“Pineapple Buns” (菠蘿包)

Alley’s momma Sandy was in Hong Kong for a couple months earlier this year. During her stay there, she followed around a Kitchenaid stand mixer demonstrator who was also a chef. This chef went to different department stores in Hong Kong to demonstrate the uses of the mixer. Seeing that he has a fan, he provided some recipes for auntie Sandy to use at home, one of them was Pineapple Buns. I think he’s a god to auntie Sandy. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, pineapple buns do not have any pineapples nor does it taste like pineapples. I think it got its name because the top looks like a pineapple. It is essentially a sweet bun (think Hawaiian sweet rolls) topped with a shortbread-like topping.

This sunday, I decided to bake it using Chef Kitchenaid’s recipe. Although it’s pretty good, I think improvements can be made. The top was too crumbly and colorless (it needs food coloring), and the bread isn’t as soft as the bread of my Hokkaido Milk Buns.  But overall, it’s still delicious!!  🙂

Pineapple Buns (菠蘿包)

400g Bread Flour
80g Sugar
12g Custard Powder
12g Milk Powder
9g Yeast
40g Salted Butter
1 Egg
100g Milk
100g Hot Water
Egg Wash (1 egg & a splash of evaporated milk)
1. Place bread flour, sugar, custard powder, milk powder, and yeast in bowl of stand mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, stir to combine.
2. In a measuring cup, combine milk and hot water.  Add egg to flour mixture, stir until just incorporated.  Add milk/water mixture and butter.  Mix with “stir” speed at first, then gradually increase speed to 2, then 4, stop when fully combined.
3. Change to dough hook attachment.  Gradually increasing speed from 2-4-6, “knead” until a shiny dough forms.  This dough should not be sticky (if you touch it and a lot sticks to your hand, then it’s not done).  You can test out the doneness when a piece of dough can be stretched to a thin film.
4. Cover mixing bowl with saran wrap.  Place in microwave/oven/bread-proofing box with a 2-cup measuring cup of hot water.  Let dough rise for 1 hour.
5. Remove dough from mixing bowl and pound down.  Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (~65g).  Flatten each piece of dough and fold into threes (like brochures).  Flatten it some more and fold it the other way.  Fold corners up and “mend” the corners together.  Place on lined baking sheet with corner-side down.
6. Cover baking sheet loosely with saran wrap and let rise in oven/bread proofing box/microwave for an additional 30 minutes.
7. While the buns are rising, make the “pineapple” — recipe below.
8. Separate “pineapple” dough into 12 equal pieces (~45g? – sorry, I forget).  Using a large piece of foil/parchment paper/wax paper (it needs to be large enough to fit 12 “pineapple” dough), flatten each piece of “pineapple” dough until the diameter reaches 2-3 inches.  Place flatted dough in freezer to harden (for easy handling) for 20-30 minutes.
9. Remove “pineapple” dough from freezer and bread dough from oven.  Brush egg wash over each bread dough being careful not to puncture the dough. Carefully place each “pineapple” dough on top of each bun. Brush the top of the “pineapple” dough with more egg wash.
10. Bake in a 350F degree oven for 20 minutes.

110g Vegetable Shortening
8g Salted Butter
90g Sugar
8g Egg (This is like 1/6 of an egg.)
8g Evaporated Milk (I don’t think this was enough, next time I might double this/egg.)
1g (a “Smidgen”) Baking Ammonia
1g (a “Smidgen”) Baking Soda
20g Milk Powder
200g All-Purpose Flour
1. Cream together shortening, butter, and sugar.  Add egg & evaporated milk, stir to combine.
2. In a large bowl, combine Baking Ammonia, Baking Soda, Milk Powder, and Flour.  Add flour mixture to creamed shortening/butter mixture in 3 additions.  Stirring to combine after each addition.
3. Scrape down the sides and stir until fully combined.


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