`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)
By Patterson Watkins
Oct. 25, 2020 17:16 UTC

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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