Thursday 25 July 2013

Pineapple buns, Bo Luo Bao, 菠萝包

The pineapple buns, more well known as the Bo Luo Bao (菠萝包) does not contain any pineapple at all. This popular Cantonese bun has a golden, sweet, crunchy topping which resembles the pineapple due to the crackling patterns on the topping caused during baking when ammonia powder is used. As I prefer not to use the ammonia powder, I scored the top pastry with a knife to make crisscross pattern instead. This bun is one of the Hongkongers favourite breakfast bun and I believe most of us would not give this tim sum a miss when we go for Yum Cha (饮茶) too .

I have modified from Christine's recipe using Organic high protein flour 12% to replace the bread flour for a healthier option. I bought the 'Origins' brand which can be found in most major supermarkets like NTUC or Cold Storage if you are residing in Singapore.

This is how it looks like.

This recipe uses Tangzhong (汤种) method which makes the buns stay soft and bouncy for days. This secret ingredient was introduced by Yvonne Chen 陳郁芬 who wrote a Chinese bread recipe book, entitled “65°C湯種麵包” (Bread Doctor). You can find her book here if you are interested in her bread recipes which uses Tangzhong method. If you have not heard of Tangzhong before, you can read more about it here.

As I find hand kneading the dough mixture with Tangzhong too sticky, I make use of my Kenwood breadmaker (dough function) to knead and proof the dough for me, which was easier to handle when I shaped the buns and put in Char Siew fillings. 

Here is the recipe:

Pineapple Buns 菠萝包 
(makes 12 about 62g each)

Ingredients of bread:
350 gm Organic high protein flour 12%
70 gm organic raw sugar
4 gm salt
56g egg (whisked)
10 gm milk powder
6 gm instant dry yeast
120 gm tangzhong
125 ml fresh milk
30 gm unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

Ingredients for making 120 gm tangzhong:

25 gm bread flour
125ml water or milk 

Method of making tangzhong:

Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.
The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. Remove from heat. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature.

Ingredients of topping (makes 12, each about 20grams)

125 gm cake flour
55 gm caster sugar
40 gm butter, softened at room temperature
7 gm milk powder
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp evaporated milk
1 tsp condensed milk

To make buns:

Combine all dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. When all ingredients get together, knead in the softened butter. The dough is quite sticky and messy at this stage. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's doubled in size, about one hour.
Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 12 equal portions. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the topping, refer to the directions below.

To make pastry topping:

Cream softened butter with an electric mixer over medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and continue to beat until fluffy.
Add milk powder, egg yolk, evaporated milk, condensed milk, baking powder, combine well. Sift in flour and ammonia powder and incorporate well. The mixture is quite moist and sticky. Use a piece of film wrap to roll into a log. Chill for 30 to 40 minutes. When it becomes harder, it’s ready to use and shape it.)

Knead each little dough portions into ball shapes. Let them complete the 2nd round of proofing, about 35 minutes, doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 210°C (410°F). When the dough portions are doubled in size, remove topping paste from fridge, cut into 12 equal portions and roll in balls. Cover by a film wrap and press each portion into a flat disc. Place on top of the small dough. Repeat this step with the rest. Brush the top with whisked egg yolk and bake in a preheated 210°C (410°F) for 5minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180°C (356°F) and bake for another 15 minutes.




高筋粉 350克
幼砂糖 70克
盐 4克
全蛋汁 56克
奶粉 10克
即发干酵母 6克
汤种 120克
牛奶 125毫升
菠萝皮材料(份量可做12块, 每块约20克)
低筋粉 125克
幼砂糖 55克
无盐牛油(置室温软化) 40克
奶粉 7克
蛋黄 1只
淡奶(evaporated milk)1 汤匙
炼奶 1茶匙

25 克 高筋粉
25 毫升 水或牛奶


把所有材料(除牛油外)依次倒进面包机(先放湿的材料,然后放下干的材料):牛奶,蛋 ,汤种,盐,糖,奶粉,高筋粉,最后放酵母。选择面包机的dough 功能,材料搞拌至形成一团,就放进牛油,继续搞拌,至形成具弹性的面团,约25分钟。当面包机停机,让面团留在面包机中,进行第一次发酵,直至面团发​​大两倍。


加入奶粉,蛋黄,淡奶,炼奶和发粉,拌匀。筛入面粉和臭粉,完全拌匀。此时面团非常湿润和黏手。用保鲜膜把面团卷成长条。放入雪柜(fridge)冷冻 30至40分钟。


预热焗炉至210C (410F). 当小面团发酵将完成,从雪柜拿出菠萝皮面团。分割12等份。每等份滚圆,盖上保鲜膜,并擀压成圆饼形,放在菠萝包面团上面。涂上蛋汁。放入已预热的焗炉中,焗约5分钟后,把焗炉温度降至180°C (356°F),继续焗多15分钟,表面转金黄色,放在铁架上放凉。即成。

Love it with Char Siew fillings!

“It takes time and effort to compose or translate recipes, I would appreciate it if you do not copy and pass it off as your own recipe. If you wish to share or adapt any of the recipes that I have posted in this blog, please provide a link back to the relevant post. Thank you.”

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