It’s Tuesday and things are feeling sort of bright and fresh around here.
I love, love, love that citrus fruits are a winter thing. I mean, I know that I use lemons and limes year round, but come mid winter they totally brighten up my day and obviously my foods too.
I have a little confession though. This was the first time I actually ever baked with lemons, or any citrus fruit for that matter. As you guys know, when baking is involved around here, chocolate must also be involved. Growing up my savory foods were never, ever, mixed with my sweets.
It just was not something I ever thought as of being good. Lemon bread or banana bread? Yeah, I would go banana for sure, but with chocolate as well… of course.
However, the more I get into cooking and baking, and the more new flavors and combos I try, the more my tastes are changing and evolving. Now I know that using lemons in baked goods is a very common and well-loved concept, but for me it is totally new and very exciting.
And this bread is actually good, even without the chocolate.
Say what?! Yup, I never thought I would say it, but it is.
Now it is of course, delicious with chocolate too. I know this because half the loaf is studded with chocolate chunks.
Do not judge. I was worried it just would not be the same without chocolate, plus if I wanted to get anyone else in my family to try this bread than I needed a little chocolate to persuade them. You know how it works.
I am happy to say that I have a new love in this world and it is most definitely baking with lemons. We all loved it.
So good. Granted this bread is also loaded with one of my very favorite ingredients. Coconut! Now I know that lemons and coconut together is so good.
If you are looking for something to brighten your Tuesday or really your week than this is your bread. And my gosh, the smell as it bakes is simply amazing. Kind of makes you want to go out and buy up all the flowers at the grocery store and start spring cleaning.
Or at least just make things feel a little brighter and less clustered. Which I am thinking we may all need after a long weekend. Although, I kind of needed this bread yesterday. Monday was good, but still Monday. Put it this way, I had a doctor’s appointment and on all of my forms I put 2015 for the year. Yeah, I did and I have no idea why. I am losing it. Well, that and I hate going to the doctors. I am a nervous mess both before and after. It is not fun.
Now, we have to talk about how this bread is good both warm right out of the oven or toasted with a good drizzle of the salted honey butter.
I highly recommend experiencing this bread both ways because both are so good. One thing though, do not skip out on the honey butter. It is the perfect sweet drizzle for the bread. The flavors just work.
Best part – it’s a no fuss, done in less that an hour, bread.
Love those! Because easy and less than an hour means you can be enjoying warm bread with little effort on any day of the week. Yes, please.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan thoroughly with nonstick spray.
- Spread coconut flakes on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake in preheated oven. The flakes will toast very quickly and won't take more than 5-10 minutes. After a few minutes stir the coconut to help ensure even color.
- In a small bowl, combine the white whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour), all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest, whisking thoroughly. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and brown sugar until smooth. Add in coconut milk and melted coconut oil, whisking until combined. Slowly stir in dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in 1 1/3 cups toasted coconut (reserve the rest for topping) and chopped chocolate if using. Pour batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Place loaf pan on a baking sheet and set in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until center is set. If the top begins to brown, tent the bread with aluminum foil.
- Remove and let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting. Drizzle the bread with the salted honey butter and then sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut. Serve warm or toasted with the salted honey butter. Bread will keep (covered) for 3-5 days.
- Mix the melted butter with the honey in a small bowl. If desired warm the honey in the microwave for 15 seconds and then drizzle over the bread.
Honey Butter adapted from my Blueberry Brie Cornbread Muffins
Oh, and if you are into chocolate (don’t lie, you know you love it), that version is pretty awesome too. Obviously.