I was tempted yesterday to round-out the coconut menu with some coconut bread, but the rice accompaniment seemed sufficient – and in any case, most “coconut bread” is actually coconut cake, merely shaped as a loaf. I had temporarily forgotten (how could I?) the amazing Miss Eliza Acton, whose English Bread-book has a recipe for the real, yeast-risen, unsweetened thing.
Cocoa-Nut Bread or Rolls.
The oil contained in the cocoa-nut imparts a peculiar richness to bread biscuits and cakes, as well as to various other preparations of food; and to many persons its flavour is very agreeable. The rasped nut therefore, when fresh, may be used with advantage for them. If in the slightest degree rancid, it will produce a very unpleasant effect.
Put four ounces* of the finely-grated nut into a quart of new milk, heat it slowly, and let it simmer very gently indeed, that there may be no great reduction of the quantity, for about three quarters of an hour; then withdraw it from the fire, and when it has cooled down a little, strain it through a fine sieve or cloth with so much pressure as shall leave the nut quite dry.
Use the milk while it is still warm with yeast and flour as for common bread, and manage it in exactly the same manner. The grated nut in substance may be used instead of the flavoured milk; but the bread will then be less delicate and less wholesome. When this is done, it should be thoroughly blended with the flour before-the dough is moistened.
Rasped fresh cocoa-nut, ¼ lb.; milk, 1 quart; simmered three quarters of an hour. The milk expressed from the nut to be used for dough in the usual manner. Or, with each pound of flour, 3 oz. of the grated nut to be well mixed, and the yeast and liquid to be added.
Obs.—The oil of the nut will render it necessary to reduce, for this last method, the ordinary proportion of liquid used for dough.
* This proportion of a full-flavoured nut is sufficient; but it can always be increased at pleasure. It should be grated down on a delicately clean and bright grater; or, on occasion, it may be infused in the milk, after having been merely pared, sliced thin, and cut up small; but a much larger quantity of it must then be used to impart an equal degree of flavour.
The English bread-book for domestic use, (1857) by Eliza Acton.
And, as a bonus, may I offer you some genuine carrot bread?
1 cup sweet milk
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ tablespoon fat
¼ cake yeast
1 cup hot mashed carrots
About 3 cups white flour.
No sweetening is needed because of the sugar in the carrots. This makes a beautiful yellow bread, and is an easy way to feel carrots to those fastidious people who think they do not like them. A cup of mashed carrots may be added to any of the dark breads.
A book of original receipts, by Kathryn Romig McMurray (1917)