BILL'S SYDNEY FOOD COCONUT BREAD

Tucked into an affluent Sydney, Australia suburb, a long communal wood table contributes to the fresh, lively neighborhood atmosphere of Bill's. A handsome artist turned celebrity chef, Bill Granger, opened this cafe in 1993 and ever since has served this "never to be replaced on the menu" coconut bread. The crunchy coconut and moist interior may reckon a trip to the market for anything missing in the pantry to satisfy a craving the moment it hits. Bill's Sydney Food cookbook is filled with healthy, fresh, and fun food inspired by the Aussie strategy to work to live rather than living to work--this is "Middle Eastern via a surfer – it’s food you could eat on a beach." Bill's passion for simple, good food and his classic Down Under enthusiasm for life is contagious. 

Nota bene:  Best toasted and sprinkled with confectioners sugar and slathered in European butter. The higher fat content of this butter will cost a few extra cents but is worth the splurge both for use inside the batter and on top of the cooked loaf. Wide slices are necessary or the bread will crumble and be difficult to handle-do indulge!  This loaf freezes well.  Delightful if sliced into 1" thick pieces and individually wrapped to serve with coffee in the morning or afternoon tea--children love this bread tucked into their lunch boxes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 eggs

  • 10 fluid ounces whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar

  • 5 ounces shredded coconut, unsweetened, flakes fine

  • 2 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, melted

  • Butter & confectioners sugar, for serving

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Lightly whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla together.

3. Sift flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a bowl, add sugar and coconut, and stir to combine. 

4. Make a well in the center and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined, being careful not to over-mix.

5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour, or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.

6. Leave in the pan to cool for 5 minutes, and remove to cool further on a wire rack. 

7. Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar.

MAKES 8 TO 10 THICK SLICES