Using up an open can of coconut milk is kind of an ongoing issue at our house. We love cooking with coconut milk, but are always scaling down recipes and rarely use a full can. Coconut Milk Sandwich Bread is the perfect solution because it calls for exactly 1 cup of canned coconut milk.
The original recipe is on the Red Star site. I love that it only calls for 2 cups of flour and 1 cup oats and makes an 8×4 inch size loaf. So the slices are on the smaller side, but still big enough for sandwiches because of how high the bread rises.
Coconut Milk Sandwich Bread Flavor
As for flavor, you can definitely taste the coconut milk. It’s not strong, but the bread has a distinct coconut milk taste to it. It’s slightly sweet, but not so sweet it wouldn’t work with a BLT or roast beef sandwich. It would be really good with ham. But then again, I like sweet & salty so I’m biased. Oddly enough, the coconut combined with the brown sugar reminds me of wheat flavor. If someone didn’t know the ingredients, they might mistake it for a light wheat bread.
Salt, Butter, and Flour Notes
Interestingly, the Red Star recipe only calls for a pinch of salt. The bread definitely needs more, so my version uses 1/2 teaspoon. I also used softened butter in place of the coconut oil. If you need to make vegan Coconut Milk Sandwich Bread, you can use a neutral oil, but the flavor of the butter was really good. And finally, I did use bread flour rather than all-purpose. I’m sticking with bread flour for now, but I do want to try incorporating some wheat flour just for fun. Expect some updates and variations to this recipe. This is a fun one!
One More Note — The Yeast
I’ve been testing with instant yeast. Normally I would mix the instant yeast with the dry ingredients and pour in very warm liquid, but I’ve been using a temperamental yeast I bought in bulk and dissolving it in water to be sure it works. If you are adding the yeast to the dry ingredients as is normal with instant yeast, the rise time may vary. One thing I’ve learned with yeast bread making is you need to use the rising time as a guide and let the dough do it’s thing. This one should double.
Coconut Milk Sandwich Bread
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- 1 cup coconut milk full fat type from a can
- 1 cup rolled oats 80 grams
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups bread flour 270 grams, plus a little more as needed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons very soft unsalted butter 42 grams
- Softened butter for greasing pan
- In a microwave-safe measuring cup or in a saucepan, heat the coconut milk just until it starts to boil. Add oats to the hot milk. Insert a thermometer and let cool to between 120 and 130 degrees F. To speed this up up, add ¼ cup of water, but don’t let the mixture get too cool because it needs to be activate the yeast. See note if you are using active dry yeast or an instant yeast brand you don’t quite trust!
- While the mixture is cooling, put flour, salt, brown sugar and instant dry yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Put pieces of very soft butter on top of the flour mixture.
- Once the oatmeal mixture has cooled to between 120 and 130, add the oatmeal mixture.
- Set bowl and mixer stand and use the dough hook to knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky, so you’ll need to stop a few times and scrape it from the side of the mixing bowl. If the dough seems very sticky and none of it clings to the hook, dust sides of the bowl with a little flour. By the time you are finished it should feel smooth and elastic, but chances are some will still stick to the side of the bowl during the final minutes of kneading.
- Scrape dough into a large greased bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. The rising time will vary depending on what brand of yeast you are using, the temperature of the rising spot and how you added the yeast. So plan on an hour, but let it rise longer if it hasn’t doubled.
- Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan with softened butter. The butter adds more flavor to the crust, so be generous with it.
- Punch down the dough and shape it into a rectangle around 10 by 6 inches. Roll into a cylinder and fit into your pan.
- Cover with with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has domed about an inch over the pan. This dough should form a stable dome that does not collapse during baking. Also, the second rise time could be anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour.
- When you feel like it’s close to bake time, preheat oven to 375. You are going to bake it at 375 for the first 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 for another 10 for about 30 minutes total.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 to 15 minutes, then remove and let cool for several hours. The texture will improve as it cools.