Making bread is one of my favorite things to make in the kitchen because it’s so easy and extremely rewarding. I know that a lot of people get intimidated when it comes to making bread at home but trust me when I say that once you get the hang of it, you simply can’t stop making it. And that is probably the reason why this is the fourth or fifth bread recipe I have written on the blog and be sure that it won’t be the last.
Colombian coconut bread is one of the most popular types of bread that you will find in Colombia. You find it at bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants and it’s simply because Colombians love both, coconut and all kinds of bread. But unlike other countries, we almost never serve it with our meals, so you will rarely see it served with a big bowl of sancocho or a plate full of rice and beans. We love to eat our bread for breakfast or as a snack with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate. And what could go better with a nice cup of coffee than a sweet coconut bread roll?
I have always made this recipe with coconut extract but I understand that it may not be easy to find for some people. In that case, feel free to use vanilla extract, they won’t come out with that full coconut flavor but they will still come out perfectly fine. Also, you can use either coconut milk or coconut water to make this recipe. I usually use coconut milk because I tend to have it in my fridge for other recipes but either one will work just fine.
- 1 cup (240 ml) warm unsweetened coconut milk (100ºF - 110ºF / 37ºC - 43ºC) (You can also use coconut water)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (Or 1 packet which is approx. 7 g)
- ¼ tsp white granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 6 tbsp (85 g) melted butter
- 1 tbsp coconut extract (You can use more if you want a stronger coconut flavor)
- 4 cups (640 g) bread flour (You can also use all purpose flour ~ 560 g)
- ½ cup (100 g) white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 large egg
- 1-2 tbsp water
- ½ cup (30 g) grated coconut
- Using a Standing Mixer: Mix coconut milk, dry yeast and ¼ tsp of white sugar in a small container and let it stand for about 5-8 minutes or until a foam forms on top indicating that the yeast is activated.
- Add one large egg, melted butter and coconut extract and stir.
- Add flour, white sugar and salt to the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk well.
- Add the egg and yeast mixture. Start mixing with the mixer's dough hook at low speed, then increase to medium speed and let it work the dough for about 8- 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Process continues in step 8 below.
- Kneading Dough By Hand: Follow steps 1 & 2 above.
- Add flour, white sugar and salt to a large bowl and whisk well.
- Add the egg and yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a flat, floured surface and knead with the palm of your hand for about 8-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. To knead the dough, fold it over and push down with the heel of your hand. Repeat this process during the entire kneading time. Process continues in step 8 below.
- Grease a large bowl with the oil.
- Shape dough into a ball and place it in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1½ hour. Tip: You can turn on a microwave for about 1 minute to warm it up and then place the dough inside. This will help it rise better.
- Place the dough on a flat surface and loosely shape it into a circle to cut it in half. Shape each half into a log and cut it into 6 equal pieces. You will end up with a total of 12 pieces. Flatten each small piece into a disc and then pull the edges towards the center to form a small ball. Pinch the ends well to seal it, turn it over and finish rounding it up on the counter.
- Place all 12 balls, seam side down in a 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) greased baking pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Tip: You can use the microwave method to help them rise.
- Beat the second egg with 1-2 tbsp water to make an egg wash. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle each one with the grated coconut on top. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.