Appetizers & Starters/ Bread/ Jamaican/ Lunch/ Sides/ Wraps & Sandwiches

Coco Bread

January 15, 2023

Jamaican Coco Bread is a soft, fluffy, moist bread with a sweet delicate flavour and a pocket shape that’s perfect for sandwiches. It’s super easy to make a batch so you can enjoy this delicious Jamaican sweet bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whenever the craving strikes!

jamaican coco bread on wooden board.

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Coco Bread is a soft, fluffy, moist bread with a sweet delicate flavour and a pocket shape that’s perfect for sandwiches. It’s super easy to make a batch so you can enjoy this delicious Jamaican sweet bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whenever the craving strikes!

For more Jamaican bread recipes, try my Jamaican Festival Recipe and Jamaican Fried Dumpling next! Also, if you’re looking for the perfect pairing, try my Jamaican Beef Patty – it’s a classic and so delicious together!

jamaican coco bread.

Coco Bread

Jamaican style coco bread is such a treat! It’s rich, buttery and tender so it tastes delicious all on its own! But the great thing about this bread is that it complements so many of my favourite Caribbean foods. It’s soft enough to melt in your mouth but firm enough to make a sandwich.

Growing up, we would always visit the patty shop. The visit wouldn’t be complete without walking out with a Jamaican Beef Patty sandwiched between a coco bread and an ice-cold soft drink. It was a tradition, patty and coco bread just go, like salt and pepper. But here’s the best part, it’s easily enjoyed on it’s own because it’s just that good!

Here’s Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Shareable – this recipe makes enough for 8 so everyone can enjoy. Or, you can keep this Jamaican delicacy all to yourself and save them for later!
  • Easy – it is made with simple ingredients. Depending on your location, it may be easier to make it rather than trying to figure out where to buy coco bread.
  • Versatile – sweet, savoury, spicy… This Caribbean staple goes with just about everything! Stuff them with your favorite filling and make a coco bread sandwich.
  • Sweet Aroma – baking bread naturally fills your home with the most delicious smell, however this coco bread aroma is 2.0!
jamaican beef patty sandwiched between coco bread.

What is Coco Bread?

This popular Jamaican sweet bread is named after its main ingredient. “Coco” is short for coconut. Jamaican coco bread contains flour, yeast, sugar and melted butter. However different recipes use either coconut milk or regular milk. My recipe also includes eggs while some may not.

What Does Jamaican Coco Bread Taste Like?

Coco bread has a subtle sweet taste because of the coconut milk. If you aren’t a big coconut fan, don’t worry. The flavour isn’t overwhelming. Its rich, buttery flavour tastes similar to Hawaiian sweet rolls but coco bread is a tad denser.

What is Coco Bread Made From?

Coco bread is made using flour as well as salt, sugar and yeast. It is then combined with melted butter, a whisked egg and coconut milk until a dough is formed. Lastly, it’s set aside to rise then baked in the oven until perfectly golden on top with a soft, sweet center!

overhead view of coco bread ingredients.

What You Need To Make This Jamaican Coco Bead Recipe

  • Measuring Spoons and Cups – for accurate measuring of wet and dry ingredients.
  • Whisk – to combine the dry ingredients as well as whisk the egg.
  • 2 Large Bowls – to hold the wet and dry ingredients before they are combined, and to hold the dough as it proofs.
  • Rolling Pin – to flatten (roll out) the dough into individual pieces.
  • Large Baking Sheet – to bake the coco bread.

Ingredients and Ingredient Notes

  • All Purpose Flour – you’ll need the precise measurements listed on the recipe card plus more for dusting.
  • Quick Rise Instant Yeast – this is best for quick baking as it’s highly active designed for mixing directly with other dry ingredients before use.
  • Sugar – use granulated white sugar, brown sugar is not recommended. The measurement can be reduced to 2 tbsp if necessary.
  • Salt – for flavour and to control the yeast.
  • Unsalted Butter – it should be melted but slightly cooled so it does not cook your eggs when added to the wet mixture.
  • Egg – whisk before adding to the wet ingredients.
  • Coconut Milk – it should be warmed to temp range of 105° and 115°F. This temperature range ensures that the dough rises properly and creates a tender crumb.
  • Olive Oil – this softens the dough and enriches the texture as well as prevents the dough from drying out while rising.

