If you have at any time lived in Fort Lauderdale your heart just exploded at the possibility of this bread. It’s a staple whether you get it at Aruba Beach Cafe or Bimini Boatyard because, let’s face it, it’s the best bread ever in the history of bread: sweet, soft, sticky, and always the best when it’s warm. My friends from South Florida miss this bread like I do, so when my BFF 4eva suggested I make it when I visited him over my Mardi Gras break (I know, Mardi Gras break, New Orleans you da best!) I gave an enthusiastic hell yeah and scoured the internet for recipes.
And I found. Nothing. Sure, there were lots of recipes for Bimini Bread, but they were all different and none included a glaze! But then I found a recipe so poorly written and weird with so many missing ingredient to step ratios that I said hey, this looks like my best shot at winging it. So, with a little help and a large bag of flour I embarked on a journey to bake up this soft, sweet bread with my bestie. And we did it.
Oh yes, we did it. Aruba achieved.
However, we did it so well, and baked it in such a state of inebriation (sorry guys, I’m just bein’ honest) that we had broken into the first loaf before I even remembered I had a blog to post on for you lovely people. And so we devoured the first loaf before I could take pictures so I took a few of the second ON MY PHONE. Again. Ugh.
The next morning we awoke so hungry we popped the second loaf back in the oven while we got ready for the day and then ate it really quickly. Again. So no pictures. Again. Such fatties. Sorry, it’s just too good. But you don’t need no stinkin’ pictures cuz the memory of this bread is in your hearts, my fellow Fort Lauderdalians!
To make your house into Aruba sans the Hawaiian shirts and steel drums, you’ll need:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet, y’all!)
1 cup warm coconut milk
1/4 whole milk or, for more sweetness, just 1/4 cup more coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs lightly beaten
about 5 cups of flour
3 tbsp honey
5 tbsp honey
1 stick salted butter
Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm coconut milk in a large mixing bowl and let sit 10 minutes.
Add the milk (or coconut milk), sugar, oil, and eggs and mix until smooth (this takes awhile unless you have an electric mixer!)
Add the remaining coconut milk and honey and mix. Then, add the flour 1/2 cup at a time mixing after each incorporation until the dough begins to form a sticky mass.
You can do this with the dough hook of your mixer or use a rubber spatula and eventually, your (clean!) hands.
Now it’s time to knead, which, with a dough hook will take about 5 minutes or if you’re using your hands, just work the dough punching it down and stretching it out until it is smooth, elastic, and cohesive. Drizzle a bit of oil over the dough and flip to coat the dough itself and the sides of the bowl. Cover lightly with plastic or a dishtowel and let rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours.
When dough is risen (about doubled in size) punch it down to form 2 loaves or 12 small rolls. Place the loaves into 2 greased loaf pans or a greased cake pan if you’ve opted for rolls. Cover with a cotton cloth and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F when ready to bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
When the bread is hot out of the oven melt honey and butter in a small saucepan to make glaze and brush (read: pour) over hot loaves to let them doak into the opened warmth of the bread and down the sides.