Yeast bread. Not something I do often, and for some reason it always seems daunting to me. Maybe as a working mother, I imagine the hours of proofing and rising and just think, “oh, not today.” But I wanted this Seared Tuna and Fruit Salsa Sandwich, and to have that, I needed to make Pineapple Coconut Bread, on page 68 of Aloha Days Hula Nights, in the Breads – Yeast Breads section.
So I braved the yeast bread…and remembered it’s not all that hard! In fact, I found the kneading to be soothing, a nice way to relax while baking. I cook as stress relief anyway, so punching down dough tied in with that nicely. And proofing (which is feeding the yeast some kind of sugar in warm liquid to be sure the yeast is still alive) takes only minutes (though rising takes a couple of hours).
This bread is dense, yeasty, and nutty, with nice, mild tropical flavor from the pineapple and coconut. It is perfect for the aforementioned sandwich, and was also wonderful as the stuffed bread in the Stuffed French Toast. My mother-in-law has eaten it daily for a snack, with mac nut butter or guava jam, and proclaimed it a great Hawaii bread. Bake up a loaf and enjoy!
PS: Maybe this belies how seldom I make yeast bread, but the “sounds hollow when tapped” was a great tip I’d never heard for knowing when yeast bread is done – my oven temperature is unreliable, so I have to go by feel, and you can’t do the toothpick trick with yeast bread – the hollow tap worked perfectly!
Crusty and golden, just like its flavors
- 1/2 cup warm water (105ºF – 115ºF)
- 1/4 warm milk (105ºF – 115ºF)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 package yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cups finely diced dried pineapple
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup diced macadamia nuts
Mix water, milk, and honey in a large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand to proof about 5 minutes. Add butter, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and whole wheat flour, stirring to blend. Add all-purpose flour a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until dough pulls away from side of bowl. Knead dough by hand or electric stand mixer, adding more flour as necessary, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat lightly. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft free place for 1 hours.
Punch dough down. Add pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Knead 5 minutes to incorporate well. Grease and flour an 8-inch loaf pan. Shape dough into loaf and fit into pan. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Heat oven to 400ºF. Place bread in center of oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes until top is crusty, bottom is browned and sounds hollow when tapped. Let bread rest in pan for 5 minutes on wire rack before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Makes one loaf.
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