Pani popo are fluffy dinner rolls baked in sugar and coconut milk for a delicious dinner roll. I usually serve them with dinner but I’ve heard of them being a part of the dessert table too!
Pani Popo Rolls
Now I don’t think these are technically Hawaiian. I believe these rolls are from Samoan origin and I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to them for that.
Since the coconut milk sits in the bottom of the dish and bakes you get this gooey yummy underside to your rolls and you will see some of that goodness under your rolls as you take them out of the pan. That’s normal. So ono!
I use my bread machine to mix and knead. You don’t have to look up your instructions for your bread machine either. Just hit your “Start” or “Go” button- whatever. Keep it mixing until your dough is formed. The initial setting that moves the paddle in short bursts is the mix setting and the faster one that follows is the “knead” setting. Either one has worked for me when I am mixing my dough. For really big batches I have to sneak a spoon on the sides to help incorporate all the flour. Once it is all mixed together, I let it knead at the set knead speed and I set my timer to make sure I am following the directions to the best of my abilities. 😀
Let’s get to it!
Recipe very slightly adapted from original source: Samoa Chat Kitchen, recipe submitted by K. Suaava McDonald
6 cups flour
two .75 ounce packets – or 4 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
2 1/4 cups + 2 tbsp. of milk
1 tbsp. sugar + 1 cup sugar for mixing with coconut milk later
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. butter – or margarine, Crisco
2 cans of coconut milk
Measure about 2 1/2-3 cups of flour and your yeast into your bread machine or a large mixing bowl. In a saucepan add your milk, sugar, salt and butter. On medium low heat continue to cook until butter is almost completely melted. You may test your liquid if you like, but be sure it is not much over about 100 degrees F. We don’t want to kill our yeast, do we? 😉 When butter is almost completely melted, add your warm milk mixture to your flour mixture and combine. Add remaining flour gradually to make a smooth dough. Knead for about 6-8 minutes.
Butter your hands and butter a bowl for your dough to rise. Rub that butter all over your dough and set it covered in its greased bowl for about 45 minutes to rise.
After 45 minutes gently degas by pressing down the dough and form into little balls, placing them into two greased 13 by 9 pans. This recipe will make 18-24 rolls depending on the size. Let your rolls rise for at least 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Mix your coconut milk with 1 cup sugar and pour over your rolls.
Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes or until they are a golden brown on top.
Brush melted butter on top of rolls while they are still hot.