Sweetbread (Coconut Bread)

Coconuts from my local grocery store
A Christmas treat from my childhood.  I remember getting skinned knuckles from the grater while grating the coconut for my mom (we were the food processors back then) and the smell of fresh baked goods in the kitchen.  It was all worth it in the end.  Nowadays, I use a food processor and a stand mixer, but the results are the same.  I tweaked the recipe for many years until I found the right combination of sweetness, moistness and coconut flavour.  This style of sweetbread is from Barbados.  It is dense and sweet and wonderful.  
Water from 3 coconuts - delicious with a splash of rum (about 1/2 cup per coconut)
The difference between these coconuts and the green ones is simply age.  The green ones are young, and these brown ones are from older coconuts which have had the outer husk removed (easier for transport and storing).  I find the water a bit sweeter in the older coconuts.  

To make coconut milk is easy.  Combine the coconut flesh, coconut water and enough water to make up 1 cup of liquid, in a food processor.  Process until the mixture looks milky.  The mixture is then squeezed through a cheese cloth.  A second squeezing is possible by adding more water to the coconut pulp and repeating the process.

Takes lots of work to get the flesh out of the shell, but worth the effort.

Makes 8 mini loaves
2 1/2 cups of fresh grated coconut (about 2 coconuts)
4 cups of flour
1 tb baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

1 tb melted coconut oil
1 c raisins or mixed peel
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp mixed essence or almond extract or vanilla extract
Raw or granulated sugar

1. For this batch I used 1/4 c golden raisins, 1/4 c Thompson raisins and 1/2 c candied cherries
2. You could substitute dried unsweetened coconut,  moistened with 1/2 c of water, but fresh is best
Yield from 3 coconuts - 8 cups loosely packed (freezes well)
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, coconut, sugar, raisins in a large bowl; mix to combine (if using a stand mixer, the paddle attachment works best)
- Add egg, coconut milk, butter, coconut oil and essence; mix until fully combined
- Grease 8 mini loaf tins
- Divide mixture evenly between 8 mini loaf tins - mounding the mixture as necessary (the dough does not rise that much, so overflow is not an issue)
- Brush loaves lightly with water and sprinkle with raw sugar
- Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown (test for doneness using a toothpick or bamboo skewer - when inserted into a loaf, it should come out clean)
- Let cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pan and place on a rack to cool
Ready for the oven

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