Trinidad Sweet Bread

6:29 PM
A coconut bread, perfect to be eaten alone or paired with your favorite cheese or with jam. A great snack alternative.

This sweet bread recipe is an alternate version that incorporates the use of pre-packaged coconut mixed with dried fruits and spices. 

Sweet bread loaf with slices


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I wanted to share this recipe as I get numerous requests for making sweet bread using prepackaged coconut flakes.

And also see requests for a sweet bread recipe using yeast.

I know it's sometimes hard to find a fresh coconut or to even want to deal with grating coconut to use. Sometimes you just don't have the time.

So this recipe is an easier (to me) version of the sweet bread we know but with the same taste.




If you want the method using fresh coconut then you can check out my coconut sweet bread post.

This recipe, like my other recipe, does not have eggs, but it does use yeast.

This one is less hassle-free and you do not have to worry about the tricks of selecting the best coconut.

The coconut flakes I use are Great Value sweetened flakes that I get at Walmart.

I've also used Bob's Red mill's unsweetened flakes I processed those to make a smaller flake though. And also used a 1/2 cup more sugar.

But you can use any brand you wish.

I know some of them are really hard and the actual flakes are long. If you happen to get a brand where the flakes are weirdly long, or you may just prefer a more shredded flake, don't be annoyed.

You can just just throw them into the processor or blender and give it a couple pulses.

Great Value coconut flakes

How to get the best results with yeast


I have gotten a few comments/emails with people having issues using yeast. I am no yeast expert myself but from my own errors here are some points that I make sure I check off for use.

1. Make sure whatever liquid you using with the yeast is warm. Not HOT. Too hot a temperature will kill the yeast. Too cold would not activate it.

I try for water at 110 (yes my geeky self actually uses my thermometer). Check out BobsRedMills giving more details on temperatures.

2.  Make sure your yeast is not expired. Yes, they do expire. I don't think they last longer than 6 months. And don't take the chance that you think your yeast might just work. It might just NOT.

If you can't remember when you bought it, then, please get fresh yeast. The Spruce Eats gives some more insight into expired yeast and the times.

3. Proofing yeast helps a lot. Well, it makes me feel more confident that my yeast is good and has passed the steps above. Once I see that bubbling happening I'm confident I am not about to make a dud.

The best way to proof yeast


Let me tell you, dead yeast is the worse thing to have to deal with. It does not just give you a bad result, it also hurts your ego.

So here are some best practices for making sure you get the best yield.
  • Add 1 cup of warm water in a bowl/cup (Warm, not HOT. See mention above)
  • Dissolve the sugar in the water. Sugar helps the yeast to start moving. 
  • Add your yeast and let it sit for like a minute
  • Then mix it. I actually use a milk whisk to mix my yeasts (I also make wine so it comes in handy). It gets all the clumps out
  • I then cover with some plastic wrap and put it in a warm area while I mix my other things together
  • You should see some movement of your yeast in like 5 to 10 minutes. 
  • No movement? Yeast is dead. Try again

Your yeast should start out looking like the top, and look like the bottom or even worse when it has activated. 


If your yeast is good and going, the rest of the things are easy peasy. 

After a minor survey, I found out that not many people like mixed peel in their sweetbread. 

Mixed peel is just really dried fruits. 

This is optional if you are not a lover of it. When I mentioned "dried fruit" in this recipe I have combined mixed peel, raisins, and cherries. In any amounts you prefer. 

A container of mixed peel

I personally don't really care for mixed peel, but it sure does make the sweet bread pretty. It is also called tutti frutti at some of the Caribbean supermarkets

This is a more crumbly sweet bread compared to the other recipe I have.

We are mixing the butter in with our hands. I actually did not use my mixer with this recipe, to be honest. It was just me and my spatula and it wasn't plenty of work.


Once everything is combined and mixed together there is some rising time needed.

And this is the time you see the results of good yeast.

I always cover with a damp cloth while I wait.

Make sure you also grease your pan well. I use a 9 X 5 " loaf pan and I usually grease my pan with table butter. You can also flour it a bit after if you want to make sure grease is everywhere.

This yields one gorgeous loaf. 

A loaf of sweet bread

And depending on how much-mixed peel or raisins you include the cut will be really colorful

The best storage for sweet bread


If this lasts longer than a day, then it's best to keep it in a bread box or a zip lock bag. Get out as much of the air as possible.

My mom loves to put this in the fridge after a few days.

It's easy to warm up. 

It is amazing toasted.

If you happen to make this and make numerous loaves, sweet bread can easily be put in the freezer. Then brought to room temperature when ready to be used.

The inside of a sweet bread sliced

More baking goodness:



Watch this quick video for sweet bread



sweet bread, coconut sweet bread, trinidad sweet bread
Snacks, desserts
Caribbean
Yield: 1 loaf
Author:
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Trinidad Sweet Bread

Trinidad Sweet Bread

Prep time: 1 H & 30 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 1 H & 60 M
The simplest Trinidad sweet bread recipe you will find. This version uses the alternative pre-packaged coconut flakes in a crumbly base.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes, sweetened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mixed peel (amount to vary based on likeness)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon spice
  • 1 cup of warm water
For Glaze
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions:

  1. Put warm water into a cup
  2. Add yeast, teaspoon sugar, tablespoons flour to water.
  3. Stir well and leave to rise/activate
  4. In a large bowl mix coconut flakes, sugar, salt, and fat.
  5. Mix with a spatula and combine completely
  6. Add flour, dried fruit, nutmeg, spice, essence, coconut flakes and yeast mixture to bowl
  7. Mix well
  8. Leave to rise for an hour
  9. Add mixture to well-greased loaf pan.
  10. Leave to rise until nearly twice the size
  11. Heat oven to 350F
  12. Bake until brown for about 30 mins (oven temperatures vary. Make sure knife inserted in center comes out clean)
  13. Remove from pan and turn onto a rack
  14. Brush with glaze
For Glaze
  1. Mix sugar and water together till sugar dissolves
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Loaf of sweet bread with title overalay

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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.

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