Hands up if you love brunch. *Puts both hands up with gusto.*
Just what is it about this particular meal that we bloody well love nowadays? For me, it’s the step up from the standard Special K with semi-skimmed milk to a fully fledged affair of a meal in its own right, with all the (un)necessary adornments. Guacamole and a poached egg, anyone? This badass brunch recipe you see before you comes from my very good friend, and private chef extraordinaire, Nell. She discovered this gem of a bread whilst practising recipes for her upcoming job in France, as a fully fledged chalet chef. Being responsible for lavish breakfasts in a chalet that, in all honesty, looks more like a mansion on the slopes, had her trying out all sorts of wonderful delights. Fluffy ricotta pancakes included.
Those lucky, lucky guests.Now this coconut bread originally comes from a man called Bill Granger, who I think may be the very man that transformed Australians into brunch-loving crazies. Correct me if I’m wrong. But there is one transformative act that I sincerely insist you do to this coconut bread. Do not treat it as banana bread. This simply isn’t a loaf shaped cake, masquerading as bread. Treat this exactly as you would treat bread. Cut a thick slice, pop it in the toaster, spread it with copious amounts of butter, and if you’re feeling really fancy, a dust of icing sugar when nobody’s watching.
Toasted coconut, nutty browned butter, and warmly spiced cinnamon all come together to make heaven a place that lives in your mouth. Don’t even just have this for brunch. Go mad, and have it at any time throughout the day. Treat yourself.
- 1 egg
- 150ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 160g plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 100g caster sugar
- 70g desiccated coconut
- 50g butter, browned
Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease a loaf tin generously with butter, or oil. Start off by browning your butter. If this is a step too far, then go ahead and just melt the stuff. But browning it gives the bread a deeper, nuttier, toastier flavour that is just too good to miss. Heat the butter in a saucepan, swirling it occasionally, until it stops foaming and brown flecks start to appear. Once it is uniformly brown and your kitchen has a beautifully nutty aroma, take the pan off the heat and leave to one side. Measure the milk into a jug, and whisk in the egg and vanilla extract. Sieve the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and coconut.Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon until combined.Pour in the butter, and stir until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, to keep your bread as light and fluffy as possible.Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin, levelling the top in a rather rustic way with the back of the spoon.Pop it in the oven for an hour, until the crust is nicely browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave it to cool in the loaf tin for half an hour, before turning it out to cool on a wire rack.Optional but recommended: give your loaf pride of place on its very own wooden chopping board, next to the toaster with a pack of Anchor for company (or President, if you’re posh). Happy brunching, folks!