[Note: Unsweetened coconut is available frozen, from our friends at Goya, or you can grate fresh coconut. Fully unthaw the frozen coconut and make sure it is at room temperature so you don’t shock the yeast.]
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
I package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 –4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Scant 3/4 cup unsweetened, grated coconut
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (stirred/mixed well)
3 tablespoons shortening, melted
Stir yeast and sugar into the warm water and set aside to proof.
In a stand mixer, mix flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture, coconut, coconut milk and shortening. Stir until the dough becomes a shaggy mass. (You also can mix with your hands.)
Dust dough with about 1/4 cup flour. Using a dough hook (or your hands), knead dough until it is soft and elastic, adding flour about 1/4 cup at a time as needed until the dough is tacky but does not stick to your hands. Form the dough into a ball, transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover and let it rise in a warm spot. It will take about an hour for it to double in size.
Punch down the dough and divide, forming into oblongs to fit two greased loaf pans. Set aside again and let rise until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour. Bake in a preheated, 350-degree oven for 35–45 minutes, or until the tops are a deep, golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and let cool on racks—if the loaves don’t disappear the second they come out of the oven.