In which I share a few of my food quirks... (Coconut Date Bread)

News flash: I have food quirks...

I know, I know. How could such a thing be?

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...

Coconut-Date Bread
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. 


  1. Apart from the black vs. golden raisin quirk, the rest of them make total sense to me. Coconut is a weird texture. Liver and onions is...well...gross. Fruit in jello is odd and unnecessary. I wouldn't cross a room to escape it, but I'd be more likely to hang out by the cookies. I dub thee normal, Cher! haha

  2. OMG your food phobias totally make me feel better about mine. You're the best Cher.

    Oh and I'm going to link to this post on my www.facebook.com/FrenchWhisk page. It's just too good of recipe not to share!

    1. Thanks, Allison.
      Consider it my good deed for the day :-)

  3. Blech. I don't understand liver and onions either.

  4. Thanks for sharing your food idiosyncrasies. A big one for me used to be mushrooms--love the flavor; hate the texture. I'm better now. But shrimp still scare me. :)

    1. I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone. My one daughter has the fear of seafood.

  5. Sounds delicious. You sound like my soon-to-be husband with your food quirks.

  6. We share the same quirks. Raisins ... No. Way. Fruit in jello. Pass. Shredded coconut. Kill me now. Coconut milk? Flowers blooming, puppies frolicking, big time love. Leave it to KAF to take care of even the food weirdos. :)

    1. Thank you - I feel more balanced now... (or less unbalanced)

  7. Looks great! I love coconut, flavor and texture, but my husband doesn't like the shredded stuff so I love recipes that call for coconut milk.

  8. Food phobias intrigue me, I would like to know more about the psychology of food phobias. I could use a few food phobias, might stop me from eating everything that's not nailed down, seriously no food scares me;-)

  9. I love coconut!
    And I totally appreciate "quirks"!
    I've never seen this combination, I'm intrigued! Thanks!

  10. Food phobias are the worst. My biggest one is buffets - how many people have looked at, touched or sneezed on food. Guess I feel the same way about passed appetizers, etc. Eeek! I like the idea of this coconut date bread!

  11. This sounds great, though I might stir in a bit of flaked coconut too :) Have you tried coconut La Croix water? I love it!

  12. Cher, This bread looks so delicious...I'm bookmarking this one! I love coconut and dates...yum!

  13. My husband would enjoy this, but I'm not a fan of dates (that's one of my food quirks...). My parents used to make liver and onions too, but they always made "breakfast for dinner" for my sister and I to eat. We appreciated it!

  14. This bread looks magnificent - soft, fluffy and flavoursome :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Happy National Peanut Butter Day

  15. haha I loved reading about the food quirks :) and I'm so with you on the raisins and fluff/jello mix. I do like jello/jelly/anything gelatin-based by itself though!


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