My mom recently told me that her friend Elizabeth is the strongest person she’s ever known.
Elizabeth and her husband are very close friends of my parents. In fact, my parents absolutely adore them. I do too.
At a routine physical exam, a year or so ago, Elizabeth was diagnosed with Mylogenous Lukemia. In the past year, she’s been through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and a bone marrow transplant.
I’m extremely thrilled to report that Elizabeth is currently healthy and doing very well! And she’s baking bread! Lots of incredibly delicious bread!
As a result of insomnia that came during Elizabeth’s treatments and recovery, she found herself in the kitchen, late at night, experimenting with bread making. And it turns out she’s a natural. Sweet, savory, you name it, she can bake it!
The idea of Elizabeth sharing her bread on Cooking On The Weekends came to me when I walked into my parents’ kitchen the other day to see this beautiful, rustic, Bittersweet Chocolate Coconut Bread sitting on the counter. And — OMG — was it delicious! I mean, crazy delicious!
Oh, and please meet sweet Bella of Bella’s Breadbox. Adorable!
I’m hoping Elizabeth will grace us with another bread recipe again soon! In the meantime, you can find Elizabeth (and Bella) at Bella’s Breadbox!
Elizabeth adapted this recipe from Jim Lahey’s, My Bread.
Elizabeth’s tips for success:
- Don’t worry if your dough looks too sticky – you want it to be very wet. And I always let the dough sit for the full 18 hours – the longer the dough ferments, the richer the flavor of the bread.
- Resist the urge to use sweetened coconut because the sugar causes the bread to burn… badly. You can find unsweetened coconut at Gelson’s and Surfas.
- The recipe says to place the pot on the lower one-third rack but my oven runs a little hot so I moved it up a rack. I also place parchment paper on the bottom of the pot (but don’t preheat the pot with the parchment paper in it) – it helps avoid the chocolate chunks on the bottom from burning.
- Don’t be afraid of turning the dough into the pot. Just go gently and slowly, otherwise flour ends up all over the oven, the floor, the counters – not that that’s ever happened to me.
- The most difficult part of this recipe is waiting an hour for the bread to cool. We’ve been known to cut into it after 15 minutes when it’s still hot and oozing chocolate.
Images and recipe are courtesy of Bella’s Breadbox.