Bajan (“bay-junn”) is the Creole dialect spoken in Barbados, a mixture of West African and English that apparently sounds like a Liverpool accent.
This recipe has been sitting in my To Bake pile for a long time, waiting for a can of evaporated milk to materialize in my cupboard. The can appeared this weekend, so I baked the little devil.
When it came out of the oven, I was disappointed. It tasted like a sponge. I thought miserably: This is what I poured 2 1/2 cups of grated coconut into?
But I can’t bring myself to throw out edible bread, so I dragged it to work the next day, and miserably sat down to eat it for lunch.
And it tasted fantastic. The day after that, it tasted even better. And by the third day, I was actually looking forward to it. After that, it started getting a bit stale – but this is certainly a bread that should be allowed to cool a few days.
Bajan Sweet Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2½ cups grated coconut
4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup butter, melted
11/4 cup evaporated milk
1 tsp almond extract
Grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350 (F).
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, coconut, sugar, and raisins. In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, egg, evaporated milk, and almond extract. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, divide in half (the dough will be very thick), and place in pans.
Bake until golden, about 1 hour. Let cool completely.