Sweet Hawaiian Bread & 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!

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 ¼ 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.

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Hawaiian Bread & Buns

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!
Yield 16 servings
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

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

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer combine ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon instant yeast and 2 tablespoons water to make the sponge.
  • Allow the sponge to rest for 15 minutes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 50mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Keyword: Hawaiian Buns, Hawaiian sweet bread, Hawaiian sweet rolls, Sweet Hawaiian Bread & Buns

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.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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. Hi Marilyn, I’m so sorry this comment got stuck and I just came across it. I wouldn’t have a good substitute for you without recipe testing it, I’m sorry.

  1. Just to be clear, when making the sponge….you just combine the 1/4 cup flour, yeast and water and let stand for 15 minutes… So do not mix the flour water and yeast together because that creates basically a little dough ball. Correct?
    The picture right above the paragraph about adding the pineapple juice and everything else….is that the picture of the sponge or what the sponge looks like after adding the pineapple juice and everything else?
    I’ve had the same problem with the sponge being too dry too….so wasn’t sure if you had to mix together or just combine in a bowl and let stand….make sense?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. Would like to try this in a bread machine, but I don’t see the link for the instructions in the recipe as stated.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. I thank you for this, I love bread. A LOT and love the idea of making this recipe to go with pasta meal!

  9. Your pictures are gorgeous! I love looking at your pictures, and your food always sounds amazing! I can’t wait to see your next post!

    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!

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

  11. This looks delicious!! I haven’t quiteadtered the art of making bread but feel like I should start 🙂

  12. This sounds like amazing bread! I love trying new bread I don’t’ think this I have had Hawaiian bread like this before.

    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!

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

  14. that sounds a great bread recipe and a unique idea to put pineapple juice in there… will have to try it.

  15. My eyes got so big when I saw this was a recipe for MY FAVORITE! I should be in a 12-step program for King’s Hawaiian bread. Pinning this!

  16. 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!

  17. Wow, those look so good! I have only seen the Hawaiian breads that are in the stores. They are obviously not as fresh as these. These look so much better!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. I love homemade bread! This looks perfect and I can imagine how delicious the smell is while it bakes! Pinned.

  21. I had no idea there was a restaurant behind those rolls – so cool! Love that you made a bread instead of just rolls; it looks incredible!

    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!