Certain meals occupy a special place in my heart, not simply because of delicious food, but the memories that accompany these experiences. When my family and I traveled to Australia last year, we visited a Sydney breakfast institution called Bills.
Bill Granger, the restaurant’s owner and a prominent Aussie chef and cookbook author, emphasizes a fresh and easy-going approach to cooking. For breakfast, Bills specialties include silky scrambled eggs, cloud-like ricotta pancakes topped with bananas and honeycomb butter, and organic sourdough toast smothered with fruit preserves. Other than being one of the tastiest breakfasts I’ve ever had, Bills’s bustling, light-filled atmosphere and welcoming service encapsulated my trip to Australia.
While Bills offers a short and simple menu, every dish was masterfully executed using high-quality ingredients. My family and I each ordered the famous scrambled eggs (there’s a reason the New York Times crowned Granger the “Egg Master of Sydney”), and selected this coconut bread as a sweet complement.
Despite its humble description, this loaf boasts rich coconut flavor and a tender, sturdy crumb. While it is wonderful enjoyed plain, Bills serves it grilled, cut in thick slabs, with a dollop of butter and honey on the side. Best of all, every bite transports me to that sunny morning spent in a foreign country, enjoying vibrant, unfussy food with the people I love.
Recipe courtesy of the New York Times, via Smitten Kitchen
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 to 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 6 tblsp unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired
- Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.
3. Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.