Today’s recipe is for another local bakery standby – the Pan de Coco. Pan de Coco is a soft, coconut-filled bun that is a popular snack in the Philippines. Like most Filipino breads, its name comes from Spanish and literally translates to coconut bread.
It’s cool to note that other former Spanish territories also boast their own version of pan de coco. The Dominican Republic and the Honduras have bread recipes that use coconut extensively. Coconut milk and freshly grated coconut meat are added to the flour to make the dough.
Unlike its Central American and Caribbean cousins, the local Filipino pan de coco incorporates coconut (or strictly speaking, sweetened coconut) as a filling for sweet buns. Freshly grated coconut is highly preferred when cooking the filling. I find using desiccated coconut necessitates more milk (and water, if using) and sugar in the recipe and frankly, for the amount of liquid it uses up, the texture was still on the dry and rough side.
But that’s not to say that you totally can’t use desiccated coconut. Living abroad where tropical ingredients such as freshly grated coconut is scarce, desiccated coconut is a decent substitute for the real deal. But if you’re able to get your hands on some coconut flakes, use this instead. Just be wary about the type of coconut flakes you’re buying; if you buy a bag of sweetened coconut flakes, you might have to dial back on the amount of sugar you use for the filling.
If you’ve browsed through a couple of pan de coco recipes or even some of the bread recipes that I posted before, you are in for a surprise today. I’m a fan of sweet and soft bread. No crusty, artisan bread for me if I can help it. One of the secrets of Asian bakers for pillowy soft bread that’s steadily gaining recognition among Western bakers is tangzhong.
What is tangzhong?
Tangzhong (or water roux), is an awesome technique that helps to keep bread soft and fresh even after a few days. How cool is that? I came across this technique a few years back when I was looking through some Chinese blogs on a hunt for the fluffiest milk bread. While it’s been said to have originated from Japan (and is often the underlying technique for baking Hokkaido milk bread), it was catapulted to greater popularity among home bakers when a Chinese book called 65°C Bread Doctor came out. Interestingly, 65°C is the temperature used to prepare tangzhong.
Tangzhong is prepared by mixing a small amount of flour and a fair bit of liquid (usually milk or water) and heating the mixture over low medium heat until it forms into a paste like substance. It gives the dough more elasticity and locks in moisture so your bread is absolutely soft.
Ok, here are some pointers for those making tangzhong for the first time.
- Make sure your milk or water is at room temperature. We don’t want to heat the liquid longer than necessary.
- To avoid lumps of uncooked flour in the tangzhong, add the flour to the liquid (and not the other way around) and give this mixture a few swirls with a spoon or spatula before cooking it over the fire.
- Constantly stir the mixture during cooking to avoid burning the flour.
- Once the mixture is starting to get thick, turn down the heat. It cooks fairly quickly.
- Immediately remove from heat once the mixture is thick like cream.
- Cool it down to room temperature before adding it to the dough.
Now the next bit that I want to talk about is the coconut filling. This recipe uses freshly grated coconut and makes just enough for around 12 tablespoons of filling. I tried using more than a tablespoon of filling but I had some problem sealing the dough balls afterwards so I stuck to a tablespoonful of filling for my subsequent baking. Of course, you can double the recipe for the filling and eat the extra too. ?
If you’re using desiccated coconut, I suggest doubling the amount of liquid and sugar used as the dry coconut absorbs more liquid than fresh ones do. Use the same amount of desiccated coconut as you would with the grated coconut.
I brushed some melted butter over the freshly baked buns and sprinkled toasted sesame seeds and sugar on top. The original pan de coco comes without these toppings but the buns are delicious either way.
I pinched off a bit to eat. Can you see how the edge just stays pinched? That’s how soft it is.
Ready to bake some seriously addicting pan de coco? Let me know your thoughts!
filipino pan de coco
For the Tangzhong:
- 2 tbsps bread flour
- 120 ml 1/2 cup milk
For the Dough:
- 360 grams 3 cups bread flour, sifted
- 2 tsps instant yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 73 grams 1/3 cup sugar
- 120 ml 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg beaten
- 56 grams 1/4 stick butter, softened
For the Filling:
- 110 grams grated coconut 1 cup
- 120 ml 1/2 cup milk
- 110 grams 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 27 grams butter 1/8 stick
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
For the Tangzhong:
- In a small saucepan, mix the milk and the flour until combined.
- Cook over low medium heat while stirring constantly until a thick paste is formed. Remove from the heat immediately and cool down.
For the Dough:
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, instant yeast, salt, and sugar in the bowl.
- Add the cooled tangzhong, milk, and egg to the flour mixture. Using a dough hook and the lower setting of a mixer, knead the ingredients until a shaggy dough forms, around 5 minutes. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- After resting, continue kneading the dough on low speed while continuously adding the butter. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is elastic. The dough will be sticky.
