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Palm Sugar Coconut Bread Rolls

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

This Palm Sugar coconut bread rolls is a tribute to my childhood favourite. I used to call this roll the "Thursday Rolls" because my family would always get them at a Thursday night market in our neighbourhood where my brothers and I grew up.

One of the most challenging thing I find when making anything coconut here in Australia is that freshly grated coconut are not a norm. Back home in Malaysia, there will actually be a special store that would crack open a fresh coconut and grated with that big wheely machinery right before your eyes. Those were the days when I took everything I have from back home for granted! Freshly grated coconut often comes moist because some of the juice are grated in together with it. Since most desiccated coconuts are pre packaged here, they are often really dry.

Therefore, to make it close to the texture and moistness that the fillings for these roll need, the next best thing is to soak the dry desiccated coconuts into some coconut milk.



This recipe makes 12 x rolls ( smaller batch is not ideal for a standard mixer and will require the dough to be manually kneaded by hand)


60 g Fine desiccated coconut

40 ml Coconut milk

60 g Castor Sugar

40 g Palm Sugar

1/2 tsp Salt


290 g White Baker's Flour

80 g Wholemeal plain flour

20 g Full Cream Milk Powder

4 g Instant Yeast

60 g Castor Sugar

50 g Whole Egg

6 g Fine Salt

100 ml Water

90 ml Full Cream Milk

35 g Butter (Room Temperature)

Egg wash

50 g Egg

50 ml Full Cream Milk

Sugar Syrup

20 ml Boiling water

20 g Castor Sugar



For the Fillings

Finely grate the palm sugar then place it with the rest of the ingredients into a pot and stir until all of the sugar have fully dissolved. Transfer the coconut filling into a bowl and leave to cool. Set aside until ready to use.

For the Dough

1. Mix the water and milk and microwave/heat until it reaches between 28°C - 30°C. Place the warm liquid in to a stand mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment with the rest of the ingredients, ensuring that the yeast is not in direct contact with the salt.

2. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes until all the ingredients have come together and are mixed through. Then increase the speed to medium speed for 10 to 12 minutes or until the dough is stretchable without breaking.

Note: This dough is slightly on the soft side. If it feels like it is too wet to handle, sprinkle in some bakers flour and mix until they can be easily handled with your hands. Do not be tempted to add too much flour as this can create a really dry bread rolls.

3. Lightly dust the work bench with some baker flour, transfer the dough on to the bench and knead the dough with you hands (around 2 to 3 minutes) until you can feel the dough are developing a firmness to it, then roll it in to a semi tight ball and place the dough with the seam side underneath on a lightly floured bowl large enough for the dough to expand in size.

Note: You do not want the dough to increase double its size as when you are portioning and working with the dough further, the time taken will allow the dough to develop further.

4. Once the dough have have increased 2/3 of its original size, tilt the bowl over and release the dough on to your work bench.

Gently press the dough down to release any additional gas in the dough, then portion the dough in to 12 x 60 g individual portion. Roll the individually portioned dough in to a round ball and set aside covered with a tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Repeat the steps until all the portions have been rolled.

Depending on how quick you work, if you are quick to roll all of the 12 rolls, place a tea towels on the dough and let them rest for 2 to 5 minutes before proceeding. If you are slightly on the slower side (totally fine!), once you have rolled the 12th dough, go ahead and proceed the next step starting with the first ball of dough.

5. Gently press the ball of dough flat with your palm (lightly dust the bench if necessary). With the help of both your hands, lightly stretch them the dough out in a circular motion (roughly to a palm size), then scoop some the the coconut fillings and place them in the centre of the dough.

Fold all the sides of the rolls to the centre, covering the fillings and pinch them together to fully seal the dough. Make sure at this point that you do not dust too much flour as this can make it hard for the dough to stick in order to seal.

6. Holding the dough on one palm, seam side underneath, and with the help of your other palm, roll the dough back in to a smooth ball. Flatten the filled dough slightly and place them into a lightly greased non stick baking pan.

Note: If you do not have a non stick baking pan, grease your pan and line your trays with baking paper to avoid the rolls from getting stuck to the tray.

7. Place a tea tower over the filled rolls and let it final proof for 30 minutes or until it increases 2/3 of its original size.

8. Brush egg wash on the top and around the sides of the rolls, sprinkle some desiccated coconut on the top and bake in the preheated oven at 180 for around 15 - 20 minutes or until they are golden brown at the top.

9. Serve and enjoy! The rolls can keep up to 3 days wrapped or kept in an airtight container.




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