Sweet Hawaiian Bread & Buns

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Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!A sweet Hawaiian favorite made with pineapple juice, this bread tastes sweeter than a brioche, but with a very soft crumb. Growing up in Los Angeles means you are fortunate enough to enjoy a melting pot of different cuisines available to you at all times. Before moving to Sacramento, we lived in a neighborhood referred to as the South Bay, near Redondo and Manhattan Beach where there is a restaurant in town called King’s Hawaiian. If you aren’t local to the restaurant, you probably recognize the name as the makers of the packages of sweet dinner rolls you can find in your local grocery store.  Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!In the restaurant with a full service bakery that makes the most delicious pastries, cakes and breads you can find. If you are local you are familiar with how legendary the rainbow bread and paradise cake are. When I came across the recipe for this bread I knew I needed to make some, just to get a bit of the flavors of home. As delicious as the rolls in the stores are, they pale in comparison to the fresh baked variety you will find here. Sure it takes a few hours of rising time, but the flavor of the bread and the smell that will waft through your house will help you forget the effort involved in making it!

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon instant yeast and 2 tablespoons water to make the sponge. Allow the sponge to rest for 15 minutes. Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!
Add the pineapple juice, butter, brown sugar, eggs and yolk, and vanilla. Mix until completely combined. Whisk together the rest of the flour, potato flour, and salt before adding to the liquid ingredients. Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth, it may take a while because it will be really sticky at first.

Use a flat beater in your stand mixer for 3 minutes. Switch to a dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed. If it is still sticking like crazy add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Grease a large mixing bowl and form the dough into a ball. Put into the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Grease a pan or a loaf pan. You can make two loaves or 16 small buns. I made one loaf and 4 large hamburger buns.Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!
Gently deflate the dough and form into bread in your desired size. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise again for at least an hour until really puffy. Mix the leftover egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water. Brush the mixture on the dough. Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!

Preheat oven to 350°.
Bake small rolls (this would make 16) for 20 to 25 minutes.
Bake buns for 25 minutes.
Bake loaf bread for 30-35 minutes.

Dinner then Dessert TIPSYou can also make this recipe in your bread machine, the link provided in the recipe will give you more information about the process if using one.

Recipe

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Hawaiian Bread & Buns

5 from 2 votes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Course: Bread
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Dinner, then Dessert
Sweet from the pineapple juice and soft, this bread is just like the cult favorite King's Hawaiian bread. Works great with sandwiches, grilled cheeses and french toast. Perfect with pulled pork or chicken sandwiches too. This bread is versatile and addictive!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour , divided
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup softened , unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk , white reserved
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon instant yeast and 2 tablespoons water to make the sponge.
  2. Allow the sponge to rest for 15 minutes.

  3. Add the pineapple juice, butter, brown sugar, eggs and yolk, and vanilla
  4. Mix until completely combined.
  5. Whisk together the rest of the flour, potato flour, and salt before adding to the liquid ingredients.
  6. Mix and knead until the dough is cohesive and smooth, it may take a while because it will be really sticky at first.
  7. Use a flat beater in your stand mixer for 3 minutes.

  8. Switch to a dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed.

  9. If it is still sticking like crazy add a couple more tablespoons of flour
  10. Grease a large mixing bowl and form the dough into a ball.
  11. Put into the bowl and cover with a towel.
  12. Let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours.

  13. Grease a pan or a loaf pan. You can make two loaves or 16 small buns.
  14. I made one loaf and 4 large hamburger buns.
  15. Gently deflate the dough and form into bread in your desired size.
  16. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap.
  17. Let rise again for at least an hour until really puffy.
  18. Mix the leftover egg white with 1 tablespoon cold water.
  19. Brush the mixture on the dough.
  20. Preheat oven to 350°.
  21. Bake small rolls (this would make 16) for 20 to 25 minutes.

  22. Bake buns for 25 minutes.
  23. Bake loaf bread for 30-35 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Nutrition Information

Yield: 16 servings, Amount per serving: 144 calories, Calories: 144g, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 28mg, Sodium: 216mg, Potassium: 50mg, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 120g, Vitamin C: 0.7g, Calcium: 12g, Iron: 1.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Sweet Hawaiian Bread & Buns
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This bread is amazing when still warm and right out of the oven. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself standing by the counter eating pieces of it that you tear off the loaf. We usually make a double or triple recipe so we can enjoy it warm and have slices for sandwiches and french toast and rolls for burgers.

Sweet Hawaiian Bread made with pineapple juice, it's sweeter than a brioche, with a super soft crumb. Perfect for French toast or burgers!

 

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. These look amazing! I was wondering 2 things. Can the it be frozen (either in dough or bread form)? And how many hamburger sized buns can you get from one recipe? I’m guessing 8 ish, since you made 4 from half a recipe but just want to make sure

    1. Yes, this dough can be frozen. Divide the dough into desired portions, wrap loosely in plastic wrap, place into a freezer-safe container and freeze. Before baking, allow dough to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for 2-3 hours at room temperature. It’ll make roughly 8 buns. Hope this helps.

  2. I’m making this right now. I’m not much of a bread maker and I’ve wrecked this recipe a couple time already… forgot the butter, fell asleep and proofed the dough for 8.5 hours… but, when it comes to bread for our Sacrament at church, this is a favorite. The first step, sponge, doesn’t make sense. The 2 Tbsp of water, w 1 T of yeast + 1/4 cup of flour is way too dry to even get a basic wetting. I ended up adding the watery mix and the dry sponge into the mixing bowl and had to go at it on high for 5 minutes to break up the flour balls from step 1. I then let it sit for 15 minutes to reactivate the yeast. So far so good.

  3. I’m trying to make these and the sponge is super dry. I tried making it twice. What am I do wrong???? I followed the recipe exactly!

    1. Oh no! The only things I could think of that would cause an issue with dryness would be possibly over proofing it or maybe measuring out the flour incorrectly. You want to make sure not to scoop flour into a measuring cup but rather spoon it in to fill. Hope those help with your third attempt!

  4. These look yummy! Making them now:) At what temperature do you bake the buns?? I’m not seeing that in the post or the quick print out for instructions.

  5. I love King’s Hawaiian buns! These look so soft and tasty. I feel like this recipe is in my future. Maybe I will share with my family. 🙂

    1. Aww thank you!! I actually just signed up for an intense photography class and bought a whole light studio set up. Here is to hoping the pictures get better and better!

  6. Those look really good. I have all the stuff so I may try these this week. I’m sure my family would love them!

    1. I’d make a double recipe because if it is your first time making it you are going to want to tear off piece by piece as soon as it is cool enough to hold!

  7. That bread looks yummy! My Mom is totally obsessed with King’s Hawaiian bread, but it’s hard to find in my area.

  8. I love all kinds of breads. I don’t know if I have ever tried Hawaiian bread of any type before, but I would like to. Maybe I will try to make some of these at home. Ahh, but for a bread maker!

  9. A long time friend of mine moved to the Redondo area last year and I plan to visit her new beach side pad later this summer. I had no idea King’s Hawaiian originated in the area and will be sure to stop in and get some treats.

    1. You’ll love it! Go to the restaurant, it is beautiful and order treats from the bakery…especially the paradise cake!

  10. Love. Love. LOVE Kings Hawaiian rolls. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’ll have to whip up a few of these for some chicken and pineapple sliders next week.

    1. Alisa, yes! A great restaurant! And if you order French Toast there, they make it with the fresh Hawaiian bread and it makes you want to weep it is so fresh and so good 🙂

    1. Hope you love it! We use it as one of our 4 bread recipes. It always seems to get chosen more and more often when I take requests!