“Pineapple” buns (pineapple just refers to their appearance) are a sweet bread roll from Hong Kong.
- In Chinese they are also called “fire and ice” pineapple buns, which refers to how they’re made: The fresh piping hot buns are taken straight from the oven then wrapped in a thick layer of cold sugared butter, the butter melts and the mix of sweet and savoury flavours is irresistible.
- Many tea houses and restaurants in Hong Kong serve the buns with coffee, tea, kopi teh as an afternoon snack or for breakfast, beloved by everyone, I also have a soft spot for these because I love the “Pineapple Bun Prince” McDull cartoon.
Pineapple bun butter layer ingredients:
Egg yolks 2
Low-gluten flower 150g
Baking powder 14 tsp
Pineapple bun pastry ingredients:
High-gluten flour 500g
Luke-warm water 100ml
Powdered sugar 2 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Dry yeast 1 tsp
Pineapple bun “fire and ice” butter layer recipe
Egg white 20g
Pineapple Bun Butter Layer method:
1. Cut the butter into small chunks and place in a large bowl, when warmed to room temperature add the sugar.
2. Use an egg whisk to mix into a paste.
3. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl and put to one side.
4. Bit by bit stir the egg yolks into the butter paste, making sure that the yolk is thoroughly mixed in at each stage.
5. Sieve the flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly, then mix into the butter paste.
6. Using a rubber spatula, form the paste into a ball, wrap in clingfilm then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Pineapple Bun Pastry method:
1. Place all the ingredients into a Bread Machine, set to “leaven dough”, after an hour and a half the dough should have doubled in size.
2. If you are making the dough manually, after you have kneaded all the ingredients together wrap in clingfilm and place in the oven in a bowl of water. Set to the “leaven” setting for 60 minutes, after the first time the dough has risen, flatten to remove the air, then place back in the oven until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Divide the dough into 20, and roll each into a ball, wrap in clingfilm or a damp cloth and leave for 20 minutes.
4. Take the butter paste from the fridge and divide into 20, roll each into a ball, and place between two plastic food bags, use a rolling pin to gently flatten into a flat shape roughly twice the size of the dough balls.
5. Open the plastic food bags, place a dough ball in the centre of the butter paste, lightly clasp together wrapping the butter around the dough in a ball.
6. Leave to rise at room temperature for 40 minutes, it should grow to half as big again, the butter outer layer should naturally split into the “pineapple” appearance. Brush the egg white onto the surface.
7. In an oven preheated to 180 C bake for approx. 15 minutes.
8. After baking, while still hot, cut the bun in half and place a large chunk of cold salted butter. That’s it, enjoy!