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Recipe for Coconut Chocolate Bread by Jim Lahey with Rick Flaste from "My Bread"

The Leonard Lopate Show

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When my bakery was still on Sullivan Street, there was a fabulous Jamaican spot nearby where I liked to buy jerk beef patties for lunch. One day the baker brought out a coconut bread. “The best in the world, mon, try it,” he insisted. Soft, almost squishy, and sweet, it couldn’t have been more different from my rustic Italian breads, but it was undeniably delicious. To gild the lily, the guy made sandwiches with this bread and spicy beef patties, creating one of those amazing counterpoints that linger in your taste memory forever. Inspired by that bread, and by my childhood passion for the coconut-chocolate combo in Mounds bars, I created this coconut-chocolate combo in Mounds bars, I created this coconut-chocolate bread, using the basic technique.

Coconut-Chocolate Bread

Yield: One 8-inch round loaf; 1 ½ pounds

Equipment: A 4 ½ –to-5 ½ -quart heavy pot

Ingredients

Measure

Weight

Bread flour

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons

280 grams

Unsweetened large-flake coconut

2 cups loosely packed

100 grams

Semisweet chocolate chunks

1 cup

150 grams

Table salt

¾ teaspoon

4 grams

Instant or other active dry yeast

¼ teaspoon

1 gram

Cool (55 to 65 degrees F) water

1 ¼ cups

280 grams

Wheat bran or additional flour for dusting

 

 

 

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, half of the coconut, the chocolate, salt, and yeast. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is puffy and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours.
  2. When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece.  Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
  3. Place a tea towel surface and generously dust it with wheat bran or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam side down. If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Lightly sprinkle the surface with the remaining ½ cup coconut. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
  4. Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 ½ -to 5 ½ -quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.
  5. Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. (Use caution – the pot will be very hot; see photos, page 55.) Cover the pot and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, 20 to 25 minutes more.
  7. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.

     

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