I’ve been seeing recipes for panipopo sweeping by on my Pinterest feed for quite a while. I’ve never really stopped & clicked because I thought that the sweetened coconut bread would be too wet and sickly sweet.
How wrong I was! I’m glad I read some of the comments remarking on how delicious it is and how ex-pat islanders hanker after it when they’re away from home.
Panipopo (or pani-popo or pani popo) is a Polynesian bread originating from Samoa or Hawaii – depending on who you believe.
I thought that all that liquid would make for a soggy bread, but most of it is absorbed by the dough in cooking. The liquid that is left turns into a thick, unctuous, syrupy sauce. We weren’t sure what to eat it with – I chose to have it as it comes, dunking it in more of the sauce that I’d reserved. Justin went all adventurous and had his with a little bit of Cambozola… he reckons it’s a winner.
Here’s the recipe – why don’t you have a go? Let us know what you think!
- 7g/¼oz active dry yeast
- 240ml/8½ fl oz warm water
- 450g/16oz plain or bread flour
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 200ml/7 fl oz tinned coconut milk (check the tin, mine was already diluted to 50% coconut milk, 50% water)
- 200ml/7 fl oz water (omit this if your coconut milk is already diluted)
- 100g/3½oz caster sugar
- In a measuring jug, stir the yeast into the warm water and leave for 10 minutes
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt
- In another measuring jug, lightly mix the egg and vegetable oil
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine well, adding a little more flour if the dough is too sticky
- Empty out the dough on to a floured surface and knead for 10-20 minutes until smooth and elastic
- Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with cling film or put inside a large plastic bag. Leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in size
- Grease a large, deep rectangular or round baking tin. Set aside
- Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface
- Roll the dough into a long rectangle, roll it up and slice it into 2.5cm/1-inch or any even-sized rounds
- Put the rounds into the baking tin, cover with cling film or put into a large plastic bag and allow to prove until doubled in size
- Wile the bread is proving, preheat the oven to 180ºC/375°F/Gas mark 4
- In a large measuring jug, combine the coconut milk, water (if using) and sugar and stir until all the sugar has dissolved
- When the dough has doubled in size, pour the coconut sauce evenly over the dough
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until the top of the bread is has turned a golden brown
- Allow them to cool in the tin for at least an hour before serving