This Brioche Coconut Bread is made from an incredibly rich, buttery, soft, and slightly sweet brioche bread filled with swirls of sweetened coconut paste. It is the ultimate breakfast toast to give you a little sweet morning pick me up.
This post was sponsored by Vital Farms. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you’ve made Brioche before, you know you’re in for a real treat today with this Brioche coconut bread. This coconut bread is not only enriched with eggs and butter, but the inside is filled with a sweetened coconut paste, making it taste like a delicious vacation.
And if you need even more reasons try this coconut bread recipe, here’s why:
- This recipe makes just one coconut loaf, but is easy enough to double for two loaves if you want to make a bigger batch.
- You can finish baking this bread the same day or make the dough the day before and finish baking the next day.
- The bread tastes incredible.
- You can even make it into coconut brioche buns for individual servings.
Table of Contents
Coconut lovers will definitely enjoy this brioche coconut bread. It is also reminiscent of those Asian Coconut Buns you can pick up at Asian grocery stores or Chinese bakeries, but now you can make them at home!
Ingredients and Substitutions
As always, you can find the full list of ingredients and quantities in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Below are some notes and substitution tips:
- Butter – I use unsalted butter in this recipe, but in a pinch you can use salted butter, just make sure to reduce the amount of salt called for by half. Since butter contributes to the flavor of this bread a great deal, this is the time to splurge on very high quality butter.
- Milk – Use whole milk or 2% milk here. You’ll notice that the recipe calls for 2 to 3 tablespoons. I always start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed later. Most of the time I don’t really need all 3 tablespoons of milk. Milk can also be used in egg wash instead of water.
- Granulated sugar – This will give the yeast food and make the bread a little sweeter. Any type of sugar can be substituted here, except for liquid sweetener like honey or maple syrup because it will change the ratio of wet and dry ingredients in this recipe.
- Yeast – I use active dry yeast here, but you can also use rapid rise instant yeast. Even with instant yeast, I would still recommend blooming it in liquid first to ensure the yeast is working.
- Flour – bread is typically made using bread flour for the higher protein content, which will make your bread chewier. However, to keep things simpler, I’ve used all-purpose flour here.
- Salt – I use kosher salt, if you’re using table salt, only use about ⅔ teaspoon.
- Egg – There are 3 whole eggs in the bread dough, 1 egg in the coconut filling, and an additional egg is used for the egg wash. You have to use egg here, there is no substitution.
- Coconut – unsweetened shredded coconut is used in the filling. This is dried coconut, which you can not substitute with fresh coconut or sweetened coconut as both have higher water content.
- Powdered sugar – used to sweeten the coconut filling. There is no substitution for this but you could try making your own by blending granulated sugar with cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for each cup of granulated sugar.
- Coconut oil – just a little bit is used in the coconut filling. If you don’t usually use coconut oil, and don’t want to buy a whole jar for this recipe, you can substitute with melted butter instead.
How to make coconut bread
Allow all of your refrigerated ingredients to come to room temperature before you start.
First, bloom the yeast
Stir active dry yeast into room temperature milk and let it bloom for about 10 minutes, the mixture should puff up, as in the ingredient photo up above. If using instant yeast, do the same to hydrate the yeast and make sure it is working.
Prepare the dough
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the three eggs and lightly beat them until foamy with a hand whisk or the balloon whisk attachment. Add the bloomed yeast mixture and the dry ingredients to the egg and yeast mixture.
Use the dough hook to knead on low speed for 15 minutes. Check occasionally to see how your dough is looking, if it is too dry, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk. By the end of 15 minutes, the dough will pull away from the side of the bowl but may still stick to the bottom.
Leave the mixer on low speed and add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing the butter to incorporate into the dough before adding more. This will take about 10 minutes. Then let the mixer knead for another 10-20 minutes or until the dough mostly pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a smooth ball by folding it over itself several times. The dough will be very soft and may be a bit sticky. Refrain from adding more flour to it because that can dry it out.
Note: due to high hydration (high water content in the dough), this brioche dough is very slack, which makes the bread soft and moist after baking. Only add flour for shaping and rolling if you absolutely need it.
Once shaped into a smooth ball, place the dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. At this point, you can either let the dough rise in the fridge overnight or continue at room temperature until at least double in size.
Tip: using oil on your hands and the counter instead of flour while shaping the dough will help with sticking and also prevent you from adding too much flour which can dry out the bread. However, this dough has a lot of butter so it shouldn’t stick to your hands very much.
Make the coconut filling
Once the dough has completed its first rise, make the coconut filling by mixing all the ingredients in a food processor.
Tip: if you don’t have a food processor, you can just mix the filing by hand. I like using the food processor because it blends the filling a bit smoother but either way will work. If not using a food processor, choose a more finely shredded coconut.
If you let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, you’ll need to let it come to room temperature before working with it the second day.
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, and roll it out into a rectangle. Spread the coconut paste on top of the dough as evenly as possible and roll it up starting from the shorter side into a log.
Place the log of dough in a buttered and lined loaf pan. Place the pan in a warm spot, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise until more than double in size and supple looking.
Bake the bread
Preheat oven to 350°F, apply egg wash on the risen dough, and bake until the top is deep golden brown, about 40 minutes.
Tip: if at any point during baking you notice the top crust getting too brown, you can tent the bread with a piece of foil to avoid burning it.
This dough is supposed to be very soft due to the high amount of fat from all the butter and eggs. But if you follow all the recipe steps, you should end up with a slack yet strong bread dough that you can shape into a ball. Here are some things to look for when you don’t get good results.
- Did you measure all of the ingredients correctly? It is best to invest in a kitchen scale and measure all your ingredients by weight. It actually makes the prepping a lot faster.