How to Make Coco Bread

1. Prep and Combine Dry Ingredients – line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter and set aside. In a large bowl, add flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and whisk until well combined, set aside.

2. Combine Wet Ingredients – in another bowl, add the melted (slightly cooled) butter, warmed coconut milk, and whisked egg. Whisk mixture together until well combined.

3. Add Dry Ingredients to Wet – add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture bowl and stir, continue to add the remaining flour until a soft dough has formed (soft texture is good).

4. Knead the Dough: turn dough (transfer) onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until a smooth dough ball forms, which bounces back quickly when poked.

5. Wait for Dough to Rise – place dough in a large mixing bowl, and drizzle with approx. 2 tbsps of olive oil, ensuring all surfaces of the dough is fully coated. Cover with a damp dish towel or shower cap, placing in a warm area for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.

dough doubled in size after riding for one hour.

6. Cut and Roll Out Dough – punch down the dough, to remove the air and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into about 8-10 equal pieces and roll each dough into a ball.

Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into about a 6-inch diameter round (about 1/4-inch thick). Then, brush the surface of the dough with melted butter or olive oil and fold in half.

7. Second Rise: Transfer each piece on the prepared baking sheet then let rest for another 30 minutes and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).

8. Bake: Bake in the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe Substitutions and Tips

  • For sweeter bread – add more sugar.
  • Stronger coconut flavour – add more coconut milk (be sure to adjust flour) or use coconut cream.
  • Gluten-Free Coco Bread – some recipes use coconut flour instead of all-purpose. If you have a gluten allergy, coconut flour is the better option. (The coconut flavour in the flour is mild so it won’t be overwhelming.)
  • Dairy – if you do not want to use coconut milk, you can use regular milk. However, dairy milk isn’t as thick as coconut milk so the dough may be sticky (use extra flour to fix that.)

Serving Suggestions and Tips

Jamaican coco bread goes with anything and can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Here are some tasty ideas:

  • Jamaican Patty and Coco Bread – the soft doughy texture of the bread is a delicious contrast to the crispy flakes of a Jamaican beef patty.
  • Oxtails – use Jamaican coco bread to soak up the oxtail gravy.
  • Fish – make a fish sandwich using Brown Stew Fish or Jamaican Escovitch Fish.
  • Butter – keep it simple and delicious by just adding butter to your bread.
  • Jam or Honey – serve with your favourite flavoured jam or honey for the perfect start to your day.
  • PB&J – the kids and your inner child will love this one! Whip up some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Soups and Stews – the savoury flavour of broth would go well with the sweetness of coco bread. Try my Gungo Peas Soup, Jamaican Red Peas Soup and Jamaican Chicken Soup.
a hand holding a bitten jamaican beef patty in between coco bread

Recipe Notes and Tips for Success

Warm Ingredients – use warm ingredients so the dough will rise.

Dough Thickness – roll the dough however thick or thin you want. Make thicker coco bread for sturdier fillings like burgers.

Richness – for a richer flavour, brush them with melted butter when they come out of the oven.

Oven Settings – every oven is different, so be sure to check on our bread around the 12 to 15 minutes mark of baking.

Keep Dough Soft – having a softer, more hydrated (light and moist) dough will yield a tender. fluffier, more desirable texture.

Watch My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions

Can I Make this Ahead of Time?

Yes. Follow the instructions and stop just before baking. Then place the dough in the freezer so the dough doesn’t rise in the fridge overnight. Otherwise, the coconut milk may alter the taste.

