I’m sure we all have memories from our child hood of particular foods. For me this recipe of Coconut Bread is one that I remember making when I was probably about 10 years old. I’m fairly sure Mum was away working and so Dad was taking us on a car rally with my two sisters for our primary school. It was basically like a combination of i-spy and a treasure hunt that was based on driving around the beautiful green and lush Dandenong Mountains in Victoria. I’m not sure if I made this bread or Mum did, but I remember it being in a recycled bread bag, buttered and oh so morish that I wanted to eat the whole loaf on my own.
It was only when my parents were up visiting me recently that I thought again of this bread and thought to ask Mum if she still had the recipe somewhere. Fortunately for me it was safely tucked away in her trusty blue folder of collected recipes from the past 30+ years. It turns out that the recipe is originally sourced from the Nursing Mother’s Association of Australia which is reaching back to be at least 40 years old, if not more. All I can say is that it’s a great recipe now as much as it would have been then, so simple to make that you could give it to a 10 year old, and they would have no trouble creating it.
As an adult I love that the recipe made a small loaf that is perfect for a snack, requiring very few ingredients and no time at all to get it into the oven. In fact most people probably have the ingredients to hand to be able to bake this without too much trouble at all. If you are someone who likes to bake a generous sized loaf then I would recommend doubling this recipe for it to reach a more common bread loaf size of today. I doubt that I would choose to serve it with butter as I found the flavour to be a beautiful balance of the sweetness of the coconut with the sugar and a lovely light texture that really didn’t need any assistance. Never one to be a slave to a recipe I thought I would zest it up a little as I have a few lemons hanging in my kitchen at the moment and I think it was a beautiful touch worth repeating.
Zesty Coconut Bread
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1 cup castor sugar
- zest of 2 small lemons (optional)
Pre-heat your oven to 170c and line a small loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
Combine all your ingredients together until well mixed and then pour into the tin. Garnish with a little shredded coconut if desired.
Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes or until a skewer returns cleanly from the loaf. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and serve fresh. This loaf will freeze well for school time or work snacks in portions.
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