Wednesday, May 6, 2009

#122_Pani Popo or Coconut Cream Buns

Pani Popo....
not only rhymes with pan de coco
but also it is in the same ball park.

Pani Popo is a Polynesian bread baked in coconut cream,
or in other words, pani popo swims in coconut cream
while the Filipino pan de coco is filled with coconut candy or bocayo.

My sister Melinda learned how to make this bread
from her father-in-law in New Zealand,
then she showed me how to make it
when she came to visit me here 10 years ago.

It is really easy to make except for making the dough,
but the taste is, ohh, superb!
If you like pan de coco, you'll like pani popo.

Two months ago I made a whole pan
of this bread, click here, for a family from Tonga.
They love it so much that they went to a
Polynesian bakery, to get some more, obviously.
The father didn't like what they bought from the bakery!
Just recently, he begged his wife to call and ask me
if I would make some for their party.
Needless to say this bread is Polynesian-approved.

You can use any bread recipe that you may already have,
but here are my suggestions:
These are all bread machine recipes

Pan de Sal recipe #20, click here
Potato Dinner Rolls recipe #63, click here
Reduced Eggs Ensaymada recipe #114, click here
Basic Sweet Dough Recipe #178, click here

1) After the dough cycle is finished, let the dough rise either in the bread machine bucket or in a bowl, until doubled in size.
2) Punch down dough and divide it into 3 equal portions, then cut each portion into 12 pieces. Shape them into balls.
3) Arrange the shaped dough in 3 well-greased baking pans measuring 9x13.
4) Let rise (again) until the doughs have doubled in size.
5) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In the above picture, I used the reduced egg ensaymada dough recipe
in a bigger pan measuring 11 1/2" x 15 1/2" x 2"
with 24 pieces of dough balls.
Make sure the pan is at least 2 inches deep
so the cream will not splash out while it is baking.

The doughs might look like they
are swimming in coconut cream, but
don't be alarmed because as the bread bakes
the coconut cream thickens
and some of the cream will be absorbed by the bread.

The Cream Mixture
5) Mix 1 1/2 cans (3 cups) coconut cream and 3/4 cup sugar, stirring well until sugar is dissolved.
6) Pour this mixture into the 3 pans just before baking.
7) Bake for 20-25 minutes.

The thickened coconut cream in the
baking pan can be used for dipping the bread.


UPDATES: 6-30-09

The perfect proportion for coconut cream and sugar is:
For 1 cup coconut cream, use 1/4 cup white sugar.
But you can use more or less according to your personal

I received a couple of e-mails inquiring about the coconut cream, if it is okay to use coconut milk. I took a picture of the coconut cream that I like to use personally. You can use any brand you like as long as it is coconut cream ( this is thicker).
I had used coconut milk in the past but the sauce was too thin.

Another update:
When I was in Texas visiting our family there, I can't find the ingredients to make the bread such as the vital wheat gluten and dough enhancer and the right kind of coconut cream. So, I settled with the frozen dough and coconut milk. The outcome wasn't as good as the kind I make using the dough recipes I listed above.


  1. Hi I'm kisona
    i'm just wondering if i could have the recipe for your delicious Pani popo recipe

  2. Hi kisona, of course you can have the recipe! for the dough just use one of the bread recipes listed. I recommend the PANDESAL recipe which is not a complicated one. Click on the highlighted word "here" and it will take you to the recipe.
    Take care!

  3. If There's Anything, thank you very much!!!