If you’re from the Caribbean then you’ll know about Coconut Bake. This traditional Caribbean dish is a combination of flour, coconut milk and baking powder, with some additions to make this simple flat but deliciously flavorful dish that is served with sides such as Salt Fish Buljol. And we’re so glad to share this recipe for our Gluten Free Trinidad Coconut Bake!
How we created the recipe for Gluten Free Trinidad Coconut Bake
When creating our recipe for Gluten free Coconut Bake, I had a little bit of difficulty, but perseverance proved to be the best strategy. If you’ve ever tried making gluten free bread, you’ll know that you can’t create a dough that rolls, it has to take the form of a batter like consistency that uses the bread pan to help make the shape.
Traditional coconut bake is made by simply rolling it out and baking on a sheet tray or cast iron pan. Trying to combine this technique with the gluten free batter was the challenge. The first gluten free coconut bake dough spread too much and it baked more like a biscuit than bake.
So it was on to batch number two. For this batch we tried creating a gluten free focaccia type dough with the addition of the coconut milk and parts of the coconut husk.
This method was a winner. I was able to gently form the dough, it rose, held its shape and when cut had a delicious flavor and texture that made my heart leap. The top of it cracked a little, giving it a rustic look, but the flavor was great and it was soft even the next day! Our second try at gluten free coconut bake was a winner!
A look at how we our Gluten Free Coconut Bake
Firstly we made fresh coconut milk using a dried coconut so that we could also get some of the husk. This is optional but the flavor it gives the bake is much better than regal store bought coconut milk.
Next we active our yeast by letting it sit in some sugar and warm water. The addition of yeast is not traditional to coconut bake but necessary for the gluten free version as our flours are heavier than regular wheat flour.
We simply combined everything in a bowl and mixed it by hand. Sometimes you would hear of people using stand mixers to make gluten free bread, but this technique worked and that way no special tools are required.
We used eggs to help bind the dough, and give some added structure. I haven’t tried it with an egg substitute, but if you do let us know!
The flour we used for this recipe was Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour. This is what we had on hand and it worked well.
Finally, Gluten Free baking is a tricky thing one minute all goes well the other it’s a whole other thing. If at first you don’t succeed, try again and don’t give up!
- 1/2 Tbsp Yeast
- 2 tsps brown sugar
- 3/4 cup warm coconut milk
- 2 cups GF 1:1 Baking Flour
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp dairy free butter spread or softened butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup coconut husk
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- In a measuring cup or bowl, combine yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Let sit until foamy and activated.
- In a large bowl combine gluten free flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix together until well combined. Once yeast is ready, create a well in the center and add the yeast mixture, along with the egg, coconut milk and husk. Mix with silicone spatula until just combined and the dough is slightly sticky. Let set in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with silicone or parchment. Divide the dough into two and place on either sides of the baking tray. Wet your hands and gently form a circle about 6-7 inches and 1 inch thick. Smooth the top, let sit for about 10 minutes then bake for 20 minutes until puffed up and golden. Note the top will look a little crackly.
- Remove from oven, let cool slightly before serving warm.