Storage Instructions

Store leftover coco bread in individual plastic wraps and they can sit at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerated, they last for one week. For longer storage, freeze Jamaican coco bread. Store it in an airtight container after it has come to room temperature. They will last in the freezer for up to two months.

Reheating Instructions

When you are ready to reheat, brush the bread with butter and bake at 350°F for up to 10 minutes.

Jamaican coco bread

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why do Jamaicans call it coco bread?

Coco derives from coconut, the main source of flavour.

How do you eat coco bread?

You can eat coco bread alone, break it apart and dip it into sauce, soups, or stews, or use it as sandwich bread (most common).

Where can I buy coco bread?

You can buy coco bread at a Jamaican restaurant or Caribbean market but coco bread from scratch is just as delicious and even fresher!

Can you make coco bread in the toaster oven?

Yes. You can bake coco bread in a toaster oven, if you have one that is powerful enough to reach and maintain a temperature of 350°F (177°C). Keep in mind, you will need to bake them in batches.

Can you make coco bread with regular milk instead of coconut milk?

Yes. You can use regular milk, instead of coconut milk. However, coconut milk is thicker than regular milk regardless of the fat percentage; you may need to adjust the amount of flour as your dough may be too sticky.

Is coco bread also called folding bread?

Yes! Another term for coco bread is folding bread.

What coconut milk should I use?

Use unsweetened canned coconut milk as it’s not diluted like the ones in the cartons.

Can I use salted butter?

Yes. If you use salted butter, just adjust the amount of salt used.

Interested in more Jamaican Recipes? Check These Out!

jamaican coco bread.

Coco Bread

Coco Bread is a soft, fluffy, moist bread with a sweet delicate flavour and a pocket shape that's perfect for sandwiches. It's super easy to make a batch so you can enjoy this delicious Jamaican sweet bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or whenever the craving strikes!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course bread, Snacks
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8 servings
Calories 416 kcal

Equipment

  • Measuring Spoons and Cups for wet and dry ingredients
  • Whisk
  • 2 Large Bowls
  • Rolling Pin
  • Large Baking Sheet

Ingredients
  

  • 3 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 tsp Quick Rise Instant Yeast or 1 pkg
  • 3 tbsp Sugar can be reduced to 2tbsp
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter melted and slightly cooled, plus 1 tbsp
  • 1 large Egg whisked
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk warmed to temp range of 105° and 115°F (warm to the touch)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with butter and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and whisk until well combined, set aside. In another bowl, add the melted (slightly cooled) butter, warmed coconut milk, and whisked egg. Whisk mixture together until well combined.
  • Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture bowl and stir, continue to add the remaining flour until a soft dough has formed (soft texture is good). Then, turn dough (transfer) unto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or  until a smooth dough ball forms, which bounces back quickly when poked.
  • Place dough in a large mixing bowl, and drizzle with approx. 2 tbsps of olive oil, ensuring all surfaces of the dough is fully coated. Cover with a damp dish towel or shower cap, placing in a warm area for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough, to remove the air and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into about 8-10 equal pieces and roll each dough into a ball.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into about a 6-inch diameter round (about 1/4-inch thick). Then, brush the surface of the dough with melted butter or olive oil and fold in half. Transfer each piece on the prepared baking sheet then let rest for another 30 minutes and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • Bake in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, brush with melted butter, serve warm and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Warm Ingredients – use warm ingredients (warm to the touch) so the dough will rise.
  • Keep Dough Soft – having a softer, more hydrated (light and moist) dough will yield a tender. fluffier, more desirable texture.
  • Dough Thickness – roll the dough however thick or thin you want. Make thicker coco bread for sturdier fillings like burgers.
  • Richness – for a richer flavour, brush them with melted butter when they come out of the oven.
  • Oven Settings – every oven is different, so be sure to check on our bread around the 12 to 15 minutes mark of baking.

Nutrition

Calories: 416kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 8gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 444mgPotassium: 157mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 355IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 4mg
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