Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pani Popo/Coconut Buns

Pani Popo is the traditional name for a sweet and sticky bun that originated in the South Pacific Islands of Samoa. In English Pani means bun and Popo means coconut. These buns are baked in a pool of thick sweet coconut milk. When I baked these the whole house smell so good and they taste even better right out of the oven. Soft, sweet and the sticky coconut at the bottom tasted just like kaya. I am so in love with these buns. If you like this type of buns please tries this out. I am sure you are going to like it too.

Adapted from Try Anything Once

2 cups bread flour
¾ cup warm milk
1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp butter
½ cup thick coconut milk
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg – beaten for egg wash

1. Mix the lukewarm milk, yeast and 1 tsp sugar in the mixing bowl. Leave it for a few minutes until the yeast started to bubble. Add in the butter and salt.
2. Add in the 2 cups of flour. Mix and knead the dough until it form into a smooth balls. I used KithcenAid to knead and it took about 5 minute.
3. Let the dough rest in a butter bowl until doubled in volume. 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 (if you use can coconut milk it might be too thick or harden, you can always warm it up in the microwave oven for a few seconds)

6. 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.

Note: These buns will harden up a bit the next day, just warm it up in the microwave for a few second and it will soft again.


Shereen said...

This is a very interesting recipe.We have lots of Samoans here in NZ.So many that the possiblity of hitting one when you throw a stone is a sure bet...hahahaha!But sad to say I or rather many Kiwis don't know much about their culture,food and lifestyle.I sure will try this recipe least if one day I have an opportunity to sit and have tea with a Samoan,I would have something to talk about!Thanks for this recipe.

Jeannie said...

Your buns are so nicely shaped, like the way you use the coconut milk on the buns:)

Angie's Recipes said...

What a great bun recipe! I am saving the recipe to try.

Awayofmind Bakery House said...

What a special recipe, buns and coconut milk! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gert

Those buns looks nice and delicious. Will be making them. Thanks for sharing!


WendyinKK said...

Sounds very special that the coconut milk is poured in for the baking process. Coconut buns are one of my all time favourites, and I'll bookmark this.

Jenn@ChasingFoodDreams said...

Very interesting buns! Love to try them one day as I can imagine the wonderful aroma of coconut. Thks for the recipe.

Dori said...

Wow, those sound wonderful! Nice recipe :)

Lina said...

My Pani popo/coconut buns are almost ready! Thanks so much for sharing!

Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

These look wonderful and soft!

Reanaclaire said...

They look so small, soft and cute, .. I think i can end up eating at least the whole of that loaf! :)

ReeseKitchen said...

Its nice! So special that you pour the coconut milk over the buns for baking. Will try this!!

Zue Murphy said...

Cute name, popo as cute as the bun itself.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Oh wow, first time I seen pouring coconut milk over the dough to bake together. :)) But must be very fragrant! At first I thought it is cocounut filling buns, but I guessed wrong! Thanks for the new recipe Gert!

Your #1 Fan said...

Definitely agree with the rest, this is a very interesting recipe! The buns look so good! Thanks for sharing.

Bakericious said...

I thought is the traditional coconut with coconut filling but this is another different and intersting buns, sound so yummy.

Katie said...

Not heard of these before but they look and sound fabulous! Love the sweet creaminess of coconut milk

MaryMoh said... even size and beautiful colour. I love the addition of coconut milk. Your buns must be so full of flavour. I have bookmarked it. Would love to try. Thanks very much for sharing.

Tovie said...

Those look wonderful! And I love kaya, so I will have to try them.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Lovely, must be good.

ICook4Fun said...

Shereen, yea there are plenty of Samoans in NZ. You have to try this out. They were really good.

Jeannie, thank you.

Angie, hope you like this.

Ah Tze, you are welcome.

Yen, let me know how you like it :)

Wendy, yea the coconut milk give this buns a very nice sweet taste.

