I tried this recipe in the Land of Coconuts earlier in the year, but could not get it right. This recipe uses dried unsweetened coconut, which was not available in the supermarkets although I could get fresh young coconuts, tins of coconut milk, and cartons of coconut juice. Apparently the Thai do not bake with dessicated coconut, or if they must, they prepare it from scratch. I wanted something simpler! I had to go back to New York to get dessicated coconut for this recipe in Chinatown. This recipe for coconut bread comes from Bill Granger in Australia. It is a quick bread so it is simple to assemble the ingredients, mix them, and bake them.
1 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence/extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup caster sugar or superfine sugar (U.S.)
1 1/2 cups (150g or 5.29 ounces) dried unsweetened shredded coconut
6 tablespoons (75g or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (180 degrees Celsius) and grease and flour one 9”x5” loaf tin (or 9 inch square baking dish). Melt butter in a glass one-cup measure in the microwave and set aside.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together into a bowl and add the cinnamon, sugar and coconut. Stir to combine and make a well in the center.
- Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together and pour into the flour mixture and mix until just combined before adding the melted butter. Stir until the mixture is smooth, being careful not to over mix.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour and up to an additional 10 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave loaf in the pan to cool for 5 minutes before removing and placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.
The bread turned out to have a moist texture and a fine crumb with a delicate coconut flavor. Up close you could see little white specks of grated coconut. The crust was hard and brown because the oven I’m using is being temperamental (It needs calibrating, Hugo says.) and browns the outside before cooking the inside. Lorraine and Hugo said it was good that way, like a crusty French bread.