- Form into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
For the Filling:
- Combine all the ingredients for the filling and cook over medium heat. Stir every once in a while.
- Cook until the mixture has thickened and the coconut has absorbed all the liquid.
- Remove it from heat and let it cool.
Forming the buns:
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
- Punch down the dough to remove the air and divide into 12 pieces.
- Form each piece into a ball and flatten it. Put a tablespoon of coconut filling in the middle of the dough and seal it in by rolling the dough into a ball. Repeat for the rest.
- Let the dough balls rest for 15 minutes.
- Mix the egg and milk for the egg wash. Lightly brush the tops of the dough with the egg wash before baking for 15-20 minutes or until the buns turn golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and brush melted butter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sugar before serving.
If you’re using desiccated coconut or coconut flakes, double the amount of sugar and milk in the recipe. For coconut flakes, you may need to adjust the sugar in the filling if you’re using sweetened coconut flakes.
Sesame seeds and sugar are optional toppings.
The buns keep fresh for a few days especially if they are stored in an airtight container. Toast the buns for a few minutes or reheat them for a minute in a microwave.
Ingredients and History of Filipino Pan De Coco
The word “pan de coco” means “coconut bread” in Spanish and describes the rich sweet roll made in the Philippines. Its filling is sweetened shredded coconut meat. While the Honduran version is usually sweetened with coconut cream, the Filipino version uses desiccated coconut instead of cream. This is a much easier version to make and is every bit as traditional. In this article we will cover the ingredients and history of filipino pan de coco.
Leavened versions of filipino pan de coco are as traditional as the Honduran original
There are several variations of Filipino pan de coco. Many versions include a sweet and salty ingredient. The Filipino version is often paired with tuyo (pig blood) and puto (sugary pork). It also has a salty-sweet flavor because it uses cheese. Leavened versions are almost as traditional as the Honduran original.
The Honduran version is made with coconut milk and flour. It is baked in a stone oven to preserve the flavor. Leavened versions are just as popular as the Honduran version. This dessert is best served warm. A piece of pan de coco can make a wonderful snack. Leavened versions are often eaten with savory dishes or as a dessert.
Filipinos often enjoy leavened versions of Honduran pan de coco. The Filipino version contains more sugar than the Honduran original. Depending on where you’re from, you can find it in your neighborhood supermarket. There are even leavened versions of the Honduran version that are just as delicious. Make sure to try them out to see which ones are your favorite!
Desiccated coconut is easier to make
If you love sweetened coconut, you will love this traditional Filipino sweet roll. Usually purchased at local bakeries, this soft roll is filled with sweet desiccated coconut. To make this sweet roll at home, just combine flour, butter, eggs, and salt in a bowl. Stir well to combine. The dough should then be placed in a greased bowl and allowed to rise for an hour or until doubled in size. Once the dough is doubled, you’re ready to bake the pan de coco.
Filipino pan de coco has little in common with its Central American cousin. It was probably named after Spanish explorers who landed in the Philippines in the 1600s. The Spanish might have visited Honduras or known sailors who had done so. Explorers were notorious for bringing ingredients and culinary traditions with them. Whether this is true or not, the Filipino version of pan de coco is delicious and easy to make.
Ingredients in filipino pan de coco
Filipino pan de coco translates as coconut bread. This sweet roll is filled with sweetened shredded coconut meat. The ingredients in Filipino pan de coco are simple but delicious. Read on to learn more about its ingredients and make your own! This sweet treat is popular among locals and tourists alike. To make your own, simply follow the steps listed below:
Grated coconut is included as it is. The coconut filling is also cooked with caramelized sugar. Some Filipino recipes require baking ingredients, but you can skip it if you want to have a low-fat version. You can also use an empty bottle of ketchup as a rolling pin instead. The key is to use a sturdy surface and a well-oiled bowl for the dough.
In addition to coconut, another popular ingredient in Filipino pan de coco is meryenda. This bread is not as eye-catching, but its coconut taste is irresistible! Most Filipinos love this sweet treat and pair it with hot chocolate, milk, or coffee. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the country’s most popular treats. If you’re a fan of Filipino cuisine, you’ll love this delicious sweet bread.
History of filipino pan de coco
If you’re looking for some delicious sweet treats to try, a Filipino pan de coco is the perfect choice. The Spanish term for bread is pan, and de coco means “from coconut.” The word pan was introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era, and it is similar to the Honduran version. It is sweet and enriched bread with a coconut filling. The history of Filipino pan de coco begins with the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.
A delicious treat that originated in Central America, the Philippines has recently become a favorite dessert. These sweet rolls are filled with desiccated coconut and are served as snacks or desserts. They are also served alongside stews, and can be a satisfying treat after a meal. Their history is murky, but the Filipino version evolved from its Central American cousin. While the recipe remains the same, there are also a number of variations that distinguish Filipino pan de coco from its American counterpart.