The aroma of homemade bread baking in the oven is enough to compel many people to get in the kitchen and bake. That aroma is even more welcoming when hosting friends and family overnight, as there’s nothing quite like waking up to the smell of freshly baked bread coming from the kitchen. Hosts who want to treat their guests to such aromatic mornings can try the following recipe for “Banana and Coconut Loaf” from Linda Collister’s “Quick Breads” (Ryland, Peters & Small).
Banana and Coconut Loaf
Makes 1 medium loaf
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
Grated peel of 1 unwaxed lime
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
3 medium bananas, very ripe (about 1 cup peeled)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt (not fat-free)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
A good pinch of sea salt
1 8 x 4 x 21Ú2-inch loaf pan, greased and base-lined with parchment paper
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Put the coconut in an ovenproof dish and toast in the heated oven for about 3 minutes until a light gold color. Let cool until needed.
Put the butter into a large bowl, add the sugar and the grated lime peel. Beat well with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Gradually beat in the eggs.
Using a fork, mash the bananas fairly roughly so they keep a bit of texture. Add to the bowl together with the coconut. Halve the lime and squeeze out the juice, then add 1 tablespoon of the juice to the bowl with the yogurt. Mix in gently.
Set a strainer over the bowl and sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt onto the mixture. Mix in well, then scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
Bake for about 1 hour until golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Carefully remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack. Serve thickly sliced. Best eaten within 3 days. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.