Coconut Bread – vegan

I have had this recipe pinned since March. And while that’s not as egregious a lapse as some, it was still too long. First off all, it comes together in a snap. Two bowls and a spoon are really all you need. Plus, obviously, a loaf pan, though you could make muffins instead. There’s no rise time, yeast, or kneading, so it’s not intimidating to those of you still scared of bread. (b-t-dubs, please don’t be. it’s not scary. Maybe start with some no-knead? or a super forgiving loaf?) Also, it doubles as a cake. I mean, it’s not a fancy cake, but if you have a mid-week hankering for dessert, this fits the bill (and then, breakfast the next morning).

Next, there’s Mother’s Day to consider. Did you remember it’s this Sunday? Moms love coconut. I’m not sure why, but coconut is a mom thing. It’s true. My mom’s a fan. At the bakery where I work, it’s almost always moms who buy macaroons. Maybe a switch gets turned on when you have a kid? Anyway, if you need something either breakfasty or desserty, here you go. You’re welcome. Also.

And now let’s talk about the smell. Or the scent, rather (it sounds more enticing). Oh. My. Heavens. While it’s baking, and for a little while after, your home is going to smell better than it has smelled in a long time. Do you have company coming over this weekend that you’d like to impress? (see paragraph 2) Make this, even if it’s just for the mouthwatering smell scent that will waft throughout your house and distract any discerning eyes from the dog hair dusting the couch. ahem.

Last, but not least, it tastes good. It’s sweet without being cloying and moist without being heavy. The coconut doesn’t overwhelm, and the flakes give it some nice texture. There’s a crunch to the crust, which contrasts nicely to the delicate crumb inside. I’m daydreaming about topping my next piece with this.

Coconut Bread – vegan

Not vegan? Use regular milk and melted butter in place of the oil. You can use eggs, too, if you’d like by eliminating the applesauce, baking soda, and lemon juice. Instead, whisk two large eggs into the milk mixture.

If you want to use less sugar, try using unsweetened dried coconut. If you want to serve this as cake rather than bread, by all means, do so. I think it would be fun to dress it up by sprinkling some coarse sugar on top of the batter before baking. And if you are lucky enough to have room in your kitchen for a toaster? Please, please toast a slice for me.

I chose to use grapeseed oil for my vegetable oil because it doesn’t have a strong flavor (I used applesauce for the same reason). However, if you want to amp up the coconutyness, melt some coconut oil and use that. I planned on using coconut milk (from a carton!) for the entire amount, but my carton ran dry (bad food blogger!) so I simply made up the difference with almond. Any kind will work.

Of course, this recipe is ready for your variation: lime zest, raspberries, blackberries, mangoes, pineapple, banana puree in place of the applesauce, different flours, brown sugar…the list is endless.

Deb’s loaf, once baked, entirely filled and towered above her 9x5x3 (8-cup) loaf pan. That didn’t happen with mine, but if yours is smaller, you may want to pour off a little batter into greased muffin tins. Those will probably (though I haven’t tested) take 20-30 minutes to bake.

1/4 C (60ml) unsweetened applesauce
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) non dairy milk (see note)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
heaping 1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1/4 C + 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (see note)
Vegetable oil, shortening, or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan (all the way to the top!), or coat it with a nonstick spray.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together applesauce, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift or whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, pour in milk mixture and lemon juice, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add oil and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix. (overmixing cake or cake-like batters can make them more tough and less delicate because you start to develop the gluten)

Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.