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Twisted Coconut Buns

These soft and fluffy twisted coconut buns are made using milk bread dough. The dough is braided together with shredded coconut, raisins, and cinnamon for sweet and tasty snack!

Servings 6 buns
Author Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Starter:

  • 25 grams (about 3 Tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) water

Dough:

  • 325 grams (2 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast or active dry yeast*
  • 1 Tbsp milk powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked, room temp
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Filling:

  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 10 grams (1 Tbsp) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 50 grams (about 1/2 cup+ 1 Tbsp) shredded coconut
  • 45 grams (1/4 cup) raisins, packed

Topping:

  • milk or heavy cream, for brushing
  • raw sliced almonds, as needed
  • turbinado sugar, as needed

Instructions

Starter:

  1. Stir together flour, milk, and water in a microwave safe cup. Mix will be a little lumpy. Microwave for 20 seconds. Stir. (NOTE: this cooking time refers to a 1100W microwave)

  2. Remove from microwave and stir contents together. Mixture will have thickened. Stir and break up any large clumps of flour. Then, return to microwave and heat for another 20 seconds.

  3. Remove from microwave and stir together. Return to microwave and heat for another 15 seconds until mixture is smooth and has thickened to the consistency of mashed potatoes.

    *If needed, return to microwave for another 10 seconds and mix again.

  4. Transfer mixture to a cool clean bowl. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes to allow to cool before adding to remaining dough ingredients.

Dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar, instant yeast, milk powder, and salt. Attach dough hook to mixer. Add in cooled starter mixture, egg, and milk. Mix together on low speed for 3-5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl to ensure thorough mixing.

  2. Add softened butter and continue to knead on low speed for 3-5 minutes until butter is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and knead for another 3-5 minutes until dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

  3. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in warm area for about an hour, until dough has doubled in volume.

Filling:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together softened butter, confectioners sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Measure out shredded coconut and raisins. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Punch down risen dough. Transfer to a clean work surface. Divide dough into six equal parts. (Use digital kitchen scale for precise measurements.)

  2. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll dough into a 6-inch square.

  3. Spread a thin layer of cinnamon sugar butter filling all over dough. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 Tbsp shredded coconut and about 2 tsp raisins over cinnamon sugar butter.

  4. Roll dough into a tight log. Place log seam side down. Slice down the middle lengthwise. Slice into two pieces if making twisted buns, or keep a portion of the end intact if braiding.

  5. Twist or braid the two pieces of dough together. Pinch end seams together. Place diagonally on a parchment lined 3/4 sheet tray (15x21-inch baking sheet). *see blog post image for reference

  6. Repeat assembling the remaining pieces of dough.

  7. Cover assembled dough with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm area for about an hour (45 to 60 or so minutes depending on room's temperature) until dough is puffy. It should look soft and pillowy.

  8. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  9. Remove plastic wrap covering from proofed buns. Lightly brush the tops of buns with milk or heavy cream. Sprinkle sliced almonds and turbinado sugar on top.

  10. Bake for 28-30 minutes until bread buns are fragrant and golden brown. Rotate baking sheet midway during baking to ensure even cooking.

  11. Let bread rest in pan for 5 minutes. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to cool. Enjoy bread warm or at room temperature.

    *See note for reheating instructions.

Recipe Notes

Microwave heating time listed for starter is for a 1110W microwave.

*See blog post for ingredient substitutions

  • Recipe has been tested using both instant yeast and dry active yeast. Instant yeast is mixed directly with ingredients.
    • If you have NEW dry active yeast, you can treat it like instant yeast.
    • If you've had your dry active yeast for a while, rehydrate the dry active yeast in warm milk for 5-7 minutes before adding to remaining ingredients. 

Storage:

  • Keep cooled coconut buns in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Reheating Instructions:

  • Coconut buns can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
    • To reheat in the microwave: place twisted coconut bun on a microwave safe plate along with a mug filled with about 1/2 cup water. Cook for 20 second intervals until bread is soft and warm. 
    • Alternatively, reheat coconut buns in a toaster oven until warm.