Playing with Coconut
Coconut flour is one of those ingredients that I have always loved from afar, but unwilling to use in any recipe due to fear of failure. Today is the day we end this fear. Now when using bread flour or all-purpose flour without the assistance of yeast has always been tough. I rely heavily on baking soda to push the bread away from gravity and create that crater-like crust. However, coconut flour, we aren’t going to get the rise we want. And that is okay. I expect the outcome of this bread to be somewhat dense. This is a first step towards leaving the next that is wheat flour.
Return to the Patsy
After last week’s Pasty Bar recipe, I still had another Patsy in the fridge. I was tempted to simply drink the beer, but thought that making a beer bread recipe would be a better use of its existence. I loved the marriage or coconut butter and a coconut rye stout coming together to create smooth buttery textures. I wanted to do the same thing here with The Patsy and coconut flour. Raw coconut contains a natural sweetness so I decided to forego adding sugar. Honestly, I just forgot sugar and was lucky it didn’t turn out bland. Using sweetened coconut flakes in and on top of the dough most certainly did help bring in a little bit more sweetness.
Rather than going full coconut flour, I decided to dip my toes into the coconut pool. I started with half coconut flour and half all-purpose flour in the hopes that the all-purpose will assist in the rising of the bread (it didn’t). I added the usual amount of cocoa powder into the mix, but it didn’t seem to make its presence known to the palette so much in this recipe. However, the key to toasted coconut beer bread is toasting the coconut.
Although we added plenty of coconut flakes to the dough, the addition of sprinkling some flakes on top of the bread ten minutes before it finished baking is what made this recipe stand out. That toasty element acts like the alpha dog (or alpha coconut) in this situation. Certainly the coconut flour, the coconut flakes, and the coconut flavors from the Patsy all make this coconut recipe the coconut-iest it could be. But even with those overwhelming coconut flavors, the toasted coconut still stands out as the boldest of said coconut flavors.
The one problem I ran into this recipe was that the usual bottle of beer wasn’t enough to hydrate my dry-mix. I needed the assistance of some water to properly hydrate my bread. This is most likely due to the use of coconut flour. Perhaps it requires more hydration. Anyone with tips and tricks for baking with coconut flour please do leave a comment and share your experience.
- Preheat the oven to 350º fahrenheit. In a medium bowl sift the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Mix in the 1 cup of the coconut flakes into he dry mix after sifting.
- Slowly pour into The Patsy onto the dry mix. Stop half way through the beer to give the dough a good mixing, then return to slowly pouring and mixing until all the beer is added to the dough. Mix until dense. This dough will not get lumpy like a traditional beer bread.
- Pour dough into a 9 inch loaf pan and place into the oven for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven and sprinkle the remaining coconut flakes onto the top of the bread. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for one hour (this is where my impatience gets the best of me).