Coconuts are synonymous with islands, and the Bay Islands are no exception! Not only can you find coconut trees in abundance here, but you’ll find an abundance of dishes infused with coconut in some way. We use coconut milk, coconut oil, and the coconut meat in many different island recipes, both savory and sweet dishes alike! But there is one coconut recipe that stands out above all others, and that is — Coconut Bread!
Coconut bread uses coconut milk and coconut oil in the dough. Back in my grandmother’s day, they made their coconut milk and coconut oil from scratch. Which was no doubt much healthier than our modern versions, but it was certainly a whole lot more work! I can recall my grandmother husking two coconuts to shred on a large homemade grater. Then after grating the coconuts, she poured water over the “coconut thrash” and squeezed it continuously to extract the milk. This process alone could have taken an hour or more, just to get a few cups of coconut milk.
Fortunately for us, we have coconut milk readily available right on the grocery store shelves or even on Amazon.com!
Canned coconut milk is what I’m using in this recipe today for a modern take on the classic coconut bread!
Steps in Making Coconut Bread
Begin by warming coconut milk and skim or 2% milk on the stove.
Mix flour, yeast, coconut oil, sugar, and salt.
Add warmed milk mixture a bit at a time and mix by hand or in a stand mixer like this Kitchen Aid, until the dough forms.
Turn out onto a floured surface and finish kneading by hand.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
This recipe yields four large loaves in 9.5″ x 5.5″ loaf pans. Today I made two large loaves and eight small rolls in a 13″ x 8″ pan.
Punch down the dough, knead, divide, shape, and place into prepared pans.
Cover and let rise again until doubled in size. Heat oven to 350˚ Fahrenheit.
Bake until they’re golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how dark you like the crust.
So there you have it. The modern way of making traditional coconut bread from the islands! Thanks to coconut milk in the can!
Watch the Coconut Bread Recipe Video
The recipe is for traditional Bay Island coconut bread.
- Combine coconut milk and regular milk and warm slightly on the stove.
- Mix flour, yeast, coconut oil, sugar, and salt
- Add milk, a little at a time until dough is formed.
- If more milk is needed add a little more to it, until dough is completely mixed.
- Knead dough by hand or in a stand mixer.
- Cover and let rise until it's almost double the size.
- Cut and shape the dough, then place into prepared loaf pans.
- Cover and let the loafs rise until they’re double in size.
- Heat the oven on 350.
- Bake until they are golden brown, 30-40 minutes depending on how brown you like them.
- Note: Yeast comes in two varieties: Instant yeast, also known as “rapid rise yeast” and active dry yeast. If you don’t have the instant yeast, you’ll need to “activate” the yeast. Do this by adding yeast to 1/2 cup of warm water, approximately 100˚ Fahrenheit, and a pinch of sugar. Make sure the water is not too hot, or you’ll risk killing the yeast. Let the yeast sit for anywhere from one to five minutes. The yeast will be ready to use once it’s frothy on top and the level of water almost doubled.