Coco bread is, simply put, special. Satisfyingly dense and moist, with a slightly sweet, buttery bite, Jamaican coco bread is universally loved on the island. A “patty and coco bread”—a piping hot beef patty stuffed inside a moist coco breadbag—from one of our best known local bakeries (Tastee or Juici Beef) is standard fare for school children, and a popular on-the-go lunch for grownups, at its best when enjoyed straight out of a brown paper bag. It’s cheap, filling, and ridiculously delicious. If you want the full Jamaican experience, throw in a D&G Kola Champagne or D&G Ginger Beer on the side.
Homemade coco bread starts with a sweet, yeasted enriched dough that’s mixed by hand and briefly kneaded until it’s soft and elastic. After proofing, we portion the dough into balls, and roll the balls into rounds. Brushing them with melted butter and folding them into quarters* makes a sort of pocket that, when baked, is a perfect vessel for stuffing or making sandwiches. Aside from the aforementioned beef patty, we recommend filling coco bread with a battered, fried fish fillet and top with pickled onions, scotch bonnet pepper, and tartar sauce. Or try warmed coco bread slathered with herb butter and dipped in rich and creamy Jamaican red pea or pumpkin soup. On its own, coco bread also makes a wonderful addition to a bread basket. Any way you take it, homemade coco bread is definitely worth the work.
*If desired, you can also just fold them in half for larger coco breads.