My other pan de coco recipe (see Choco Pan de Coco) is a refreshing take on this traditional Honduran bread because it’s much lighter and a tad sweeter than its native counterpart.
The classic version found in barrios and on dinner tables next to a bowl of hot sopa de caracol, or with a morning coffee, is typically a dense bread made with harina integral, or whole-wheat flour. But it wasn’t until I was eating a classic Danish rye bread, rugbrød, that I had the idea of taking yet another stab at pan de coco. Rugbrød is both delicious and interesting because of how many different textures are involved. And, because it doesn’t use white flour, it is packed with more nutritious flavor. So, this time around, I want to explore the density of a more authentic bread you might find in Honduras but also incorporate different textures into the bread, similar to a rugbrød.
- In a tall jar or medium bowl, mix the mature starter, flours, and warm water until incorporated. Cover with a lid or clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours, or until doubled in size. You can use your levain immediately, or refrigerate it for 12 hours to use later or the next day.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl or a saucepan, combine the coconut milk and water. Warm slightly in the microwave (or on the stovetop in a small pan). Make sure the mixture isn’t boiling or too hot to the touch. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the levain and dissolve it in the warm coconut water mixture.
- Using your hands, mix in the flours, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, coconut oil, salt, shredded coconut, and quinoa as instructed in until incorporated.
- Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead it with your palm until smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean, large bowl and let ferment for 5 or 6 hours. Cover the dough and refrigerate it to ferment in a cold environment for up to 12 hours.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and shape the dough into a log using a tension roll (see Shaping Dough: Method 1—Tension Roll, page 28). Place the log horizontally into the prepared loaf tin. Let the dough proof for 3 to 4 hours until spongy and soft to the touch, but not sticky.
- Thirty minutes before the proof is complete, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Baste the loaf with coconut oil and top with the coconut and quinoa.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. You may need to rotate your pan halfway through the baking time. Some ovens have hotspots to watch for and you will learn over time as you bake how evenly your oven bakes things. Hot spots are typically at the back corners of the oven, so if these begin to get dark before other parts of the bread, you should rotate the loaf to get an even color. This bread is BEST when eaten hot out of the oven.
Excerpted from New World Sourdough by Bryan Ford © 2020