Honduran Coconut Bread
What is Pan De Coco?
In many Latin American countries there is some version of coconut bread. This traditional Honduran food, known as “pan de coco,” is a light, fluffy, coconut-scented bread roll made with coconut milk extracted from fresh coconuts as well as grated coconut, both made inot the dough, baked and served with stews. These bread rolls are heavy and this makes them unique.
Pan de coco is typically made in wood ovens. The flavor of fresh coconut and traditional cooking way must give special characteristics which make the bread so famous in the Honduras.
It is said that women with big baskets full of coconut bread used to walk through the streets calling out Pan de Coco and children would run out of their homes to buy them.
How to Prepare Honduran Coconut Bread?
Coconut bread rolls are tender, although they do not carry either milk or egg. Basic pan de coco consists of not much more than coconut milk, grated coconut, flour and water. When these ingredients are combined they create a firm dough that yields a dense, luscious, cake-like bread.
There is some debate about whether leavened versions of coconut bread are as traditional as the original version. It is unclear when precisely Honduran cooks started using yeast in their coconut breads, but the practice has been common for at least a century. Leavened bread is lighter and fluffier but commonly is served in the same way – that is, to complement a hearty meal.
Frozen unsweetened coconut can be used, as well as grated fresh coconut. Frozen coconut must be thawed and be at room temperature so that it doesn’t shock the yeast.
How is Coconut Bread Served in Honduras?
Although this recipe contains coconut, Honduran coconut bread is not usually a sweet bread. Frequently it is served with savory foods such as stew or fish. The thickness of the bread makes it a perfect tool to soak up extra juices on a plate. It’s scrumptious served alongside fried plantains, beans and rice. A roll can be enjoyed simply with a hot cup of coffee in the morning or afternoon, or eaten with butter and jam.