Pan de Coco with soft, fluffy bun and perfectly sweetened coconut filling is perfect as a snack or dessert! This coconut bread is amazing with coffee, tea or on its own!
Hi there! My name is Bebs from Foxy Folksy. Before anything else, I would like to say how thrilled and honored I am, to be doing guest posts for Kawaling Pinoy, one of my all-time favorite blogs that inspired me so much, that I got into food blogging myself.
Like Lalaine already mentioned in one of her recent posts, you will probably see me here from time to time as I share some of my favorite Filipino food with you. For my first post here in KP, I will be sharing a recipe for Pan de Coco.
Pan de Coco is a sweet soft bread stuffed with sweetened grated coconut meat. It is a popular Filipino snack sold in most of the local bakeries that dot almost every street in the Philippines.
Although the bread enjoys an iconic status in our food culture, Filipinos cannot claim the monopoly of Pan de Coco or even its origin. The name itself denotes that it is of Spanish roots. But is it? With a little digging (or googling), I learned that it came from Central America, Honduras to be exact, and was introduced to the early Filipinos by the Spanish settlers in 1600.
The Honduran version, however, does not include a filling but instead incorporates the coconut flakes in the dough itself. It is not sweet as its Filipino counterpart and it is very similar in taste to the Pan de Coco version that is also popular in the Caribbean. So, in a way, this version of filled Pan de Coco is 100% Filipino.
Tips on How to Make Pan de Coco:
Ready to make your own batch of this coconut bread? Check out FAQ below for tips on how to make them successfully!
What are other kinds of flour I can use?
Depends on the outcome you want to achieve. Bread flour and whole wheat flour, for example, are used for denser, chewy bread. But if you are aiming for soft rolls, all-purpose flour should be fine.
Can I use another type of yeast in baking sweet rolls?
Of course, just make sure to follow package instructions. Instant dry yeast can be mixed directly with flour while active dry yeast normally needs to be dissolved in water.
To check if the yeast is still good, do a proofing test. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of yeast and teaspoon of sugar in a half cup of lukewarm water. The yeast is still good to use if it dissolves completely into the water and the liquid starts bubbling after 3 to 5 minutes.
What temperature is lukewarm milk for baking?
It is between 100 to 110°F or 36.5 to 40.5°C. If you do not have a thermometer, you can gauge the temperature by dabbing some milk on your wrist. It should warmer than your body temperature but not hot.
Why did my bread rolls turn out dry, hard and/or too dense?
This is usually a sign of over-kneaded dough. If you are going to use a mixer to knead the dough remember that the speed and length of time are different than kneading manually.
Five minutes would probably be too long if you are using a mixer so you should check the texture of the dough from time to time. It should be smooth and elastic. Not dry nor too tacky.
Why didn’t my dough rise?
First, check the yeast…do the proofing test to be sure the yeast is still active.
Your kitchen might be too cold. Yeast dough needs a warm temperature to rise. If this is the case, turn your oven on the lowest setting for 5 minutes. Place the bowl with the covered dough in the oven and give it some time to rise to double its size.
What type of Coconut should I use for the filling?
While the filling is traditionally made with freshly-grated coconut meat, I opted for desiccated coconut in this recipe because it is more accessible especially for those who are not in the Philippines and have a long shelf life. This means you can make Pan de Coco wherever, whenever you want! Yippee for sweet victories!
You can definitely use fresh coconut in place of the desiccated if you like but please note that the desiccated coconut absorbs more liquid. If you prefer to use fresh, I suggest decreasing the amount of milk to 1/2 cup every 2 cups of coconut.
I hope you give these coconut-filled bread rolls a try and make it a fun weekend project with the family. There is nothing more rewarding and comforting than the aroma of freshly baked bread!
Want more coconut flavors in your life? Check out Lalaine’s coconut macaroons, they’re a guaranteed crowd pleaser! I will be back with another scrumptious recipe on Kawaling Pinoy next week but in the meantime, make sure to visit me at Foxy Folksy and find out what deliciousness I am up to.
Pan de Coco
For the Dough
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 7 grams instant dry yeast
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Filling
- 2 cups desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, unpacked
- 1 cup milk or coconut milk
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon flour, dissolved in 1/4 cup milk
For the Egg Wash
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour and sugar.
- Add the instant dry yeast and mix.
- Add the lukewarm milk, vegetable oil, and salt. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until it sticks together and forms a dough.
- Turn the dough on a flat surface and knead for 5 minutes. Avoid adding more flour or the bread will be too dense and crumbly. If it is too sticky, apply some oil on your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. If it is too dry, add a bit of oil to the dough. As you continue kneading, the dough should be less and less tacky and easier to handle.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Leave it to rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until it has almost doubled its size.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a pan, combine desiccated coconut, brown sugar, coconut milk, water, butter, and vanilla extract. Over low heat, bring to a simmer.
- Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed. If you prefer filling to be more compact and sticky (not crumbly), add 1 tablespoon flour dissolved in 1/4 cup of milk after the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring regularly, for another 2-3 minutes or until thick and sticky.
- Remove filling from heat and allow to slightly cool.
- Gently deflate the dough and tip it to a flat surface. Roll into a log and cut into half. Roll each half again and cut into two. Divide each log into 6 equal parts for a total of 24 pieces.
- Cover the dough pieces with a kitchen towel and let rest for at least 3-5 minutes.
- Flatten each dough with the palm of the hand. Hold the flattened dough in the curve of your hand and add about 1 tablespoon of coconut filling in the center.
- Pinch the corners together to fully enclose the filling.
- Arrange the filled dough, pinched side down, on a baking sheet at about 1 inch apart.
- Using a fork, poke small holes in the center of each filled dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for another 20-30 minutes.
- Bake in a 340 F oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with egg wash. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown