News flash: I have food quirks...
I love the flavor of coconut, but I totally can't deal with shredded coconut. (Reminds me of fingernail clippings).
I like golden raisins. The black ones. Ewwww. I will pick them out of everything. Other dried fruits don't bug me - I embrace them whole heartedly. It's just the little black raisins that freak me out.
Liver and onions. I just don't get it. My parents used to make this when I was a kid. For the longest time, I had a hard time eating steak because the smell reminded me of cooking liver. Total ugh factor.
Chunks of fruit and Jello combinations. Too many conflicting textures. I will cross a room to avoid these.
I'll stop here. For which I am sure you are grateful.
I used to have more. And I have been able to work through most of them. Or at least be more tolerant...
Thank you for letting me get that all of my chest. I feel better.
Back to the whole coconut thing.
As I mentioned, I love the flavor of coconut but totally can't stand the texture of the flaked stuff. Which means that I usually rely on coconut milk for the flavor. I keep a crazy number of cans of the stuff in my pantry. For real.
It gets used in soups, curries, cakes, breads, puddings. Pretty much where ever I can get away with sneaking it in (just ask my kids). So when I saw this recipe for coconut-date bread in KAF The Baking Sheet and saw that there was nary a flake of coconut in sight - I was tickled pink. And the addition of dates just sealed the deal.
The original recipe called for water + coconut milk powder, but I wanted to make this vegan (the coconut milk powder I have contains dairy...) so I traded them out for straight up coconut milk. I also added a little vital wheat gluten to give the whole wheat flour a little boost - it's not necessary, but a nice touch.
This bread has a nice texture that is a little bit more like a quick bread than a yeast bread. I would also place this under the "no knead" category, since no kneading is required - just mixing. If you have a Danish dough whisk, this is a great place to use it...
Adapted From King Arthur Flour's The Baking Sheet: Early Spring 2012
6 ounces whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups)
8 1/2 ounces unbleached all-purpose flour (2 cups)
1 Tbs vital wheat gluten
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
12 fluid ounces coconut milk (1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbs honey
8 ounces dates - pitted & finely chopped (~1 1/2 cups)
* This one can be mixed easily enough by hand in a large bowl. If you want to use a stand mixer, you only need the paddle attachment - no kneading is required. I've done it both ways...
Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl; add honey, coconut milk and dates. Using a dough whisk, mix until all ingredients are well-combined. You may need to use your hands to incorporate the last bits of flour & stray date pieces. At this point, it will be more like a medium to stiff batter.
Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl (cover with plastic wrap) and let rise until very puffy (it won't quite double).
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Deflate dough, form into a loaf; cover and let rise again (~45 minutes - 1 hour). Dough won't double, but will get very puffy.
Near the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350F. Bake for ~50 minutes - until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. When done, remove loaf from oven. Cool in the pan for ~15 minutes, then turn onto a rack to finish cooling before cutting into.