I am a real fan of sweet breads . . . or tea breads as they are called back home. They're always a welcome guest at my breakfast or tea table . . . and they're always handy things to have tucked away in the freezer, ready to bring out when unexpected company drops by.
More often than not they are fabulous just on their own, but when you spread them with butter, well baby, that's when they really come into their own. I am afraid I am a glutton and this is the way I enjoy them the most.
The husband of my boss at the Manor loved my Banana bread and he especially loved it if I sliced it and toasted it for him in the toaster oven until the edges were just this side of burnt . . . all crispy and golden brown . . . gilded with lots of butter soaking into it's nooks and crannies.
This is one of my favourite loaves right here today . . . Coconut Bread. I can no longer remember where I got the recipe from . . . the ingredients are scribbled onto a scrap of paper . . . I expect it was gleaned from a magazine or some such in the Dentist's office. No, I am not a bad person who rips the recipes out. I leave em where they belong and just scribble them down.
This bread is delicious plain and buttered, but it really, REALLY shines when you toast it until it's golden brown and crisp on the outsides . . . the insides remaining sweetly soft. Then you spread with softened butter . . . oh my . . . and then you dust it with some icing sugar. Wowsa!
It uses a lot of coconut, and the flavour comes shining through. I add a mixture of flavourings to enhance it and give it almost a tropical feel . . . vanilla paste, lemon, orange and cinnamon extracts . . . ground cinnamon. I am almost tempted to add some sultanas soaked in a bit of rum . . . but I haven't done so yet. One of these days . . . I will. Enjoy!
Makes one 9 by 5 loaf
Moist and chock full of nutty coconut flavours. We like it toasted and spread with softened butter. Delicious!
2 large free range eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/2 tsp orange extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon extract (optional, but nice if you want a real cinnamon flavour)
300ml whole milk (10 fluid ounces)
75g butter, melted (1/3 cup)
250g of plain flour (2 1/2 cups)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
190g of golden caster sugar ( 1 cup)
150g of flaked coconut (scant 2 cups)
Optional to serve (softened butter, sifted icing sugar)
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and dust it lightly with flour. Set it aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and coconut together in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, lemon, orange and cinnamon extracts, milk and butter together in a large beaker. Add all at once to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together just until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top over.
Bake in the heated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before tipping out onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
Cut into slices to serve, spread with softened butter if desired. Store wrapped tightly. Cuts into 8 to 10 thick slices.
Note - This delicious bread really comes into it's own toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar. Fabulous!