Pan De Coco is an irresistible piece of bread that you probably have already seen from the bakery window.
It may not be as eye-catching as the others, but its sweetness and unique coconut taste will surely make you want for more. It is no doubt a favorite of Filipinos of all ages, even kids can’t resist how good the bread is.
The name of this Filipino treat is actually taken from the same Spanish word that translates to coconut bread. Even if it seems very Filipino, it has actually traveled a long way before becoming the current Pinoy favorite that we learned to love. All the way from Central America, where it was originally discovered, it was brought by the Spaniards as they traveled to and fro the Philippines. It all happened as early as the year 1600, so it’s safe to say that the delicacy has been with the Filipinos for more than 400 years already.
The bread is made of 100% coconut strips that are flavored with sugar, wherein the strips are stuffed inside the pastry to be made as a filling. Coconut-made snacks and desserts are considered some of the healthiest treats because the fruit itself boasts an impressive nutrition profile. From the protein, B vitamins, minerals like manganese and iron, and antioxidants, you will never feel guilty about eating it. The fruit also provides an original and unique taste to foods that use it as an ingredient, so it is safe to say that coconut is indeed a miracle fruit - both delicious and healthy.
Tips How to Make Pan De Coco
- When proofing the dry active yeast, make sure the milk is warm, not too hot. Let it stand for about 5-10 minutes until it starts to get foamy.
- If you are using instant dry yeast, you may skip the proofing part and mix it directly with the flour.
- I prefer to pre-heat the oven at 100°C for 10 minutes then turn it off and place the dough inside. This will help to raise the dough, especially in winter months.
- I've been using the same process to make the dough for pandesal.
- Combine the ingredients for the filling and cook until the butter is melted. The mixture should be moist but not too wet.
After a long and tiring day, you can chomp on pan de coco for your afternoon break. You can pair it with any good drink - coffee, tea, hot choco, juice, soft drinks - anything suits it! Even the fragrant scent of it being baked will surely invite you to have a taste, and after a bite of the fluffy and soft bread, you will feel your energy rushing back. It will be more enjoyable if you share it with friends too.
Pan De Coco Recipe
- 7 g dry yeast
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar + 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups dessicated coconut
- ¼ cup butter
- 3 tbsp fresh milk
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- In a jug or small bowl, combine the warm milk, 1 tbsp sugar and dry yeast. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes foamy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture, butter and eggs. Mix until well combined and forms a dough.
- Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until smooth and stretchy. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it stand for about 1 ½ hour or until size is doubled.
- To prepare the filling, heat a pan over medium heat, combine the dessicated coconut, milk, butter and sugar. Cook until the butter is melted and well combined. Add the vanilla essence and stir. The filling should be moist but not too wet. Transfer in a bowl and let it cool.
- Gently deflate the dough by giving it a punch. Transfer into a floured surface and divide it into 20-24 pieces. Roll into a ball then flatten using a rolling pin. Scoop a tablespoonful of the filling, seal and shape into a ball.
- Arrange the dough in a baking tray with parchment paper with ½ inch apart. Cover it with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes or an hour.
- While waiting, preheat the oven at 170°C or 338°F. Once the dough is ready, poke it using a fork then brush some egg wash on top of each dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.