use the dough enhancer for and at what point is it added. Thank you.

    • June 30, 2020 / 6:41 pm

      You’re welcome Franca.
      You’ll surely enjoy this bread.
      The dough enhancer keeps the bread fresh for
      3 to 4 days in room temperature
      and I added it in step 1.
      I’ll be expecting your feedback

  4. Esther Joseph
    August 9, 2019 / 11:27 am

    Thank you for this recipe. Can you recommend a substitute for bread flour because any where I go for bread flour the only one they have is plain flour here in port harcourt. Thanks for your quick response

    • August 12, 2019 / 7:06 am

      Hi Esther, the plain flour also works well for Nigerian Bread, the only difference is that it won’t be so chewy.
      But most people won’t even notice is 🙂 , so feel free to use the normal all purpose (plain) flour.

      • jean
        August 12, 2019 / 3:30 pm

        Hello you can try if you get it spelt flour mix with al purpose, or which I find this makes the buns softer I sift my flour then measure. Mj.

  5. Raifikat
    January 22, 2019 / 7:55 pm

    Hi Nky, please come and carry me away feom this bread o! I’ve eaten almost half. I wish I could show you a picture. Thank you for a lovely recipe ?

    • January 24, 2019 / 8:29 pm

      Raifikat don’t finish it at once o???
      I’m happy you finally made the bread
      I’m gladto be of help and thanks for your feedback
      and hope you try out more recipes?

  6. marg
    October 23, 2018 / 1:46 pm

    thank you I will try adding all the dough enhanser

  7. Anonymous
    August 31, 2018 / 7:22 pm

    I like this blog very much so much fantastic info.

  8. Anonymous
    January 27, 2018 / 6:53 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!

  9. Anonymous
    September 24, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    I love your recipes, i would appreciate if you can do a recipe for how to make the Shepard pie. Please can you also do it from the perspective of someone who doesn't have an oven. I have googled but i want your own perspective because you consider the Nigerian ingredients and all.Thank you so much

  10. sunshine
    July 31, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    How do I preserve my Jija bread rolls for it to retain it's soft and fluffy texture after baking?

  11. Anonymous
    June 19, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    this partern of punching the dough down be rolling it to a prepared size is something new to me,must one punch down first.the last time I baked I was straight with the process and I still got what I wanted, please give me reason for this punching down, I would appreciate.classic cmc

  12. Viktor
    May 10, 2017 / 10:30 pm

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

  13. Juan
    May 7, 2017 / 10:57 pm

    Wow, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing, Nky

  14. Anonymous
    April 15, 2017 / 6:15 pm

    Thanks Nky. I made this bread and it came out great. Can I use egg for agege brea?

  15. Emma
    April 1, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. It's really simple but tasty.

  16. Anonymous
    February 18, 2017 / 9:42 am

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

  17. Anonymous
    October 30, 2016 / 8:46 am

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 22, 2016 / 6:27 pm

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

  18. Lydiababe
    October 25, 2016 / 3:29 pm

    beautiful. looking forward for d special bread. cant wait

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 22, 2016 / 6:35 pm

      Coming soon dear

  19. Pauline
    October 20, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    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 🙂

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 23, 2016 / 7:17 pm

      Thanks for your lovely feedback and yes my parents used to own a bakery and I learnt a lot from them 🙂

  20. finest
    October 16, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    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?

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 22, 2016 / 6:34 pm

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

  21. Abigael Adeleke
    October 13, 2016 / 9:46 am

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 14, 2016 / 10:12 am

      Thanks Aby, the recipe will be up soon 🙂

  22. babyblogger
    October 13, 2016 / 9:44 am

    Beautiful as usual, thanks

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 14, 2016 / 10:09 am

      Thanks dearie 🙂

  23. Anonymous
    October 8, 2016 / 5:08 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      October 11, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks hun 🙂