Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coconut Rolls

About a month ago while I was at the grocery store I saw a carton of Coconut Milk. It was sitting right next to the almond and soy milk in the dairy section. It was Silk brand and I was intrigued. Not knowing what I would do with it exactly, I bought it. The expiration date was long so I figured I could use it by then. I proceeded to use it in various things - I ate it with granola, drank some of it straight, my mom swears the best bowl of honey nut cheerios she ever had was with that coconut milk, aaaaand I baked with it. Here is one of the products:

Coconut Rolls, kinda like a cinnamon roll, but with coconut instead of cinnamon. The original recipe was for Coconut Swirl Bread but I wasn't feeling swirl bread the day I set out to make it. The only problem was that I already had gone through the first part and the dough was rising so I had to use it somehow. After staring at the recipe for a while, this is what I came up with. I must say, I was quite pleased with the results.

The only thing I might do differently next time is not make a sponge - I hadn't done that before this recipe and it freaked me out a little bit. I hovered over it like a mother hen which of course meant that I couldn't really tell if it was rising or not. Eventually I decided it had to be working and moved forward. In the future, I would just let the yeast dissolve in the warm coconut milk and then proceed to add the other sponge ingredients from that point. This way did work though so if you aren't terrified of sponges, by all means go for it! Also, I froze half the dough because there was no way Hunter and I could have eaten that many coconut rolls ourselves.

Yield: the original recipe says two 9x5 loaves, I think this translates into 14-16 rolls.

1 tbsp Yeast
1 tbsp Sugar
1 2/3 cups warm coconut milk
2 cups bread flour

2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Coconut Filling:
12 Tbsp butter at room temp
1 cup sweetened coconut + more for sprinkling

Chocolate Ganche Topping:
8 oz semisweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Combine the sponge ingredients and stir until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size or about 30 minutes.

Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups of flour to the sponge. Stir until combined. Add 1/3 of the coconut out and knead until combined. Add another 1/3 of the coconut oil and repeat. Add the final 1/3 and knead until combined. Knead in the reamaining flour until smooth and silky*. You may not need to use all the flour, or you may need to use more. Dough should feel soft and satiny but not stiff. Knead thoroughly.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size, 1 1/2 -2 hours.

Make the coconut filling while the dough rises by stirring together all the filling ingredients in a bowl until combined. If you are only going to cook half the dough, only make half the filling.

Once the dough has risen, cut into two equal pieces. At this point I froze one and will only give directions for one piece of dough...if you are doing both, do everything twice! Roll out the dough into a rectangle. Spread the filling all over the surface and then roll into a long log. I think such a thing as cooking string exists, but I use floss to partition my dough into correct size pieces. Put the string under the log and move it to the size you want your rolls. Then pull the ends of the floss together like you were choking the dough (gruesome, I know but I couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Note to self: take pictures next time. A picture is worth 1000 words). It should cut though smoothly. Repeat for the length of the dough. Put the dough in a pan (I used a pie pan) and allow to rise for about an hour, again until they have almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

To make the ganache, put the chocolate pieces in a small bowl. Heat the heavy cream on the stove. Once it begins to boil (but hasn't got to the point of spilling over your pan and all over the kitchen) turn off the burner and pour the cream over the chocolate pieces. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes then whisk until smooth. Pour over your coconut rolls and fall in love with the chocolate coconutty goodness!

*If you use butter instead of coconut oil, it should be room temperature and cut into pieces. It will also require significantly less flour so I would start out by cutting out 1 cup and go from there.

Source: heavily adapted from Clockwork Lemon, originally from Coconut Babka

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