Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bill Granger's Coconut Bread

Bill Granger's Coconut Bread
Home cooking

Prior to baking this bread, I had heard SUCH wonderful reviews. There are descriptions circulating the net detailing the coconutty aroma wafting out of the oven that were just irresistible. When I saw the recipe, I was surprised to see that the only coconut ingredient was shredded coconut... no extract, no coconut cream or milk. This didn't let me down; on the contrary, I was intrigued.

With icing sugar and a slathering of butter

After daydreaming about a coconut loaf baking in MY oven, I thought... that's it, I have to do this now. The ingredients are simple and stuff I had in my pantry. The steps are easy as well (only need 2 bowls; no need to cream butter).

I halved the original recipe to make a mini loaf but I have included the original quantities here.

Coconut Bread
Makes 1 full-sized loaf

  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 150g shredded coconut
  • 75g unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a loaf tin with non-stick paper.
2. Lightly whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together.
3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir through the coconut and sugar to combine.4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients (that is, the egg and milk mixture). Mix until just combined.5. Melt the butter and add it into the mixture, stirring gently until smooth and incorporated. Be careful not to over-mix.6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.7. Let the loaf cool in its tin for 5min before letting it cool further on a wire rack.8. It is suggested you serve each slice warm or toasted with a dusting of icing sugar and lashings of butter.

I whipped my loaf out of the oven and waited impatiently for it to cool down a bit so that I could slice it up. I did so and the texture looked promising. I dusted a couple of slices with icing sugar and got some butter ready...

Unfortunately, the first few bites were pretty disappointing. I literally stopped mid-chewing and racked my brain thinking 'did I leave out any ingredients?'

Confident that I followed the steps (they're not really difficult after all), my conclusion is that this loaf just isn't for me. The texture is fine; dense and chewy, with a special heaviness from the shredded coconut. I was really... not impressed by the flavor. MAYBE it's because the coconut I used isn't that great... or MAYBE, people who don't like food too sweet will appreciate how 'neutral' this bread is.

All I can say is... the icing sugar and butter didn't help much.

The next day, I decided to give the coconut bread another go. I quickly toasted a slice and spread on some Nutella.

Does Nutella save the day?

It looked good; very convincing. However, on first bite, I realized I wasn't going to like it so that's it. I tried. I think it's a personal thing with this bread. I had an idea in my head but this was different. There are so many people who love this bread so don't let my review let you down.


  1. I've baked this before and it was wonderful! Not sure what happened to yours but I highly recommend for you to try again as it can be really yummy! Also, he has a recipe for choc and banana bread. That's divine too! :)

  2. It must just be me! I'm too scared to try it again (so many other things on my 'to bake' list) but choc and banana has got me interested :D