pani popo
Pani Popo
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Rest Time
1 hr 40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
Pani popo is a traditional Samoan brioche roll that has the particularity of baking in a sweet sauce made from coconut milk.
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Oceanic, Samoan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 people
Author: Vera Abitbol
For the dough
  • 4 cups high gluten bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water 95 F
  • 1 egg beaten
  • teaspoon salt
  • For the coconut sauce
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  1. Mix the yeast with ½ cup of warm water.
  2. Leave for 20 minutes, away from drafts, until the mixture is frothy and increases in volume.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour and sugar. Dig a well in the center, add the oil, the water/sugar/yeast mixture and the beaten egg.
  4. Using the dough hook, mix on medium speed while incorporating the remaining water gradually.
  5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.
  6. Stir in the salt after 5 minutes of kneading.
  7. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, until it doubles in volume.
  8. On a lightly floured work surface, punch the dough and divide it into 10 or 12 dough pieces.
  9. Form rolls
  10. First option: form a long rope, cut the dough into pieces and then shape them into small balls.
  11. Second option: spread the dough in a long rectangle using a rolling pin, then roll the rectangle of dough on itself (as to make a rolled cake). Cut into 1-inch thick slices.
  12. Arrange the rolls in a baking dish (round or square) with high edges or in a cake pan, leaving enough spacing between them, in anticipation of their increase in volume.
  13. Cover with a cloth and let rise again for 20 minutes in a warm, draft-free place or until the pieces of dough have doubled in volume.
  14. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F and prepare the sauce.
  1. Whisk the water, coconut milk and sugar together.
  2. Pour the sauce into the dish, directly on the dough and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling slightly around the edges.
  3. Serve hot with some of the remaining sauce.