Thursday, August 25, 2011

All Homemade Kaya Bread

Kaya is the traditional name for coconut jam. Kaya on toast is a popular snack amongst Singaporeans and Malaysians. Made with egg custard base, Kaya is usually flavoured with pandan and tastes really good with a spread of butter on toasted bread.

I've made kaya from scratch for a multicultural day organised by my son's childcare. For this day, parents are invited to bring in a traditional food for the kids to taste. I'm proud to say that this kaya is all made from natural ingredients. Being dairy-free and gluten-free, most kids got to taste it and my son was telling me that he and his friends like it very much.

As mentioned in my previous post, I was convinced that water roux method or gluten gelatinisation for bread making is not absolutely essential to retain the freshness and texture of bread. This basic and easy bread dough recipe from an Asian bread baking book, Bread Code does not require any bread improver, water roux or gluten gelatinisation, yet the bread texture is spongy and delicious.

I've incorporate my home-made kaya into these bread dough. The breads are very soft and delicious for our afternoon tea and retain their texture very well on the next day when we had them for our breakfast.   

Munching these kaya breads are really nice, they make me feel like "home".

homemade kaya
My home-made Kaya
Here's the Kaya recipe from the book, Local Kueh by the publisher, Novum Organum, Singapore

10 eggs
380g sugar
450ml coconut milk
80ml pandan juice  
(I'm actually very surprised that I can buy fresh pandan leaves in Melbourne!)

Mix eggs and sugar till sugar dissolves. Add coconut milk and pandan juice and stir till well blended. Strain mixture into a metal mixer bowl.

Place the mixer bowl on a pot half filed with water. Bring to boil and stirring continuously till kaya becomes thick and sticky.

I made 2 small jars with half the recipe and process the jam slightly for a smoother texture.

Here's the basic bread dough recipe from Bread Code by Wendy Kor (Biligual edition)  
(with my modification in blue)

Make 12 large buns

500g bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast

60g sugar
5g salt
5g milk powder

1 egg
250g water

50g butter

Mix A at a slow speed for 1 min. Add B and mix for another 1 min.

Add C and and mix at slow speed for another 1 min, then medium speed for 5 min or until dough texture is formed.

Add D and continue to mix for 10-15 min or until dough is shiny and springy. Allow dough to prove for 40-50 min or until dough size is doubled (I did mine for 60 min).

To shape, divide dough into 12 portions, let them rest for 15 min. As shown in the following illustration, Step 1, roll each dough into long oval shape. Step 2: Spread kaya on the dough. Step 3: Roll up shorter end of the dough like a Swiss roll and fold one opened end onto other. Step 4: Cut the folded area and open the cut side of the dough to expose kaya circular swirl and place dough on greased baking tray and allow them to prove for 40 min or double in size.

Brush a layer of egg wash on the bread and bake at 180°C (fan forced) for 12-15 min or until golden brown.

Happy Baking
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  1. I actually miss kaya quite a bit! :O you make the complete "package" - kaya and the bread! Very nice.

  2. Kaya is so easily available here that we took it for granted! I have not made Kaya for ages, years ago! You certainly made a fabulous job on the kaya, looks really good! And the bread looks soft and delicious! Have seen this book in Popular Bookstore! And your tutorial is great!

  3. I remember trying kaya toast once in Singapore and found it a little sweet for my palate, but I do love the idea of making something similar from scratch (I'm sure it would taste MUCH better!) Great diagram by the way!

  4. Love your kaya looks.I failed in making kaya twice....zzzzzzzzz

  5. I never heard of kaya, that sounds like something interesting to explore. I love the illustration, did you draw that? That's quite impressive!

  6. thanks for the illustrations :)
    Ive been thinking of doing kaya for awhile.. so thanks for the recipe and inspiration :)

  7. I've never had coconut jam, but I think trying it for the first time by way of this bread would be a taste treat!

  8. You are always introducing me to new things! I have never heard of Kaya before this post. So interesting!

  9. Wow bread looks marvellous, never had kaya,thanks for sharing..

  10. you made your own kaya?!! wow!! i heard that it requires many hours to get it done. Fantastic job!!

  11. What a beautiful bread! The filling sounds so good =)

  12. Feel like licking the kaya off the screen...mmmm. Bet the buns sure taste superb with homemade kaya!

  13. You are like the Queen of baking bread! Please don't get upset at my next post (coming out next week) when I bought premaid dough instead of making it myself. o:)

  14. I am so in love with this! Your illustration is so cute! Thanks for sharing dear! hug Hug...

  15. The prettiest kaya bread I have ever seen!

  16. I never had anything as interesting as multicultural days at childcare!!! haha....The bread sounds delicious! I agree- I've achieved quite soft breads with simple recipes- but I always like to try different techniques with bread ;)

  17. Your kaya bread looks so delicious with the kaya peeping out! Love it!

  18. Zoe amazing pictures, a luxury home bread very well developed, more and more I really like your recipes, hugs.

  19. Oh homemade kaya!delicious and healthy!

  20. Thanks everyone for your wonderful comments.

    I would thought the simple illustration will explain better than words and so I draw this myself. Glad that everyone like it.

  21. Yumzzz. I love kaya on toasted bread. You did well with the kaya.

  22. Hohoho Zoe, can I replace pandan juice with pandan paste for kaya? If yes, what's the amount of paste to use? Thanks

  23. Hi,
    I've not used pandan paste in this recipe before but reckon that the replacement is possible. Pandan paste is much concentrated and "greener" in colour than pandan juice and so you might have to add the paste drop by drop into the 80ml of water and taste and see the composition if the flavours and colour is good enough for you. I'm sorry that I don't know the exact amount to use.


  24. Hi Zoe, I will definitely try baking following your simple receipes. Thanks! :)