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Hawaiian Sweet Bread

The mother of a high school friend would make 13 loaves of this lightly sweet Hawaiian bread recipe at a time! I make this bread year-round, but my family insists it's a "must" for the holidays. —Ruthie Banks, Prescott, Arizona
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    3 loaves (12 wedges each)


  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand until bubbles form on surface, 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add pineapple juice and whole milk and continue to heat gently until mixture reaches 110° to 115°.
    In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, potato flakes, sugar, salt and ginger. Add yeast and butter mixtures to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough; dough will be sticky.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface; with floured hands, knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding more flour to surface and hands as needed. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Shape each into a ball. Place in three greased 9-in. round baking pans lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350°. Bake until golden brown and internal temperature of loaves reaches 200°, 30-35 minutes, covering loosely with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking if needed to prevent tops from over-browning. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Hawaiian Bread Recipe Tips

Why do they call it Hawaiian bread?

Hawaiian bread, as you may have guessed, originated in Hawaii. Robert R. Taira created this sweet bread recipe, later named King's Hawaiian Rolls, in his bakery in the 1950s. (Find out the real reason why King's Hawaiian Rolls are so popular.)

What do you eat with Hawaiian rolls?

You can serve Hawaiian rolls with many Hawaiian dishes, like Grilled Huli Huli Chicken. The rolls also work well for sandwiches. Check out these slider recipes for inspiration.

What's the best way to knead Hawaiian bread dough?

The best way to knead Hawaiian bread dough is by hand, but you can also knead the dough with a stand mixer. Unsure if your dough is ready? Here's how to tell if you've kneaded for long enough.

Research contributed by Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Assistant Digital Editor
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 146 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 25mg cholesterol, 103mg sodium, 25g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • jodiseaburn712
    Jun 15, 2016

    I am a beginner bread maker so I was apprehensive at making it at first....But this recipe was an easy one and my rolls turned out wonderful! Way better than store bought!

  • pamiesue
    Oct 18, 2015

    This is very easy and it turned out wonderful! Better than the store bought. Even made cinnamon tolls which were pure heaven

  • Wellblended
    May 31, 2013

    @Anonymousforever, this recipe is not misleading, perhaps you missed a step- the recipe clearly states, "add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough"So, in the beginning you will use 3 c flour, then you will add more to achieve desired consistency. (it will vary depending on your flour type, water type, etc.)I do hope you try this recipe & review the wonderful outcome! :)

  • AnonymousForever
    May 11, 2013

    This recipe is misleading! In the ingredients it states, "7 to 7 1/2 cup of flour;" yet in the directions it states, "combine 3 cups flour." So, which is it?

  • T-yla
    Apr 2, 2013

    No comment left

  • fourGr8tkids
    Nov 2, 2012

    No comment left

  • fran312
    Oct 19, 2012

    No comment left

  • nessjo
    Nov 14, 2011

    Wonderful! I wondered about the potato flakes but fantastic!!

  • Dorothy Martin
    Aug 10, 2011

    There are no words to describe how fantastic this recipe is. I love making breads of all kinds and this one is unbelievabley good.

  • itsjustme___see
    Nov 25, 2010

    Incredibly delicious! We love this recipe; you should try it. Tastes like the Hawaiian bread you buy at the grocery store.