I had a package of unsweetened coconut and an unopened bottle of coconut extract in my pantry, and over the weekend I was trying to figure out what I could make to use up the coconut and put a dent in using up the coconut extract. After a quick internet search, I came across this recipe for Vanilla Coconut Quick Bread.
My poor loaf pan barely gets used, so after a 15-minute search through three different kitchen cabinets, I finally found it. I baked this recipe yesterday and let it sit overnight before cutting into it (with a serrated knife, of course) for breakfast this morning. It's perfect as written...don't change a thing. The coconut flavor is fantastic. It has a nice crunchy crust (thanks to a generous spray of cooking spray in the loaf pan) and the middle is perfect...not overly moist, but by no means dry. Make sure to use a finely shredded unsweetened coconut, not the stringy sweetened coconut (like Baker's) you find on the baker's aisle in your local grocery store. You can find the unsweetened coconut in either health stores or specialty grocers like Whole Foods. You may be able to find Bob's Red Mill brand in your regular grocery store's organic section, too.
Your kitchen and house will smell fantastic as this bread is baking, too.
Vanilla Coconut Quick Bread
Source: The Vanilla.COMpany
1 1/4 cups (about 2 1/2 ounces) shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons coconut extract
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet; toast, shaking the pan once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, coconut extract, and vanilla. Beat hard with a whisk until frothy. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in. Stir well with a large spatula until evenly incorporated; batter will be slightly lumpy.
Scrape the batter into the loaf pan. Bake in the center of the preheated oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The top surface will be crusty and firm to the touch, the sides deep brown. Let rest in the pan 10 minutes.
Turn the loaf out onto a rack, right side up, to cool completely before slicing. Wrap in plastic and store at room temperature.
Makes one 9x5-inch loaf.
Notes: Be sure to use unsweetened coconut rather than sweetened, as the sweetened is too moist for this recipe.