Coconut Paradise: A Sweet and Fluffy Bread Filled with Coconut
March 20, 2021
I think everyone can agree that the first few weeks or months of quarantine were very indulgent. I would stock my pantry with tasty treats to eat whenever I wanted. After a few months of bad eating habits, I have been trying to have dessert only once a week. For that, my husband and I research bakeries, ice cream shops, and restaurants to keep supporting local businesses and make sure that the reward is worth every calorie!
On one of those weekends, we found this amazing bakery called “Valerio’s City Bakery“. I was pleased to find bread from home. Pan de coco caught my eye. It reminded me of asking my mom to include it on her shopping list every week.
I have always had a sweet tooth. After trying this pan de coco again, I understand why it was such a big deal! It is sweet, fluffy, perfect to eat with coffee, tea, or just a glass of milk.
Mix and knead the dough ingredients for about 5 to 7 minutes. It is best to use a mixer at low or medium speed (probably the second or third speed, depending on the mixer). You will tell when you have finished because the dough will no longer stick in the bowl when you are mixing it. If you’re making the dough by hand, it should look like a smooth ball.
After kneading the dough, place it in a lightly greased bowl and allow it to rise at room temperature. It usually takes about 1 hour, but this may vary depending on how you kneaded the dough and the temperature. You will know that the dough is ready for the next step when its volume has doubled.
Grease your baking sheet while you wait for the dough to rise.
While you are waiting for the dough to rise, grease the pan where you will bake the coconut bread and prepare the filling (Optional)- Steps 5 to 8.
In a saucepan, combine the coconut, brown sugar, coconut milk, water, butter, and vanilla paste. Bring all the ingredients to a simmer on low heat.
Simmer the filling until the liquid is almost gone. You want the filling to be sticky and not dry or crumbly.
Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix with the 1/4 cup of milk. Continue cooking until the filling looks sticky (About 4 minutes).
Once the filling reaches the right consistency, let it cool.
Once the dough has doubled in size, divide the dough into 12 pieces. You can also roll the dough and cut the dough into 12 rectangles. Make sure to gently handle the dough since you don’t want to deflate the dough too much.
Flatten each piece of dough using your hands. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the middle and close the dough by folding.
Arrange the dough balls onto the baking sheet you’ll use to bake them. Leave about an inch or more between each ball.
Poke the dough, making a cross shape with the holes. Cover the filled dough and rise for about 50 to 60 minutes. You can use plastic wrap or a lint-free kitchen towel to cover the filled dough.
Preheat the oven to 350F halfway through the rise.
In the last 20 minutes of the rising, make the coconut sauce. Cook and stir over medium-high heat all the ingredients until slightly thickened. That takes about 5 minutes.
After the dough has risen, pour the coconut sauce on top and bake it for 20 to 25 minutes. Check that the internal temperature of the dough is 190F.
Remove the bread from the oven and brush it with egg wash. Bake for 2-3 minutes. (Optional)