Coconut Pandan Bread (Tangzhong Method)

Love this light and fluffy, coconut, pandan-flavored bread! It is so easy to make with a bread machine and the bread is delicious as is or slathered with kaya, a coconut jam that is a staple in most Malaysian households. Enjoy!

Adapted from the Classic Sandwich Bread recipe by King Arthur Flour

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons coconut milk (from can), divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use extra light olive oil)
1-1/4 teaspoons pandan paste
2 tablespoons (granulated) sugar
1 teaspoon (table) salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast (I use SAF)

To make the tangzhong roux, combine 3 tablespoons flour (taken from the 3 cups) and 1/2 cup coconut milk (taken from the 1 cup plus 2-1/2 tablespoons) in a small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and forms a thick slurry (takes me about 2-1/2 minutes). Transfer the tangzhong roux to a bread machine pan (do not worry if it is still hot, the rest of the liquid ingredients will cool it down).

To the tangzhong roux, add the remaining coconut milk, oil, pandan paste, remaining flour, sugar, salt, and yeast (in the order listed in this sentence – essentially all the wet ingredients, then dry ingredients). Program for the correct cycle (I use the sweet bread setting for this bread, the regular basic does not give enough rise); press Start. The bread dough should ultimately come away from the side of the pan and form a ball by the end of the kneading cycle (adjust during the cycle if necessary – i.e. add more liquid if dough is too dry, add more flour if too tacky). When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.

Note: The tangzhong technique does help extend the shelf life of the bread. Nevertheless, if bread becomes drier after a few days, simply microwave for a few seconds to soften it.

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