The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.


Coconut bread

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)



  1. Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. 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.
  3. Dump the flour mixture into a bowl and stir in the coconut, then add the coconut milk.
  4. Knead the dough with your hands until it adheres, then make a ball of it.
  5. Cover the doughball with a dishtowel for half an hour.

    Preheat the oven to 400°.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.