Oh! For a Trini Sweetbread and a Trini Christmas
This is the sweetbread I grew up eating. Most of the women in my family made some type of bread on the weekends and much more for the holidays, this particular sweetbread was taught to me by my next door Barbadian neighbor who I loved dearly, she has since passed away, her name was Mrs Claudine Theodore affectionately called Miss Claudine, may she rest in peace.
My recipe is a mix of Trini and Bajan put together, this one is without the coconut filling.
This time of the year bring back so many memories of my childhood on the islands of Trinidad.
In Trinidad our tradition around Christmas time is to redecorate our home, painting walls, vanishing floors, new carpeting, sewing curtains etc! come Christmas morning everything has to be new, even your sleep clothes, pajamas, slippers etc! ( that’s for another post)
Really amazing time of the year.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups finely grated coconut
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger , grated or ground ginger
- 1-1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg or mace
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup currants
- ¼ cup mixed fruit or peel (optional)
- ½ cup maraschino cherries – divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon mixed essence or 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp almond essence
- 1 stick butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup coconut milk
- ½ cup spiced liquid (recipe below) or warm water
- 2 teaspoons oil for greasing loaf pans
- Grease loaf pans with oil
- Mix flour, baking powder,salt,coconut , ginger , nutmeg , raisins , currants, mixed peel and cherries together in a bowl.
- In another bowl, add soft butter and sugar, mix together until creamy, add eggs one at a time and continue mixing, add the essence and mix again.
- Add flour mixture to the creamy mixture and combine well.
- Add coconut milk, Mix !
- Add spiced or warm water, Mix!.
- Keep mixing until you have a soft dough , if too stiff add some water by the tablespoonfuls , if too sticky dust with flour.
- Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for about 30 minutes.
- Divide dough in half and fill loaf pans. Add cherries on top of loaves Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Pre heat oven to 300 – 325 degrees Farenheit.
- Bake in center of oven for about 1 hour and 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick or butter knife inserted into center comes out clean.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of hot water and brush mixture over the loaves, then sprinkle the top with sugar and place back in the oven for about 5 – 7 minutes.
- Let cool for several minutes before turning the sweet bread out onto a rack to cool completely.
- Slice , eat and enjoy with your favorite beverage.
1 stick cinnamon
6 whole cloves
4 bay leaves
Boil for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by half, strain and discard the cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves
No Fruits For Me
If you do not like fruits, raisins, currants or anything like that, you can just leave it out, I make sweetbread 6 different ways, I make one just with coconut as the hubby do not like or care for the dried fruits
For a crisper top, place a small pan with water at bottom of oven while baking.