HOW TO MAKE HONG KONG STYLE PINEAPPLE BUNS
I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am writing this post. Why you ask? Well it's simple really. Pineapple buns can and will change your life. Period. For those of you who have NEVER had a pineapple bun, all I can say is, you're welcome!
Now contrary to the name, these buns have absolutely nothing to do with pineapple besides the scoring on top resembling that of a pineapples' skin. These buns are simply soft white bread topped with a sugar crust. This Hong Kong classic was one of my FAV breakfasts on the run when I lived in Hong Kong and fortunately for me, my fav shop in Hong Kong was on my way to work (SCORE). Now readjusting to life outside of Hong Kong, to say I missed pineapple buns might be the understatement of the century! I tried my hardest to find something that would come close to those in HK, but no luck... that is until I met my darling friend at cooking school! After bonding over, well food, we got on the topic of pineapple buns. She was quick to inform me that she knew how to make the real deal, and believe me, that got me listening! Having grown up in China, she showed me the ins and outs of making these gosh darn DELICIOUS breakfast (or ANYTIME) buns and trust me when I say they will not disappoint! I'm tellin' ya I learned from the best, and all things aside, these bad boys are much easier than they look! So here we go!
BREAD DOUGH INGREDIENTS:
200 g Heavy Cream
150 g Water
50 g Sugar
5 g Yeast
480 g Bread Flour
5 g Salt
BREAD DOUGH METHOD
Gently stretch dough till thin and transparent. If it doesn't break, than the gluten has been well developed. (This is the windowpane test).
1. In a large bowl, place heavy cream, water, sugar and yeast. Gently stir then add bread flour and salt. Combine till dough is formed and knead till dough passes the windowpane test (can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer or a bread machine).
2. Remove dough and form into a smooth ball. Return to bowl and cover with cling film. Set bowl aside in warm place to let rise for 1.5 hours (or until dough has doubled in size). While dough rests, make the topping!
100 g Softened Butter
100 g Sugar
14 g Egg
14 g Milk
170 g Soft Flour
2 g Baking Powder
2 g Baking Soda
1 Egg (for egg wash)
1. In a medium sized bowl, cream the sugar and the softened butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add the eggs and mix till combined. Repeat with milk.
3. Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda and add to the butter mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge until firm (approximately 30 minutes).
PINEAPPLE BUN ASSEMBLY
1. Once topping is firm, remove from fridge and weigh topping on scale. Divide the topping by 16 and cut into 16 equal parts using a D-Scraper (or knife). Roll each piece into a ball. (Should be approx. 24g per piece)
2. After bread dough has rested for at least an hour and a half (and has doubled in size), press one finger into the dough to check if it is ready. If dough does not bounce back, proceed to the next step.
3. Using your scale, weigh the dough and divide the weight by 16. Use your D-Scraper (or knife) to cut the dough into 16 equal pieces (should be approximately 60g per piece).
4. Once the dough has been divided, roll the dough on a clean surface using a circular motion with the palm of your hand to create a smooth ball shape (be sure to work quickly so the dough does not dry out).
5.Next take a piece of the topping and flatten it into the palm of your hand. Take dough in the other hand and press dough into flattened topping. Push and rotate the dough into the topping until it is fully covering the top of the dough. (Note- Can also roll the topping flat and press on top of the dough).
6. Gently score the top of the buns using a D-Scraper. Place on tray and cover with towel to let rise one more time (approximately 20-30 min).
6. Just before putting the buns in the oven, place 1 egg yolk in a bowl with a teaspoon of egg white. Whisk the egg and brush it on top of the buns using a pastry brush.
7. Bake for 15 min at 180° Celsius till slightly golden.
8. Remove from oven and enjoy with butter or just as is!
Hope you guys enjoy this recipe as much as I did! This is definitely one that I will keep returning to over and over and OVER. Nothing like a fresh pineapple bun with a big ole slab of butter in the middle! I kid you not, this is how they serve it in Hong Kong, and trust me when I say, it is SO good.
You stay hungry! And remember,
Your diet starts tomorrow!