Monday, January 2, 2017

Sweet Coconut Rolls

Happy New Year, everyone! These past few days I have been scouring the internet for something coconut-ty and came across these amazing buns from Samoan cuisine. These are called Panipopo. Pani is the word for buns and popo means coconut.
I made good use of my can of coconut milk making two batches in two days. I wasn't surprised to see that the usual non-coconut-lovers in our house reach out for seconds. Which meant that I had to make another batch for my post!:)
I wonder if this happens to you as well. Some trial runs in the kitchen turn out much better than the measured-for-the-recipe types. Sigh. This is what happened to me. The first ones were softer and didn't take as long as these ones to rise. 
Ingredients:
2 tsp yeast
1 cup coconut milk (I used the tinned variety)
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar + extra to brush/sprinkle on the rolls
3 cups flour
1 egg, beaten
4 tsp melted butter + extra to grease your pan

Method:
Take a small bowl and place the yeast there. Add about 1/4 cup of lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar. Give it a gentle mix and set aside for about 10 minutes or till the froth forms on top. 
Transfer the yeast to a large bowl and add the rest of the sugar, melted butter, salt, and the beaten egg. At this point I also added half cup of coconut milk to the mixture. Use a wooden spatula to mix them all together. Add the flour, about a cup at a time. Add the rest of the flour and mix. 
The dough will be very sticky. Tip the contents on to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 7-8 minutes. Form the dough into a ball. 
Oil the bottom of the same bowl by scraping off bits and pieces of dough. Place the ball of dough in it. With the same oil, grease the top of the ball and cover with clingfilm. Set aside till the dough doubles in size. This could take about an hour.
Remove the clingfilm and gently form the risen dough into a ball. Then roll out into a strip and cut out similar sizes to form into rolls. Place each bun on a greased baking tin. Repeat till the dough is used up.
Cover the tin with a kitchen towel till the rolls double in size. This will take about 30 minutes.

Give your coconut milk a good stir and pour it over the buns. I first used a brush and sprinkled the sugar on top. Then I realised it was better to pour the milk on top and let it drizzle down too.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for about 20 minutes or till the surface is golden brown.
The quantity of the ingredients given here made 9 rolls. The last one which did not fit in the pan went into a tiny pie dish.
You might not need the entire cup of milk as mentioned in this recipe. In my case I finished the remaining milk by pouring it in the small pie dish.
I couldn't wait to try them out the moment they cooled down a bit. They were fluffy and soft but not too sweet. The coconut milk made such a difference. And need I say that the aroma that filled the house was amazing??
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