Sunday, February 14, 2010

Forty-Nine for Fifty

I read a lot of other blogs. Daily. My google reader is packed with the ramblings and recipes of over fifty different people from all different corners of the country and world. To spite being from all walks of life, the writers behind the words that I follow so closely all have a few things in common - the obvious being their desire to share their thoughts/experiences/photos/recipes with the world. Recently I've noticed another common factor; Every single blogger who has updated in the past week has mentioned snow wherever it is that they call home. No matter north or south, east or west, every state except Hawai'i had snow on the ground as of this past friday.

Forty-Nine for Fifty. That has to be pretty rare.

It's like a country-wide snow day and it's brought out another common attribute. Everyone likes to bake when they are snowed in, and why not? Snow days leave you stuck with a little more time on your hands. Time to relax, time to read, time to do things you wouldn't normally have time for.

I'm not implying that I don't bake on a regular day anyway because that would just be a blatant lie. Actually I'm not snowed in either, but there is snow on the ground. That counts right? Good, because I needed an excuse to feed my obsession with shredded coconut.
Bill Granger's Coconut Bread
The original recipe used refined white flour and sugar. I switched both out 1:1 for their less refine counterparts (whole wheat flour and Turbinado sugar) with no adverse effects, but you could easily switch them back if that is what you have available. Whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour would work fine as well. The original also called for two vanilla seeds instead of extract. Either option is okay, I just don't usually have seeds at home. Adapted again from Tara's version at Seven Spoons. Makes 1 Loaf.

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups milk (skim is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, more for dusting pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup turbinado sugar
5 ounces unsweetened coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Soft butter for greasing the pan

Preheat an oven to 350°F
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the sugar and coconut. Slowly add the egg mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the melted butter. As with anything that has flour, be careful not to over mix or your cake will be tough

Grease and flour a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan, (I used my glass pyrex 8.5-by-4.5 inch). Pour into pan and bake until golden and a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, around 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, flip right side up and allow to cool a few minutes more.

Sliced thick, it really needs no decoration, but a bit of plum marmalade, powdered sugar, or salted butter would complement it well if desired. It also freezes well but you won't have enough left to bother freezing it. Mine barely made it to the next morning for breakfast.

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