Coco-Not

Last night marked the final leg of our coconut challenge.  We made cinnamon buns using fresh coconut milk in the dough, waking the sandy yeast particles into a bubbly froth.  I made the dough in the morning.  The yeast danced and the dough rose impeccably.  While the dough proofed, we went about our day – a mix of skips and smiles between errands and a birthday party, and after dinner, we excitedly returned to our baking. We coated the luscious dough with sugar, cinnamon and butter, gently rolled and sliced, and watched the spiraled heaps expand in size through the oven door.  We were rewarded with their lightly crisp exterior and moist, flavorful inner circles.  But then, the coconut flavor hit like grass seasoned with suntan lotion and the music stopped.  “I think the coconut kind of ruins these,” my son said. His young taste buds were pristinely accurate.  The coconut milk seemed like an ingenious way to use the last drop from our toils and enhance a classic.  But as it goes, good ideas are not always met with the best results.  So today I am not sharing a list of steps with measured ingredients, but a mishap of sorts.  A mishap that I hope inspires you more than any recipe I could provide. I am still proud of the dough rising to the lightness of air in my hands, the white creamy sweetness of the icing, and my son’s gleeful rolling of the dough as specks of flour piled up on the counter. And another day, we will enjoy warm, fresh cinnamon buns without coconut milk and they will taste all the sweeter.

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