Coconut Banana Yeast Bread

Ever since I made Java Monkey Muffins a few weeks ago I have been thinking about the taste of banana bread laced with the flavor of coconut and a hint of ginger. I have been wondering why I haven't happened across more recipes with that flavor combination. Suddenly, to me, it seems like a natural and obvious synergy of flavors.
Of course it's possible that during all those years I carefully avoided recipes containing flaked coconut I overshot the goal and simply declined to notice recipes that called for coconut in any form. I guess we all make mistakes! But now I am making up for lost time as I adapt recipes that will let me use up the large bag of Bob's Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut I bought when I was making Cashew Ginger Granola several months ago.
My latest recipe discovery that combines banana, coconut and ginger is adapted from a recipe that came with my old DAK bread machine, the one that looks like R2D2.

The recipe in the book was for Banana Wheat Bread. The dough used honey, vanilla and bananas for flavoring. I added coconut milk instead of water and fresh grated ginger. I set the machine on manual so that I could shape the loaves and sprinkled the unsweetened coconut on top before baking. The flavor turned out to be subtle and delicious and the texture of the bread was just what I hoped for, soft and almost creamy. It is good sliced warm, or toasted. I think it will also make a great base for my next banana, coconut, ginger inspiration: Coconut Banana Bread Pudding.

Coconut Banana Yeast Bread

1 Tablespoon (or one package) yeast
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 ripe bananas, (sliced for the bread machine or mashed if mixing by hand)
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

melted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Add all ingredients to a bread machine. Set the machine to 'manual' so that you can take the dough, when ready, and shape the loaves yourself.

(Or if you don't enjoy the company of a little R2D2 or other bread machine in the kitchen:
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Heat the coconut milk, honey and butter over low heat until warm, 115 to 120 degrees. Add mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the egg, mashed bananas, grated ginger and vanilla and stir until a dough forms. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn once. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until double, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Continue as follows.)

When the dough is ready, punch down and divide into two equal pieces. Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Form each portion into a loaf, or other desired shape. For log shaped loaves roll dough on a lightly floured nonstick mat into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Roll tightly from a short end to form the log. pinch the seam closed and place the loaf seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Pinch ends and tuck under.

Cover loaves and let them rise until nearly double (approximately 1 hour).

Just before baking, brush loaves with melted butter and scatter unsweetened shredded coconut on top.

Bake in 375 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and the coconut has browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes two loaves.


noble pig said...

It's beautiful, WOW!

Ivy said...

What a gorgeous loaf of bread!
I am so jealous you have a bread maker though. ;)

Robin Sue said...

Oh my word this sounds so good! What an excellent bread for toast, french toast, bread pudding or with Nutella schmeared on top! Wow!

the southern hostess said...

I can't wait to see the results of Banana Bread Pudding.

grace said...

lisa, this is fabulous--what a perfect loaf, both in appearance and ingredients! inspired, i'd say. and i truly can't wait for this banana bread pudding in the works--bring it on!

OhioMom said...

Oh yes, this bread sounds so delish! I will have to remember to come back when the weather cools and I get into my bread making :)

Anonymous said...

Never in a million years would I have come up with that combination in bread - looks delicious!

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

This has everything in it I love and I love bread period. This looks gorgeous. I have to make this.

Cindy said...

that looks yummy! one of these days I need to invest in a bread machine.

Cathy said...

Love this combination of flavors. I'm not much of a bread baker, but this sounds tempting.

Elyse said...

Yum! This bread looks absolutely delicious. Man oh man, you've got my favorite in there: coconut (okay, well, chocolate is my fav, but I do love coconut). This bread looks fantastic! Great job.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Sounds great! A lovely combination of flavours :)

Paula said...

Oh my gosh, that machine DOES look like R2D2! :-) I bet this would make awesome french toast, too! Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I just found your recipe randomly while searching for "banana yeast bread." It looked so creative and different from anything else I had seen... so of course I had to make it! This bread has an UNBELIEVABLE texture! I was afraid that it wasn't done because it was so soft when I pulled it out of the oven, but the crumb was perfect when I sliced in.
Yummy!! Definitely an inspired recipe!

Anonymous said...

YUM just pulled this out of the oven. Thought I would post a comment because of some successful substitutions I made

I replaced 1 egg with 1/4 C coconut milk (bringing the recipe total up to 1/2 C) Also, used "light coconut milk" from Trader joes bc that's what I had on hand. I guess you could use 1/4 C regular coconut milk and 1/4 C water to approximate the same

I used 1/4 C organic white sugar instead of honey

I used no butter

I used 2 C whole wheat flour and 1 C AP unbleached white flour

The moisture/fat in the bananas and coconut milk mixture kept the bread moist and held it together so I didn't see the need to use all bread flour or the egg. Next time I also might cut down on the sugar since my bananas were REALLY overripe and therefore very sweet. But what a great recipe!!! going to use it for PB&J sandwiches at work this week, and maybe croutons in a thai spicy tofu salad