Saturday, 11 October 2014

Pineapple Buns (菠蘿包) | Recipe

One of the best things about visiting Hong Kong is getting to eat a fresh pineapple bun from a local bakery. These sweet treats are so addictive! The sweet, crispy topping along with the soft, fluffy bun is such a great pairing. To make these as authentic as I can, the top must be crackled just like the traditional ones. In order to achieve this, we must use baking ammonia in the topping- although this is such a minute amount, it gives it such a beautiful, authentic look and that crispy, crumbly crunch. I know that baking ammonia may not be readily available in your country, so here is

where you can buy it:
As it is such an important ingredient, I therefore would not recommend you substituting or omitting it in this recipe if you want to make this as authentic as possible, so please use the above link if you cannot purchase it wherever you live. That said, enjoy this recipe!

Pineapple Buns (菠蘿包)                                                                                   Recipe by iSaamuel 
Sponge dough
250g of strong bread flour,
15g of sugar,
1/2 teaspoon of instant yeast,
70g of heavy cream,
18g of egg whites,
80g of milk,
10g of unsalted butter

Main dough
38g of sugar,
15g of milk powder,
25g of egg whites

30g of lard,
1/8 teaspoon of baking ammonia,
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda,
5g of milk powder,
50g of plain flour,
5g of evaporated milk,
50g of sugar,
5g of egg

1. Sift bread flour into a large bowl. Add in the sugar, yeast, cream, milk and unsalted butter. Using a dough hook attachment, mix all of the ingreduents together until a dough is formed,
2. Cover this dough with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
3. Once risen, tear the dough into small pieces. Add in the sugar, dried milk powder, and egg whites. Knead again for 10 minutes until the dough is elastic. You can do this by hand, but it'll take longer to knead and it might be a bit sticky and hard to work with, but it is definitely do-able!

Tip: The dough had finished kneading if it can stretch out very thinly, creating a transparent film.
4. Cover and let the dough rise again for 50 minutes or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, we can make the topping that is place on top of the buns.

1. In a large, shallow bowl, add in the lard, baking ammonia, baking soda, milk powder, flour, evaporated milk, sugar and egg.
2. Using your fingertips, rub the lard and the other ingredients into moist crumbs. Gather crumbs to one side of the bowl and then push down to form a dough.
3. Keep folding and pushing down until everything is well combined, but do not knead,
4. Place the topping dough onto plastic wrap and wrap well. Set aside in the fridge.

Meanwhile, we can get back to the bread dough.

To test whether the dough has risen enough, place a floured finger into the dough and if it stays indented, it has.

1. Divide the dough equally into 6 portions (or 8 if you want more). Shape each portion into a ball by pulling and stretching the dough. (Watch video).
2. Place the dough balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let them rise for a final 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, flour your work surface. Divide the topping into 6 equal pieces.
4. Flatten each topping piece into a circle that is as thin as possible (without breaking). If the dough becomes so thin that a hole forms, gently seal it back together.
5. Place topping on top of each risen bread dough.
6. Brush the buns with a beaten egg for that golden finish when they come out of the oven.
7. Bake at 180c for 15-20 minutes until the top is crackled and golden brown and that the bun is throughly cooked.
Eat straight out of the oven while the top is still crispy and the bun is still soft, Enjoy!

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