- Are you using large eggs or extra large eggs? Large eggs can also range from 1 ⅞ oz to 2 ¼ oz, so depending on the size of your eggs, that may vary the amount of liquid in the dough.
- Did you use all of the milk or did you hold back some at the beginning? I always start with 2 tablespoons of milk and rarely do I need to use all 3.
- How are you measuring your flour? I typically fluff the flour inside the container, then scoop using my measuring cup and level with an offset spatula. If you use the “spoon and level” method, you may be using a little less flour than I do. It is best to use a kitchen scale.
- Did you knead long enough? The longer you knead the more gluten develops, which gives the dough its structure so it can be handled and shaped easier. This dough needs to be kneaded for at least 30-40 minutes.
I have answered a lot of frequently asked questions about brioche in my other post all about how to make brioche bread. Below are some questions you may encounter making this coconut bread.
What is coconut bread made of?
This particular coconut bread is a yeasted bread, made using a brioche dough. It is different from a quick bread that uses baking powder for lift. The coconut filling is what gives it the delicious tropical taste that you love.
Can I use coconut flour instead?
Because this is a yeasted dough bread, coconut flour will not work as it does not have any gluten. Without gluten, the bread cannot rise.
Can I use coconut milk?
Sure, you can. There is only about 2 – 3 tablespoons of milk used in this coconut bread recipe. You can certainly substitute it with coconut milk if you wish.
- Room temperature: you can store this brioche coconut bread at room temperature for 1-2 days. Only slice off whatever you’re planning to eat to keep the moisture within the loaf. Store the bread in a ziploc bag.
- Refrigerator: you can also keep it in the fridge for up to a week. Again, only slice what you need and keep it in a ziploc bag.
- Freezer: for the freezer, you’ll actually want to freeze the loaf pre-sliced. This way you can defrost only what you need. Your bread should last up to 3 months.
More delicious recipes with coconut
- Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes
- Macadamia Coconut Brittle
- Coconut Truffles
- Coconut Shortbread Cookies
- Pineapple Tart with Coconut Frangipane
📖 Recipe card
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 2 – 3 tablespoon of milk (room temperature, 28 – 42 g)
- 2 teaspoon of active dry yeast
- ¼ cup of granulated sugar (45 g, divided)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (265 g)
- 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 4 ounce unsalted butter (thin slices, room temperature, 113 g)
- Extra flour for rolling as needed
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (135 g)
- 1 cup powdered sugar (100 g)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (13 g, melted)
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or water
- Make the brioche dough: mix 2 tablespoons of milk together with 1 teaspoon of sugar, and sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Let it bloom for about 10 minutes. The mixture should puff up, if not, repeat this step to ensure yeast is working.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the remaining sugar, flour and salt and whisk to evenly distribute.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, lightly beat the eggs with a hand whisk. Add the bloomed yeast mixture along with the flour mixture to the beaten eggs. Use the dough hook to knead on low speed (speed 2) for 15 minutes.
- Check occasionally to see how your dough is looking, if it is too dry, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of milk. By the end of 15 minutes, it should pull away from the side of the bowl.
- Leave the mixer on speed 2 and add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time, allowing the butter to combine with the dough before adding more. This will take about 10 minutes. Then let the mixer knead for another 10-20 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
- Scrape the dough out on a lightly floured counter and shape into a ball. Place it into an oiled glass bowl and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- At this point, you can let the dough ferment in the fridge overnight, or let it double in size (approximately 1-1.5 hours) and move on to the next step.
- Make the coconut filling: add unsweetened coconut and powdered sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the egg and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and pulse until a paste forms. Set aside.
- Assemble the coconut bread: let the dough come to room temperature if you just remove it from the fridge and make sure it has doubled in size before working with it.
- Brush a loaf pan with melted butter or coat with nonstick spray. Line the pan with a piece of parchment paper leaving some excess hanging out on both sides. Then coat the parchment paper with melted butter or nonstick spray as well.
- Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. Deflate the dough and roll it out into a rectangle about 8”x13”.
- Spread the coconut paste on top of the dough as evenly as possible and roll it up starting from the shorter side.
- Place the dough into the prepared loaf pan, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for 1.5 – 2 hours until at least double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Beat an egg with a tablespoon or water or milk to make egg wash. Brush the top of the risen dough with egg wash and bake for 40 minutes until golden brown, and an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean. During the last 10 – 15 minutes, if the bread is getting too brown, drape a piece of foil over it to prevent it from burning.
- Remove from the oven and let cool to the touch on a wire rack before attempting to remove it from the pan. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing into it. Use a serrated bread knife to slice.
- Always check that your yeast is working properly before continuing with the recipe to ensure success. If the yeast doesn’t puff up when bloomed in liquid, it is best to start over. Otherwise, your dough will not rise.
- Rising time can vary, depending on the environment: temperature, humidity, barometric pressure. The dough will rise faster in warmer weather compared to colder weather, in higher altitude compared to lower altitude, etc.
- Cutting the butter into thin slices will help it incorporate into the dough easier than cubes.
- Make sure the butter is at room temperature or it will not incorporate easily.
- This dough is very buttery so it shouldn’t need a lot of extra flour for rolling and shaping.
- At any point during baking, if the top of the bread is getting too brown, you can cover it with a piece of foil to avoid over-browning or burning.
- If you had lined the pan with parchment paper, simply lift the bread out of the pan. Otherwise use a butter knife to loosen the sides and flip it out onto a tea towel or wire rack.
- If you don’t have a food processor to make the coconut filling, simply mix by hand but make sure to choose a more finely shredded coconut.
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