This bread from Trinidad is unusual in straddling the sweet and savory divide. It is equally good spread with fruit preserves or topped with cooked berries, and with salty foods; its classic pairing is with buljol, a traditional Trinidadian salt cod salad. We also like it with a smear of fiery coconut chutney. Swad makes a good one.
-2 cups flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-½ teaspoon salt
-2 Tablespoons sugar
-4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes
-¾ cup grated coconut
-2/3 cup coconut milk (canned is fine)
- Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Put the mixture in a food processor and destroy this mixture until it looks like cornmeal, about 15 seconds. Do not overprocess the dough or the texture of the bread will suffer.
- Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and stir in the coconut, then add the coconut milk.
- Knead the dough with your hands until it adheres, then make a ball of it.
- Cover the doughball with a dishtowel for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Flatten the dough into a disc about 7 inches in diameter and bake it until a toothpick or broomstraw just comes clean, usually no more that 20 minutes; check the bread five minutes earlier.
- Let the bread rest for about half an hour so that it does not fall apart when you try to cut it.
- If you do not have a food processor you still can make this bread the arduous old style way by rubbing the butter and flour mixture together with your fingers. It will take a long time.
- Self-raising flour is an alternative to plain flour and baking powder.
- Do not use ‘light’ coconut milk, which is fine for curries, in this recipe.
- Grating coconut seems like a chore because storebought grated coconut is a good product. Unsweetened coconut can be hard to find but the bread turns out beautifully with sweetened grated coconut too--omit the sugar.