Pineapple Bolo Bao

Did you know pineapple buns are only called that because of the way it looks? There isn’t any pineapple flavour in them. Well until now that is.

Before I start talking about this recipe, I would like to say that I know the title means “pineapple pineapple bun.” I chose to call it that because my bun recipe actually has some pineapple in it, thus making it a real pineapple bolo bao!

To be honest, this isn’t my own idea. I mean with a name like pineapple bun, and not having any fruit in it, someone would’ve tried to add it in the past. I came across this when I was in elementary school. I was in China with my brother and mother having dim sum with my relatives. Someone ordered some pineapple buns, which were one of my favourites at the time, and I was suspired to find that there was some fruit in it. The pineapple gives the bun an explosion of tartness and juiciness that went very well with the sweet crust.

I remember my brother and I making a huge deal out of it. “It’s a pineapple bun with actually pineapple in it!” At the time, while we liked eating the bun, we were disappointed that the bun never lived up to it’s name of actually having pineapples in them. So we always questioned why it was called that when it didn’t have the fruit flavour in it?

It wasn’t until later that I discovered that the only reason the bun was called that was because the crust looks a lot like the skin of the pineapple. Which I found pretty disappointing. I mean as a kid I kept thinking that there was some crazy secret cooking method where they somehow incorporated the fruit into it, which led the naming.

Speaking of crusts, there are actually many different kinds of crusts. Similar to other popular food that gets wide spread, different versions will pop out. I’m currently only aware of 3 different kinds. One is a very grainy and sandy crust, the other is the one I made which is crumbly, and the last one is soft and barely crunchy. The last one is sometimes called a “melon pan.”
That’s pretty much all I have to say, if you have a comment or want to tell me which crust you prefer please leave it down below or in the YouTube video and I’ll get back to you!

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1/4 cup nonfat milk powder
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 pkg instand yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 can sliced pineapples (in rings)

Let start with the dough. In a bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together, then add in the wet ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Knead it with a bread hook for 15 minutes or until it’s nice and smooth. You can also use your hands to do this. Just like the machine, knead the dough until it’s nice and smooth. Once you’re done, place the dough in a floured bowl, cover with some plastic wrap, and place it in a warm place to proof for 1 hour.

While we wait we can quickly get the crust ready. Mix the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon until it’s nice and fluffy. This is easier if the butter is in room temperature. Add the rest of the ingredients together and mix everything until it’s incorporated. Near the middle it’ll get pretty hard to mix with a spoon, so I would recommend using your hands to squeeze everything together.

When the dough is done proofing, take it out and knead it for a couple minutes to get rid of the air. Portion them into 12 equal pieces and then roll them into balls. Flatten with a rolling pin, bigger than the pineapple ring. Place the fruit on top, grab the sides and pinch them to encase the ring. Place the finished buns pinch side down, and let it proof for another hour. Place moist towel onto.

About 15 minutes into the proofing place the crust in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.

When the crust is chilled, take it out and portion it into 12 pieces. Like the dough, roll each piece into a ball. Then between two pieces of plastic wrap, press the ball down with your palm, and roll it out with a rolling pin to a circle the same size as the bun. With a straight edge or a dull knife, score the crust in a grid pattern to give it it’s signature look.

Once the bread dough is done proofing, place the curst on top followed with a generous brushing of egg wash and then bake in the oven at 350F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.


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