Now talking about these Samoan coconut buns ( known as pani popo ), it's not really new to me..in fact, it's quite some time when I've first seen a similar version (which is called lolo buns for Fijian!) and made it ! But as far as I rememeber, the recipe I tried calls for far too much coconut milk which made my buns were too soggy and not quite well baked at the bottom ..so I had no choice but counted it as an unsuccessful baked good and didn't really bother to make again until I recently found another recipe using less coconut milk which convinced me to give it a try..
Unlike the first attempt, this time I managed to make it successfully and beautifully with right amount of coconut milk used! The bun is soft, mildly sweet and tasty..and I think coconut milk is really a key to make the bread much more interesting than any normal sweet bread..Even my husband, who is not a big fan of sweet / dessert that has coconut milk in, had two buns in a row !!
The recipe ( slightly adapted from here )
2 cups bread flour
¾ cup plus 2-3 tbsp warm milk
¾ tsp active dried yeast
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
30g softened butter
½ cup thick coconut milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg – beaten for egg wash
1.Mix the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar in the mixing bowl. Leave it for 10 minutes until the yeast started to form bubble.
2. In a mixing bowl, Whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and mix to form the dough. Add the butter and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it forms into a smooth ball .
3. Let the dough rest in a greased bowl until doubled in volume, 1-1.5 hours. Prepare and grease an 8” x 8” square pan or a round baking pan.
4. Remove the dough from bowl and divide it into 9 round balls. Place them in the baking pan, cover and let it rest again until double in size.
5. In the meantime, mix the coconut milk with the 3 tbsp of sugar and heat it up to dissolve the sugar then set aside. Brush the buns with some egg wash. Pour the sweeten coconut milk over the buns and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
Ps. This bread has also been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wildyeast.