Monday, 23 May 2011

How to Make: Dairy-free Pineapple Bun (Bo Luo Bao) 菠蘿包 Recipe

Dairy-Free Hong Kong Favourite- Pineapple Buns 菠蘿包

So I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago now.  It was my first attempt at making the iconic Hong Kong, ''Buo Lo Bao'' (translates into Pineapple bun), it is very similar to the Japanese, 'Melonpan'.  This recipe was a little altered from Christine's Chinese Recipe Blog because the people I was making it for are allergic to dairy products, so I adjusted it with the ingredients I had on hand- Coconut oil instead of butter and soy milk instead of milk.  The end result was pretty good, I let it go a little too brown on some of the buns, but they kept well for a couple of days, staying moist.  I microwave them for 20 sec before I eat them to soften them up a little.  It goes great with a cup-full tea!  I think they could've been more airy though, they were a little on the dense side.  I might try and let them rise a little longer.  The cookie crust was a little flour-y (is that a word?) but with many recipes to go with, it went pretty well.  SO HERE IS PINEAPPLE BUN ATTEMPT NUMBA ONE!!!
How to Make: Dairy Free Bo luo Bao (Pineapple Buns) 菠蘿包
Yields: 12 buns
Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hours
Cooking Time: 20 min

350gm bread flour (Use all-purpose flour if in Canada). (2 1/3 cups)
60 gm  cane sugar (1/2 cup)
1 large egg
30 gm  coconut oil (2 tbsp)
10 gm    dry active yeast (11/2 tsp) or 7 grams of instant yeast (1 tsp)
100mL warm soymilk (1/3 cup)
25 mL  warm water (1 tbsp +1 tsp)
1 tsp vanilla essence
125 gm tangzhong - (25 gm bread flour and 125mL water- cook in a pot on medium heat until thickens into a paste-texture of mayonnaise) (1/2 cup)

Topping (cookie crust)

125 gm cake flour (1 cup)
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp baking powder
60 gm sugar (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp soymilk
1 tbsp carrot juice
45 gm coconut oil (2 1/2 tbsp)
Coconut Custard Filling 

60 gm desiccated coconut (1/2 cup)
30 gm coconut oil (2 tbsp)
30 gm sugar (1/4 cup)
30 gm whisked egg (1/2 an egg)


Start with the topping (cookie crust) since it needs some time in the fridge to firm up. 

1.)  Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. (Make sure butter is at room temperature)

2.)  Add egg yolk and combine well.

3.)  Add the rest of the ingredients and combine, but don't overmix!!!!

4.)  The mixture should be moist and sticky but not runny or dry. If it's too dry add more soymilk or if it's too runny add a little but more cake flour.

5.) Shape into 20-30 cm log and wrap in plastic wrap.

6.)  Let it rest in the fridge while you make the other components.

The Bread and Custard-

1.)  Mix the warm soymilk, and warm water with the dry active yeast, and let it proof for about 10 min.  It should be airy and foamy after 10 min, if not the yeast is not active, so start over again with another packet of yeast.

2.) Combine bread flour, sugar, and add the egg, tangzhong, yeast and vanilla essence.  If you have a bread maker like a Kitchen Aid Mixer or Cuisinart Mixer, attach the dough hook. Set it to mix for about 15 min. If not, knead with hands until it doesn't stick easily to your hand anymore (about 20 min).  

3.)  Let the dough rise in a greased bowl until it triples in size, about 2 hours at 23 degrees C, a little longer if colder.

4.) Now make the Coconut Custard Filling

5.) Combine the coconut oil (at semi-firm) and sugar until fluffy and add the egg and coconut.  
      That'S iT!!

6.) Punch the dough down and on a floured surface, shape the dough into 10-11 pieces.

7.) Flatten each piece and fill with the filling (1-2tbsp fulls or as little or as much as you prefer).  You can use store-bought red bean paste here too if you prefer.

8.)  Pull the sides of the dough around the filling, enclosing it completely, and shape in to a round ball.

9.)  Cover with a moist towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise for 30 min, until it doubles in size and preheat your oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F).

10.) Take out the topping mixture from the fridge and divide it into 11 pieces. Flatten each out into a disc on a floured surface.  Make sure it's not too thin and that you don't handle it too much or else it'll melt and create a big sticky mess.  (If the topping gets starts to melt too much, stick it in the freezer for a 10 min.  

11.) Place each disc onto the dough and using a knife score the top diagonally to create a criss cross pattern.

12.) Bake on a baking sheet at 200 degrees C (400F) for 5 min then lower the heat down to 170 degrees (338 F) for another 10 -15 min, the colour should should be golden yellow not brown, do not let it burn!!!


Looks pretty good...

Fresh from the oven.  A little bit burnt though...


  1. Oh, how nice! Homemade breads are the best, straight from the oven, so fresh and hot. Yumm...
    Best of all, we can twist it with any adaption to suit our needs. Thanks for the shout out!

  2. @Christine@Christine's Recipes
    Thank you for having a look at the recipe Christine! Do you mind if I try more of your recipes and blog about it?


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