One treat that I loved to eat while visiting the Caribbean is the coveted coconut roll from a local bakery. All Caribbean islands have their own version of this, and some might call it Salara or Coconut bread. Some make the dough like bread with a soft, airy center, while others make it like a buttery, flaky pastry. At times it’s hard to decide which one I love the best, but recently I tried my hand at making the buttery pastry dough for the coconut roll. I also attempted to create my very first homemade YouTube video illustrating how I make it. Here is a list of the ingredients and product. I enjoy baking and cooking and have always wanted to document it, so this is my first try.
½ Cup Ice Cold Water (as needed)
4. oz Cold Butter
4. oz Cold Shortening
2 Cups Flour
¼ tbsp Salt
The dough can be made entirely by hand or you can use a food processor. Put the flour, butter, shortening, salt, and water in a bowel and use a fork to mush up the butter until looks like sand if you do not have a food processor. Then knead the dough into a ball, while being careful not to over work or melt the butter/shortening.
The most important thing is not to over work the dough or let your butter/shortening get too soft. (You can also use the butter layering method similar to what is used when making flaky pastry.)
Make sure to put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. You can make the dough a day or too prior to baking. I would suggest that 2 days is the maxium for letting your dough sit in the fridge after that you may have to freeze it, make the coconut rolls immidately, or threw it away.
2 Cups desiccated/Shredded Coconut
1 Cup white or Brown Sugar
1 tablespoon Powder Cinnamon
1 tablespoon Powder Nutmeg Coconut Milk (If Needed)
3 Drops Of Red Coloring
¼ Tablespoon Shredded Fresh Ginger
When making the filling, you will need shredded coconut; you can buy or shred it yourself. For me, those days are over, I wasn’t going to spend time shredding my fingertips into the filling so I purchased a 2 pound bag of shredded sweetend coconut.
Cook the coconut until its slightly brown in the pan, then added a bit of coconut milk, sugar, and let it cook down into a sauce. Keep stirring while adding nutmeg, cinnamon, and grate in some ginger for taste. End with adding three drops of red food coloring and almond essence (vanilla extra).
Tip: If you added too much coconut milk or your sugar turned into a soupy mess go ahead and drain the excess liquid from the coconut filling. Too much liquid will cause a big mess when rolling and/or baking the roll.
Once you are done, you must let this cool down, so that it doesn’t dissolve the dough when prepping for baking.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and do your best to roll out flat but not too thin.
Spread the coconut filling in the center of the dough, then evenly distribute on the surface before rolling it into a log.
After rolling it into a log, you will have to neatly tuck the edge of the dough under, and then you have the choice to glaze with milk or eggs. I prefer milk to glaze my dough!
Bake in a 320-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing and enjoying.