In Playa Rincón, one of the most stunning beaches I've ever seen, we tried Pan de Coco (Coconut Bread) and we had to get that recipe!
Years ago, when Aunt Ilana traveled to Samaná so often that she was practically a resident, she came back from one of her trips with a culinary discovery.
Aunt Ilana's great discovery? Pan de coco (coconut bread). This thick, unleavened bread was sold by street vendors in some remote campo of Samaná. Unfortunately, although she got to try it, she could not get the recipe for it.
Upon hearing the news I was very intrigued. With this as an excuse, we left for Samaná.
About this Coconut Bread recipe
In Playa Rincón, one of the most stunning beaches I have ever seen, we met a lady who made her living from selling pan de coco (coconut bread).
We bought about half of what she was carrying, and after we offered her a ride back home - so she could avoid the long walk out of the secluded beach - I got a lesson on how to make Pan de Coco. Although I am confident she will not read this, I nevertheless would like to thank Franca in Playa Rincón, Samaná for sharing her recipe with us.
For those who fear the bakery, let me warn you that this is not leavened bread, it is prepared with baking powder and this makes it quite dense and heavy. It is a bread that lends itself more to serve with some sauce, I recommend it especially with Shrimp with Coconut and Ginger.
Pan de Coco Recipe (Coconut Bread)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to grease baking tray and hands
- 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to add to the dough
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup coconut flakes, (optional)
- Oil a baking tray with half the oil, reserve the rest. Pre-heat oven to 300 ºF (150 ºC)
- In the mixer bowl mix flour, coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Knead using the hook attachment of the mixer, or by hand with a spatula and finish it with your hands. You will need to oil your hands as the dough will be very sticky (it should be somewhat-shaggy, hence the oiled hands).
- Divide the dough into six portions and make into balls.
- On an oiled baking sheet flatten the balls into circles of approximately 6" [10 cm] in diameter.
- Cover the top with the coconut flakes.
- Bake bread for 25 minutes, pinch with a skewer in the center to check for doneness (they will still be pale).
- When the bread cools down to room temperature toast quickly but at a very high temperature to get the golden brown color on top.