If you can't buy coconuts in your area or only have access to dried coconut in your pantry, you can rehydrate dried coconut to use for a recipe that calls for it. The Baking 911 website states that dried fruits cured with sugar or fruit juice, including the sweetened version of dried coconut, don't rehydrate as well as fruits dehydrated without a sweetener. If your recipe also calls for sugar, add it separately to your recipe and sweeten to taste; don't try to sweeten the coconut.
Pour the desired amount of dried coconut into a bowl.
Add twice as much hot water to the coconut. For example, add 1 cup of hot water to 1/2 cup of coconut.
Soak the mixture for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture to remove excess water. Store the coconut in your refrigerator if you're not using it right away.