Pineapple Buns

Pineapple bun (菠萝包 bolo bao) is an HK style sweet bread. The top sugary skin is golden brown and the pattern looks like a pineapple. I have read that Hong Kong Government listed it as a part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage. So you can tell how popular and classic it is.

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Hong Kong Style Pineapple Buns

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS FOR THE BUN:

  • 10 ounces of bread flour
  • 4.5 ounces of milk
  • 1.5 ounces of sugar
  • 1 ounces of butter
  • 1/2 tbsp of yeast
  • 1 tbsp of milk powder
  • 3/8 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PINEAPPLE SKIN:

  • 4.3 ounces of cake flour
  • 2.2 ounces of butter
  • 1.8 ounces of sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp of milk powder
  • 1 ounces of egg
  • 3/8 tsp of salt

OTHER:

  • 1 egg yolk to brush the top skin

Instructions

  • I am using a stand mixer to help me do the kneading process.In the mixing bowl, add 10 ounces of bread flour, 1.5 ounces of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of yeast, 1 tbsp of milk powder, 1 egg, 3/8 tsp of salt.
  • Then we use the paddle and blend this together for 1 minute at low speed. Just to mix everything together.
  • Slowly pour in 4.5 ounces of milk from the side of the bowl. The milk is slightly warm which is good to activate the yeast. If you just took the milk out from the fridge, don’t use it immediately. Warm it up in hot water or in a microwave.
  • Keep running the mixer on low speed for few minutes. When the milk and the flour are well combined, turn off the mixer. Add 1 ounce of room temperature butter.
  • Switch the paddle to the hook attachment. let it knead for about 10 minutes on medium speed.
  • 10 minutes later, the dough should be less sticky and very stretchy. If you don’t have a stander mixer, It will take about 13 -15 minutes kneading by hand to get this texture.
  • Put the dough in a bowl. Cover it with a damp towel and do the first proof (85 °F/ 29.5 ºC for 50 minutes or room temp for 1-1.2 hours)
  • After the first proof, the dough should be 1.5 times bigger than before. Dip your finger with some dry flour and poke a hole. If you see the hold doesn’t bounce back immediately- that means you can start the next process.
  • Use your hand to push out most of the air out of the dough. After that, divide the dough into 8 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a bun shape. Once you are done with all of them. Cover it with a slightly damp towel for 15 minutes. At the same time, you can make the pineapple skin.
  • Combine 2.2 ounces of butter and 1.8 ounces of sugar powder. Then add 1 ounces of egg. Mix it evenly.
  • Get a sieve. Put 4.3 ounces of cake flour, 1.5 tbsp of milk powder, 3/8 tsp of salt, let them go through the sieve. Mix everything together. I want you to do a rough mix. It should take about 2 or 3 minutes to do this. If you over mix it. The dough will become more fluent and it will be difficult to handle. Form it into a square then divide it into 8 pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a thick around wrapper. Use it to cover the top of the bun. Once you are done with all of them. Use something sharp to make a pineapple pattern.
  • At this point, if you want to save them, leave some space between each other and the freeze. Put them in a sealable bag. It should last 1month in the freezer. Whenever you want to eat them again, cover it with a damp towel and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then you can bake it.
  • Cover the buns with a lightly damp towel and do the second proof (95 °F/ 35 ºC for 40 minutes or room temp for 1 hour). You will need to adjust the time depends on the temperature.
  • After the second proof. The buns should be 1.5 times bigger than before. Gently touch the side, you can feel that it is fluffy inside.
  • Brush it with a thin layer of egg yolk to give it a nice color and we are ready to bake.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 340 °F/ 171 ºPut this in the bottom of the rack. Bread is very sensitive. It can take anywhere between 12-18 minutes. Every oven is different, so keep an eye on it. Once the bun becomes golden, you know it is done.
  • We usually eat this for breakfast or eat it at afternoon tea time. Drink a cup of HK style milk tea. What a beautiful day! I hope you give this a try soon.

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