Pan De Coco

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Soft and fluffy Pan de coco buns (coconut buns) filled with sweet grated coconut filling.

These coconut buns remind me of my childhood. We bought these baked coconut buns so often for our family merienda after school or during weekends.

In the Philippines, we normally use freshly grated coconut for making the filling, but here in Denmark, it is quite difficult finding fresh coconut. So, for this recipe, I used store-bought desiccated coconut. These grated coconuts are dry and need to be rehydrated with coconut milk or coconut cream as the coconut flavor is not as strong anymore.

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For 24 pcs. of Pan de coco, you will need:

For the sponge dough

  • 250 grams (2 cups) bread flour
  • 60 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 18 grams instant dry yeast or 1 pack of fresh yeast (50 grams)
  • 460 grams (1 3/4 cups + 3 tbsp) milk (I used whole milk) or water, lukewarm

For the main dough

  • all the sponge dough
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 40 grams (3 tbsp) vegetable oil or olive oil
  • 375 grams (3 cups) bread flour
  • egg wash: 1 egg + 1 tsp milk, at room temperature

For the Coconut filling

  • 30 grams (1 1/2 tbsp) butter
  • 200 ml coconut cream
  • 1 1/4 cups desiccated coconut or freshly grated coconut
  • 200 grams (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Procedure (video)

Preparing the coconut filling (can be made one day ahead):

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling over a medium-size pan. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the sugar starts to dissolve and the mixture is dry. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely before using.

Preparing the dough

  1. For the sponge dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 250 grams flour, yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk or water. Stir until no dry flour is left. Cover and let it sit for 1 to 3 hours (or even overnight) until the consistency is like of heavy pancake batter.
  2. Now, add oil, salt, and the remaining flour (375 grams). Using a dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Transfer the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and rest for 1 to 2 hours.
  4. Punch the dough down and divide it into 24 equal pieces, about 50 grams each portion.
  5. Roll the dough into a smooth round ball.
  6. Flatten the dough with your palm and place about 1 to 2 tsp coconut filling in the middle, and gather the edge to enclose into a round ball.
  7. Place seam side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover and let the dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven (up and down heat) to 180C or 350F.
  8. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash.
  9. Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Transfer the Pan de coco on a wire cooling rack and let them cool before serving. But I love eating Pan de coco while it is still warm. 😉

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