There was a time when muffins were the staple breakfast on a Sunday morning. There wasn’t much variety. Basically raspberry, blueberry or chocolate, and that was because they were firm favourites that didn’t need replacing no matter how good the alternatives looked. I fraternised with date ones there for a short while, but they failed to find their way into anyone’s hearts, so were soon relegated to the ‘no thanks’ pile.
Then I discovered coconut bread at a local cafe early one Sunday morning, lured for a treat after an early morning walk. That in itself was unusual. I’m not one for indulging in breakfasts after exercise, it seems to defeat the purpose, but this small indulgence got me thinking. Coconut bread ticked all the boxes. It was sort of like sweet toast without being too sweet or too much like toast. After all, it didn’t need vegemite.
I found this recipe for coconut bread in Bill Granger’s Sydney Food, and have been making it ever since. Although the recipe is incredibly simple, basically throw everything in a bowl, it does take a good hour to cook and then it needs to cool before toasting it. So if coconut bread is on the breakfast menu, you have to be organised or it could turn into brunch.
Also, I’ve found that the top browns at a faster rate than the bread cooks. This could be our oven, but there’s nothing worse than when what you are baking looks amazing, and you insert a skewer into the middle to find it’s still not cooked. This is essentially my experience with coconut bread. I’ve found covering the tin with foil after about 45 minutes means it keeps cooking without the top of the bread becoming too brown. A simple solution to a potential headache.
Coconut bread really is a great alternative to muffins for breakfast. Toasted and liberally dusted with icing sugar it’s a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea (or coffee, if you’d prefer). But be warned, it’s really filling. One slice tends to be just enough, but that means you can have it the next day too. Bring on Sunday morning…Enjoy!
- 2 eggs
- 300 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2½ cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 150 grams shredded coconut
- 75 grams unsalted butter, melted
- icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and flour a 21cm x 10cm loaf tin.
- In a small bowl, lightly whisk eggs, milk and flour together.
- Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a large bowl. Add sugar, and coconut, and stir to combine.
- Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined. Add the melted butter and stir until the mixture is just smooth, being careful not to over-mix.
- Pour into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 1 hour or until the bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.
- Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool further.
- Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar.