So we went...and our hostess Vengie (in blue shirt, sandwiched by me in yellow and Fe in red) was pleasantly surprised to see us because we were supposed to meet NEXT WEDNESDAY...Ooops! Sorry! (blush!) Though surprised, since she was not able to attend our picnic last August at Ana's (in blue tank top) tabing-ilog, she was pleased nonetheless, although apologetic that she did not cook anything. No problem, because I bought a pan (last batch) of savory chicken feet, some palitaw (which she missed that day I made them the first time), and some pan de coco (one for each of us). Fe brought Alaskan salmon (caught by her husband), and Daisy (the one who holds a baby) brought veggies, rice and fried fish, which we ate with tomato-soy sauce dip. Ana was exempted because of her two babies to take care of.
Anyway, I was not planning to make pan de coco. The night before, I was debating on which one to prepare: palitaw or pan de coco. I thought palitaw was easier to make, so I made those, about 15 pieces, but had excess coconut (about 7 heaping tablespoons), so I ended up planning to bake them the next morning (Wednesday). I used the Parker House Rolls recipe (same dough I use for siopao) was able to make only 9 pieces, and I left the rest of the dough plain. Fe came to my house first, so I offered it, with a warning to have only one ("Tig-iisa lang kayo!"). When she finished it, she was looking longingly at the rest. "Bitin ba?" (Do you want more?) "Bakit kasi konti lang ginawa mo?" (Why did you make only a few?) You know the story...Hehe...
Prepared dough (any sweet bread recipe; I used same dough as in siopao, but I have also tried Buttery Sweet Bread recipe using bread machine)
grated coconut (either bought frozen, or grate your own; see my palitaw post in old kusina)
white or light brown sugar (Note: I had about 2-1/2 cups of mixed coconut-sugar, proportion of 1 part coconut:2 parts sugar)
Buttery Sweet Bread recipe (dough cycle only; I used 1-1/2lb loaf to make 21 pcs)-
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 large egg
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut up
1 tsp salt
3-1/3 cup bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp BM yeast
To prepare Buttery Sweet Bread dough:
Warm all liquid ingredients to room temp (80-100 deg F) and place in BM pan. Then place all dry ingredients. Run on dough cycle (about 1.5 hrs or 1&1/2 hrs or total of 90 minutes).
The night before you serve, mix grated coconut with granulated sugar (white or light brown), 1:2 ratio (i.e., I had 7 heaping tbsp of grated coconut which I mixed with 14 exact tbsp (not heaping) of sugar (you may want to taste first then adjust; really , it is up to you). Let this sit in a covered container in the fridge, so that it draws out moisture from the coconut and creates a wonderful caramel-y coconut-y taste. If you plan to bake right away, at least prepare this before your dough so it will sit for sometime before baking. Also, prepare the dough (you may want to use Parker House Rolls; see my beef asado siopao post) and leave it in the fridge overnight. You may also use the Buttery Sweet Bread recipe as above on the day you are going to bake.
Pinch off dough about size of pingpong balls and place on greased baking sheet to let rise for about 10 minutes, covered with greased plastic.
Proceed with filling the buns the same way you would the siopao. Place on parchment paper-lined baking pan. FLATTEN a bit. See slide show.
Allow the filled buns to rise for 30 minutes, in a warm place free of draft (on top of a flat stove covered with damp flour sack or greased cling wrap, or inside a warm oven).
Bake in 400 deg F for 12-15 minutes (it browns quickly). Brush with softened butter as soon as they come out. Let cool about 1-2 minutes before eating, or about 10 minutes those you will not consume right away, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing in ziploc bags.
When I removed these from the oven, some of the coco-caramel oozed out of the buns and made a somewhat chewy caramel film on the paper, which I detached and savored. Yum!
Vengie, the hostess, asked me to bring pan de coco next week (the real schedule), as she has some Filipino friends who will be coming over from NY. Oh, and she requested to have some yeast rolls baking session with me in the near future (I feel flattered and honored!). She loves baking muffins and cakes, but does not know how to deal with yeast rolls. I love yeast rolls, because I grew up with such (typical ordinary) bakery goodies in PI. Back then, cakes and muffins were more expensive and bought only from SM or some specialty bakeshops, and what I had for ordinary snacks were mostly yeast rolls and breads, in the likes of pan de sal, pan de coco, monay, patigas, "tasty" (American pan bread), spanish bread, ensaymada, pan de regla (we at my father's bakery called them "pula"), etc., and I was lucky to have had any of these fresh and hot out of the oven before they even made it to the display area of our store. Now, I am getting more and more comfortable baking them, and loving the nostalgic trip as I knead and shape the dough. My husband happens to love yeast rolls as well, so although it is quite laborious and more time-consuming than muffins and cakes, I do enjoy making them.
A very inspiring email was sent to me:
Hafa Adai from the island of Guam U.S.A!
Isa ako sa mga taga-hanga mo,mahilig din akong magluto pero di sing galing mo.
Marami na ko na-try na recipes online pero most of them ay palpak.I tried your pan de coco recipe at ako ay humanga pati asawa ko kasi perfect talaga.Mula ngayon site mo na lang pagtitiwalaan ko at gusto ko try lahat nga recpes mo.
Hanga ako sa blog mo ,sa slide show ,recipes at sipag mo.Superwoman ka yata ah!Pano mo nmn nagagawa lahat yan!!!Hanga ako talaga.You're the best.
People like you give me the motivation...Thanks a bunch for the kind words!