`Pão de Deus (Portuguese Sweet Olive Oil Coconut Buns) - Olive Oil Times

Pão de Deus (Portuguese Sweet Olive Oil Coconut Buns)

This sweet bread is a staple dessert and breakfast pastry in Portugal. Similar in style to the French brioche, this pillowy roll is adorned with a sweet, coconut topping, along with a healthy smattering of powdered sugar.
Pão de Deus (Portuguese Sweet Olive Oil Coconut Buns)
Pão de Deus (Portuguese Sweet Olive Oil Coconut Buns)
Oct. 25, 2020
Patterson Watkins

Translated, Pão de Deus means Bread of God. And, although, these rolls are a daily find through­out Portugal, they have extra­or­di­nary sig­nif­i­cance dur­ing All Saints Day. Including a cus­tom where neigh­bor­hood kid­dos walk door-to-door, request­ing sweets and candy (sim­i­lar to North American Halloween) in exchange for songs or poetry.


Pão de Deus (Portuguese Sweet Olive Oil Coconut Buns)

Course: BreakfastCuisine: PortugueseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



The dough can be made ahead of time, por­tioned, and refrig­er­ated. When you’re ready to bake, just remove the doughy rolls from the fridge and let rest at room tem­per­a­ture for abut an hour. Then pro­ceed with the egg wash brush­ing and coconut top­ping. 


  • Dough
  • 1/3cupwarm water (from the tap)

  • 1table­spoonactive dry yeast 

  • 1 table­spoongran­u­lated sugar

  • 1/2 cupwhole milk

  • 2eacheggs

  • 3table­sponsmild to medium inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil (plus 1 table­spoon, addi­tional)

  • 1table­spoondark rum

  • 1tea­spoonvanilla extract

  • 1/4cupgran­u­lated sugar

  • 3 1/2cupsall pur­pose flour

  • Coconut Crust
  • 2eacheggs

  • 2cupsshred­ded coconut, unsweet­ened

  • 1/2cupgran­u­lated sugar

  • 1eachegg, beaten and com­bined with 2 tea­spoons water for egg wash

  • 2table­spoons(or more) pow­dered sugar 


  • Combine warm water, yeast and (1 table­spoon) sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fit­ted with the whisk attach­ment. Gently stir the mix­ture together and let rest for 5 min­utes, until yeast blooms and is slightly foamy.
  • Add milk, eggs, olive oil, rum, vanilla and sugar (1/2 cup) and whisk to com­bine. Replace the whisk attach­ment with the dough hook, and begin adding in flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix on low speed until dough forms, increase speed slightly to knead the dough for about 5 min­utes (the dough will be tacky, not sticky). Place dough in a lightly greased bowl (using the addi­tional oil), cover and place in a warm area to rise, 30 min­utes (until dou­bled in size). 
  • Once the dough has risen, divide into 3 oz (90g) por­tions. Roll each into balls and place, evenly spaced, on a parch­ment-lined bak­ing sheet. Cover and let rest, again, for 30 min­utes. 
  • Meanwhile, com­bine the crust ingre­di­ents (eggs, coconut and sugar) in a small bowl, cre­at­ing a sticky mix. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 
  • Once the rolls have rested, brush each with egg wash and top, evenly, with coconut mix­ture, being care­ful not to mash the rolls flat. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 35 min­utes or until golden brown and fluffy. Remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled, dust each roll with pow­dered sugar before serv­ing. 

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