Bill's Coconut Bread

This coconut bread was my favourite part of a beautiful breakfast out at Bills in Darlinghurst. We went a few weekends ago and waited an hour and a half just to be seated, such is the popularity of this breakfast & lunch spot.* It was so good that the minute we got home I found the recipe online (it's also included in the cookbook Bills Food) and baked up a batch so we could enjoy a slice again the next morning and the one after that. I note that creating this loaf from scratch takes less than an hour and a half. Coconut is extremely energy rich and there's a lot of it in this recipe making each serving both hearty and delicious. Served toasted and buttered with a big mug of tea it's the perfect chilly-morning start to a busy day.


Ingredients: 2 eggs • 300ml milk • 1 tsp vanilla essence • 2 1/2 cups plain flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 2 tsp cinnamon • 1 cup caster sugar (I usually reduce sugar in baking recipes and used only a 1/2 cup raw sugar for my bread) • 150g shredded coconut • 75g melted unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

2. Lightly whisk eggs, milk & vanilla.

3. Sift** flour, baking powder & cinnamon together in a large bowl. Stir in coconut & sugar.

4. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Mix until just combined.

5. Add melted butter and stir until smooth - or try the same amount of coconut oil for a more intensified flavour. Either way, be careful not to over-mix.

6. Pour batter into greased & floured loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.

7. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool fully on a wire rack. Makes 8-10 generous slices best served toasted and buttered or slathered with home-made raspberry jam.

* If you want to try Bills in the evening, head to the Surry Hills restaurant on Crown St instead. We had an early dinner there (early is best... before the place filled up) after first viewing our apartment. The burger was so good I knew I wanted to stay in the area and I actually giggled with glee as I devoured it. Best burger in Australia, just sayin'. If you do go, no matter how full you are, order the ginger ice cream sandwich for dessert. It still visits me in my dreams!

** Does anyone really bother with sifting? Bakers, I'd like to hear from you on this!

Catherine Roberts