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Making Pan de Coco de Samaná

Pan de coco de Samaná is the American biscuit’s Caribbean cousin, from, you guessed it, Samaná, which is a northern coastal province of the Dominican Republic. The area is heavily Americanized, though not in the way you’d think. Free black Americans began moving there some 175 years ago. And when they came, they brought their food traditions with them. That included biscuits, which were already a “thing” in the early 1800’s. The trouble there, of course, was that dairy products were in relatively short supply in Samaná back then. But then as now, there were all kinds of coconuts around. e area is heavily Americanized, though not in the way you’d think. Free black Americans began moving there some 175 years ago. And when they came, they brought their food traditions with them. That included biscuits, which were already a “thing” in the early 1800’s. The trouble there, of course, was that dairy products were in relatively short supply in Samaná back then. But then as now, there were all kinds of coconuts around.

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Pan de Coco de Samaná Recipe

This biscuit-like bread is traditionally sold at roadside stands in the Samaná province of the Dominican Republic, where it’s baked in cast iron Dutch ovens, much like biscuits were once baked on the American frontier. A fire is prepared and allowed to burn down to coals. At that point a round of dough is placed in the Dutch oven, and the oven is set on top of the coals. More coals are scooped onto the lid of the oven to provide top heat. It’s a handy system, and one you can certainly employ if you like, either at home or at the camp ground. For now I’m going to use a very hot kitchen oven to approximate the effect. But first the ingredients. You’ll need:

11 ounces (about 2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 ounce coconut oil (the solid stuff)
6 ounces (3/4 cup) coconut milk (preferably homemade)

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