I remember going to the market in Brooklyn, NY as a child smelling the flavors of the island spices in the air. Clove, Garlic, Scott Bonnets and such. The very first thing I would buy was the Beef patties. Now, you can NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER order a Beef patty without the Coco bread. The Coco bread is the Caribbean version of Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. It smells mildly sweet and truly compliments the spicy flavors of the Beef patty. It’s named Coco bread because traditionally the recipe calls for coconut milk. However, more modern versions use milk and water. These comfy bread delights are a bit difficult to find so, I asked my dear Abuela for the recipe. She once owned her own Caribbean restaurant and is the encyclopedia of excellent Caribbean recipes. So, without any further, here it is:
My Coco bread:
Total Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes [Prep: 1 hour; cook 20 minutes]
2 packages of yeast
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of honey
1/4 cup of coconut milk, room temperature
3/4 cup of slightly warm water
2 teaspoons of salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups of flour
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil * not pictured*
Directions: Dissolve yeast and sugar in the water then add coconut milk, salt and egg. Stir. Slowly incorporate the flour a 1/2 cup at a time while stirring the mixture. The closer you get to using all the flour it should start to form into a dough. Now, knead the dough for about 12 minutes or until firm. In a separate bowl, add 1/2 cup of coconut oil into the bowl and turn the dough in it to fully coat. Cover dough with a damp towel or hand towel and let it rise for about an 1 hour. Cut or hand separate the dough into 8 to 10 portions. Roll each piece into a disks they should be about 6 inches. Use the coconut oil from the bowl to lightly brush on the portion. Fold in half and brush the coconut oil on the outside. Wait a couple of minutes for the dough to double in size. Place bread on a greased baking sheet . Preheat oven to 425 F, place a large pan full of water on the lowest rack. Wait until the water is the same temperature as the oven. Baking sheet on upper rack in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Eat while still warm!!!