Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rants Can Be Productive!

Ah, the world of assumptions. The story of my (recent) life - if I'm not being pegged with one eating disorder or another, it's some other emotional distress. Well, for one, I'm a nutrition student, I do case studies on people who spend years and lifetimes battling the evils of EDs, I've seen the photos of emaciated teenaged girls (and boys too...) hooked up to machines that keep them physically alive even though their spirit died long ago. I easily eat twice as much food as anybody in my family (except perhaps my stepbrother, but he's got the "teen boy" metabolism going for him). And I almost lost a friend to anorexia. Tell me, why would any medical professional - especially my family doctor who has known me going on 6 years - assume my (admittedly abnormal, and unexplained) thinness was all in my head? Not to mention I write a food blog! Sigh, so it's off to another round of the psych wards for moi, with an upped script for assorted vitamin and mineral supplements, antidepressants and sleeping pills under my belt. At this rate I'll be ingesting more pills than food by the time my birthday rolls around!

Okay, sigh... end rant.

So anyways, coming home from the doc's office I was pretty strung out - I felt the need to both punch the crap out of something and be comforted by the smell of something baking. I also had a recipe that had been floating around in the back of my mind since I discovered it over a year ago, actually, I found it twice! It was a recipe for a Guyanese sweet bread with a bright-pink coconut, cinnamon and fruit filling called Salara, and can apparently be described as having a "unique half bread, half cake sumptuous taste". I did change up the original recipe quite a bit just to be, well, me, but I think it worked well, even if it's not "traditional". All I really know is that it's gorgeous to look at, and a pain to clean up if you get the filling on any light-coloured surface. Yes, it's full of food colouring. No, it isn't natural (though you could make it that way if need be, or leave out the colour entirely... it's more fun with the pink though). But it is good - and by the lack of leftovers from the office, I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought that.

So a happy, tropical-smelling ending to a rocky-started day! I've submitted this to this week's YeastSpotting over at WildYeast too, spreading the love!

Sarah's Salara (Coconut - Rosewater Spiral Bread)
Makes 12 "scroll-like" buns or 20 bread slices
1 1/2 cups finely grated, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates, soaked in hot water and drained
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp red food colouring
1 tbsp dry active yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup warm coconut milk
1 tbsp rose water
1 tsp coconut extract
2 tbsp melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Combine all the filling ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. Dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand to proof 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together flours, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  4. Add coconut milk, rose water, coconut extract, butter and egg to the yeast mixture and blend well.
  5. Begin adding flour mixture and beat to a dough consistency.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead about 7-8 minutes, until smooth.
  7. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let stand 1 1/2 hours, until doubled.
  8. Punch down, turn out and knead lightly.
  9. Roll into a rectangle and smooth the filling onto the surface, leaving 1" of space around the edges.
  10. Roll up, pinch the seam, (slice if making buns) and place (seam side down) in lightly greased loaf pans or on a tray (for free-form).
  11. Cover and let rise again about 1 hour.
  12. Preheat oven to 375F.
  13. Bake the loaves 40 minutes (or buns 20-30 minutes), cool completely on a rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 153.7
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Cholesterol: 13.7 mg
Sodium: 13.9 mg
Total Carbs: 25.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g
Protein: 2.9 g


  1. It's still your choice to take the mind-mashers, though. It's been 15 years since I went down that path ... and I'm still not over the mess it left in my head.

  2. Yum! Rosewater! I just saw rose petal and lavender jam at the health food market -- now I have an excuse...

  3. I've been there re: the rounds of doctors and never finding out what's wrong--hang in there and just keep looking till you find the one doctor that will actually help (and email me privately if you want the name of my gastroenterologist--she's lovely).

    Oh, and the bread looks good, too! Love the rose spiral in the middle--so pretty (and evocative of spring--can't wait). :)

  4. It is indeed beautiful to look at. Thanks for sharing the love!

  5. This sounds quite interesting and it is so pretty too. I will bookmark this to try. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for the feedback!