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the haas machine: Coconut Bread

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Coconut Bread

Right after we got back from our trip to Florida, I was sluggishly doing laundry. I was having a hard time transitioning back to our Siberia-like weather conditions & the thought of getting back to every day domestic life was really depressing. Who wants to do laundry, cook, & clean when you can just lay around at the beach, watching your kid squeal around in utter bliss? 

While I was taking our clothes out of the luggage, I caught a whiff of one of the dresses I frequently wore to the beach (don't worry, this story ends well). I actually grabbed it out of the pile & breathed it in. It smelled of the sun. Instantly I was back in the warmth, the giddiness, & the joy that we felt by being in Florida. I'm not sure why the sun does that to us, but it is so gosh darn life-giving.

I love how our sense of smell is tied to so many memories. There are times when I literally am stopped in my tracks because I catch a scent of something that reminds me of a childhood experience I had or a far off land I once visited. And for me, the aroma of coconut will always remind me of the sun. That might be attributed to all the tanning lotion I poured over my body growing up, or maybe from sipping coconut rum in my summer collage days. Who knows. 

I absolutely love baking with coconut. Since we have cut a lot of the processed sugar in our diets, I have used a lot of unsweetened coconut & I think I actually like it better than the sugary stuff. I feel like you actually get the full flavor of the coconut & you aren't left with a gut bomb afterwards. Coconut oil is also lovely to bake & cook with & besides the incredible flavor, your house will end up smelling like something out of a Jamaican resort. For the record, I've never been to Jamaica, but this is how I picture it- everything smelling like coconut.

If you are like me & all of a sudden semi-obsessed with coconut, you will absolutely love this coconut bread. And if that's just not enough, here are a few other recipes to tempt you:

Coconut Bread

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup demerara
5 ounces unsweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted & browned

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk & vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder & cinnamon. Add the sugar & coconut, & stir to mix. Make a well in the center, & pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, & stir until just smooth (don't overmix).

Spread batter in a silicone bread pan (you could use a different pan, but just make sure to spray it & lightly coat with flour first) & bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack. Wait until the bread is completely cooled before cutting.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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At April 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen said...

That bread was so good! I also love the smell of coconut thanks to tanning oil in the late 80's. I also remember each time we came back from a long trip to California how hard it was getting back in our normal routine. Best to combat that with bread. :)


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