Jenn, you are welcome.

Meeso, thanks.

Lina, how do you like the buns and thanks for all your support?

ICook4Fun said...

Marine, thanks.

Reanaclaire, ha ha this can be addictive. I finished two right out of the oven :)

Reese, hope you try this out.

Zue, I was attracted to the name too ha ha..

Bee bee, yes it is. Hope you try this out. Something different from our regular buns :)

ICook4Fun said...

Jet, you are welcome.

Zuhanif, thanks for stopping by.

Jess, yes it is :)

Katie, yes the coconut milk give this buns a ver nice taste.

Mary, thank you.

Tovie, hope you like it.

LCOM, thanks

EmmaD said...

I had this almost 20 years ago, on my first trip to Hawaii. I've been looking for it for years (I didn't know what it was called and it's just not listed in Hawaiian desserts and sweets, though it should be). It was that good. Thank you for posting this recipe. I'm trying it tonight when I get home.

Sonia said...

These buns looks so delicious. These are the best buns I have ever seen, perfect shape and color, and of course taste too... !

Anonymous said...

Hi Gert!

I try making the buns following your method and leave to rest for a few hours but the dough didn't rise much. I am not sure where I did wrong or maybe because of the weather but I will try making them again later. Thanks again and have a nice day.


ICook4Fun said...

Emma, welcome to my blog and I hope this is what you are looking for.

Sonia, thank you.

Yen, I forgot where you are located. If it is winter at your place it will take much longer to rise. You might want to increase the amount of yeast to 1 tsp or like me I put the dough near the duct of our house heater. It actually helps in the proofing.

Anonymous said...


I lived in Montreal. Its very very winter here ha..ha..ha. I'll do as you say and will be making them again soon. Thanks for sharing.


ma'chiks said...

will copycat maa..thank you for sharing the recipe.

Anonymous said...

nice buns

Anonymous said...

Made da buns they turned out perfect i doubled the ingredients and made 2 batches... I wanted to try it out so i could make it for the mothers at church for mothers day. Im going to earn major brownie points for dis one thanks heaps:)

Doreen Poupouare said...

OMG these are divine...they have always been my familys favorites, and now I know how to make them they are requested every other day!!!

Doreen Poupouare

Anonymous said...

Yummy,Look delicious,thank you for this recipe

Karalee said...

If you make a little more coconut milk/sugar and warm it up and serve it over top off the poni popo's they are amazing!!!

Joleta said...

I made these last night - my husband and I LOVED them!
They ended up all mooshed together and a little flat; I'm not sure if it was because I didn't have bread flour or if the dish wasn't big enough. Still tasted fantastic, though, so definitely adding this recipe to the book :D

Anonymous said...

i tried to make it, but i don't know how to make it all smooth. did i do something rong?

ICook4Fun said...

Yen, hope you 2nd try turns out better than the 1st :)

Ma'chiks, you are welcome.

Anon - 10:16, thanks

Anon - 4:50, I am glad you like this buns recipe and home the mothrs at church likes it too :)

Doreen, glad you like this bread.

Anon - 10:19, you are welcome.

Karalee, you can do that if you want to. For me it is sweet enough without adding more drizzle on top :)

Joleta, glad that you like this bread. You might need a bigger baking pan.

Anon 2:09, you need to knead it until the dough gets really smooth.

Emilee's Kitchen said...

Can I ask 1 cup is equal to how many g? Is it 200 or 250? Thanks

Isabel said...

I wan to to make them. Isn't there at least 1 egg in the dough?

ICook4Fun said...

Maitza, no egg in the dough.

ICook4Fun said...

Chailee, please refer here :

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe ! I live in Australia and cooked the rolls in the webber after all of the chicken was cooked and the coals held just enough heat to cook them perfectly!

Anonymous said...

These are some of the best rolls I have ever made! The delicate sweetness that perfectly compliments the crusty bread goodness leaves me craving more! A must try!