How to Make Jamaican Coco Bread

If you enjoy a good dinner roll, then you'll love Jamaican coco bread.

This bread is one half of the most popular lunch in Jamaica: patty and cocoa bread. Prepare a Jamaican beef patty with onion and spices, then bake a batch of homemade Jamaican coco bread and prepare your taste buds for a trip to the tropics.

What Is Coco Bread?

Jamaican coco bread is a buttery, subtly sweet folded bread. It gets part of its name from the coconut milk used to impart tropical flavor. Without coconut milk, the ingredients for coco bread are surprisingly similar to fluffy American dinner rolls.

Like many traditional Jamaican foods, coco bread was born out of a need to make simple yet tasty food. This recipe is presumed to have been created by an enslaved person with few ingredients on hand. The result is a coconut-flavored bread that makes a hearty accompaniment to just about anything.

Coco bread is a major part of the Jamaican experience and is widely popular with local school children and working adults. It’s easy to understand why. This subtly sweet bread makes a perfect sandwich when paired with fish, vegetables or jam.

How to Make Jamaican Coco Bread

This recipe makes about 6 pieces of bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast

Directions

Step 1: Prepare a baking sheet

Line a large baking sheet with greased parchment paper.

Step 2: Proof the yeast

Jamaican Coco Bread Ingredients Candi Rookwood-Clarke for Taste of Home

Heat the coconut milk until warm. Then add the yeast, sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of melted butter to the milk and stir until combined.

Step 3: Make the dough

Sifting Flour for Jamaican Coco BreadCandi Rookwood-Clarke for Taste of Home

Sift the flour into a medium bowl and add one teaspoon of salt.

Then, slowly add the coconut milk mixture while stirring the flour. Keep stirring and flicking the dough off the sides of the bowl until a ball of dough is formed.

Once formed, place dough into a greased bowl, cover with a clean cloth and allow it to rise for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Step 4: Cut and roll the dough

Jamaican Coco Bread Flat Rolled Step4 2 Ad EditCandi Rookwood-Clarke for Taste of Home

Once risen, press or punch the dough to release air. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into about 6 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.

Roll each dough ball with a rolling pin until it’s spread to about the size of a dinner plate and about ¼ inch thick. Brush the surface of the dough with remaining melted butter, then fold the dough in half and brush the top.

Place dough on the prepared pan and repeat the steps for the remaining pieces. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes before baking.

Step 5: Bake

Bake at 350°F for about 15-20 minutes until nicely browned on top. Serve warm.

Jamaican Coco Bread Recipe Tips

What do you eat with Jamaican coco bread?

In Jamaica, coco bread is commonly had with Jamaican patties. Whether you prefer a beef, chicken or cheese patty, opt to complement your patty experience with coco bread to make a filling sandwich.

Apart from patties, coco bread can also be enjoyed in the form of meat loaf. This is not like traditional meat loaf, though. Instead, the coco bread is filled with your choice of cooked and seasoned ground beef, callaloo, ackee or cheese.

Can you make coco bread in advance?

While coco bread is most tasty when served fresh it can still be baked in advance and reheated to restore its warmth. If it’s being prepared a few hours ahead of serving time, store your bread in the refrigerator to maintain the freshness and pop them into the oven for a few minutes on low heat and your guests won’t be able to tell the difference.

How do you store coco bread?

To store a batch of coco bread, put in an airtight freezer bag and keep in the freezer for future use. To refresh your Jamaican coco bread, lightly toast in a toaster oven at 270° for 5-10 minutes.

Like most bread, coco bread is not meant to be stored for prolonged periods. Eat your coco bread within 7 days of baking.

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Candi Rookwood-Clarke
Candi Rookwood-Clarke is a lifestyle blogger and content marketer based in Kingston, Jamaica specializing in food, personal finance and beauty. Her work has appeared on Taste of Home, DaMajority and DancehallMag. Candi has a knack for developing familiar communication with her audience. When she's not working on content, she shares her Jamaican lifestyle and culture on her blog, Simply Candi Nicole.