I have not heard of this bread until I read about it on Facebook from a blogger called Vivian (sorry Vivian, I cannot find your blog nor your recipe). Got curious and as usual did a bunch of research on it before I decided to embark on it.

There are quite a few interesting recipes out there, including some really ‘Singaporeanized’ ones that added pandan leaves to perfume it.  This is my take on it after reading a few sites. The bun is made from a fail-proof yet fast soft dinner roll recipe that I do pretty often, and the coconut sauce is something I took off a Samoan website, samoafood.com.

When allowed to cool for about 30 minutes after baking, the coconut sauce will thicken into a paste that resembles our local kaya. This has inspired me to create some really interesting treats for the kids in their lunch boxes and breakfasts.  What a keeper!  The kids love it, except for that Old Boy who hates coconut cream. But fear not, I have some interesting ideas that will convert him, so that breakfasts can be  less laborious having to create something for him separately. 😉

Pani Popo (Samoan Bread)

Pani Popo (Samoan Bread)



250 ml warm water at 60°C.

9g Instant yeast

20g Milk powder

50g Raw sugar

1 egg

85 ml oil (I use sunflower)

1 large egg

1 tsp Salt

500g Baker's flour (or bread flour)


1/2 cup Coconut creme

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt


    Make the bread dough
  1. I use a thermomix for a quick mix. Place the water and warm it to 70°C, then add the yeast and mix. Leave it to stand for 5 minutes until the mixture froths.
  2. Add the sugar, egg, milk powder, oil, and 350g of the flour. Set it to knead mode for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and knead for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the 150g flour and knead for 3 more minutes. Dough is ready.
  5. I neaten the surface and put a coat of oil and return the dough to the machine, close and use the dough when it has risen and doubled. Normally less than 30 minutes.
  6. Shape and 2nd proof
  7. I divide the dough into 40-42g each. This recipe makes 2 pans. Arrange them into the pan and leave to rise for another 30 minutes for it to double its size again.
  8. Preheat oven at this point to 190°C.
  9. Make the gravy
  10. Just stir everything together. No need to cook.
  11. When buns are ready to be cooked, just pour the gravy over and cook over medium shelf for 25 minutes. There is no need to oil the pan because coconut is really very fat.
  12. Best served 30 minutes after it comes out of the oven, that is if you do not have kids who will secretly tear them away.