Pineapple Bun (Polo Bun/菠蘿包)
June 24th, 2011 30 Comments

Pineapple Bun (Polo Bun/菠蘿包)

Pineapple Bun (Boroh Bun)

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If you have been to Chinatown and have tried authentic Cantonese dim sum, you will probably know pineapple buns (boroh bun). Regardless of its name, there is no pineapple in the bun—it’s a soft bun with a sweet and crusty topping, which is extremely tasty when it’s freshly baked. I love pineapple buns and that’s why I asked my contributor Siew Loon to share her pineapple buns recipe. If you love Asian-style pastry, buns, and bread, I am sure you will love this. Enjoy!

Over the last few months, the craze about Asian breads and pastry has prompted me to try baking these delicacies such as pineapple buns, Hokkaido milk loaf, Castella, and the list goes on. One of my favorites is pineapple buns (or called buo luo bao/菠蘿包 in Cantonese) which is a popular bun in Hong Kong. This is a MUST EAT on my list whenever I visit Hong Kong.

Pineapple bun is a combination of soft bun with a butter pastry topping. While enjoying the softness of the bun, we are also able to savor the sinfully fragrant butter pastry and this is really irresistible. And this pineapple bun is always great to be taken hot-off-the-oven so baking it yourself will allow you to pop the bun into the mouth as soon as it is out of the oven. It is best to go with a cup of green tea. After a lot of trials and errors, I have finally made it. I hope you will enjoy this pineapple bun recipe as much I do.

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30 comments... read them below or add one

  1. I used to buy these whenever we go to this bakery in Dallas. I’ve always wondered how they make the pastry topping. Thanks!

  2. June says:

    hi, isn’t bolo bao, the custard bun supposed to have egg custard inside that oozes out when you bite into it?
    can share how to make that? yum yum :P

  3. l c tan says:

    will try the recipe. is it instant yeast or what type pls advise. thanks

    • siewloon says:

      I use instant yeast. Pertaining to your second question, you will need to proof until it double in size or 45 mins whichever is earlier.

  4. l c tan says:

    sorry – You mentioned “Leave to proof for abt 45 min or to double in size. Glaze it with egg wash.” Do I glaze it immly when I leave the dough to proof or after the 45 min.thks

  5. gaininja says:

    Are these like the Japanese melon-pan? They seem similar – named after a fruit, don’t contain said fruit, and both have a crusty topping that splits when they’re baked.

  6. I’m ashamed to say I’ve finally tried these for the first time at a dim sum place in Rosemead… they are sooooo amazing!

    I have to try this recipe out!

  7. Maia says:

    Is your cookbook available in the US yet?

  8. Awesome, Bee! I have always wanted to make this! Have you tried Roti Boy? I am trying to find time to make that soon…. :)

  9. l c tan says:

    sorry, when do I have to add the 30g shortening for the Topping. Its not mentioned in the Method for Topping. Thanks

  10. jjag66 says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. My hubby loves this bun but he doesn’t like it fresh he prefers those that is 1 day old. Yup, strange guy! Anyway,I may surprise him one day and try my hands in making these buns.

    Before I do so, just need to clarify a couple of those ingredients.

    What is “shortening”? Is there another name for it? I live in Australia and I wonder if it’s readily available in Western supermarkets or should I try my luck at Asian grocers.

    Is powdered sugar the same as icing sugar?

    Thank you.

    • siewloon says:

      The famous brad for shortening is CRISCO. Don’t know if it is available in Australia but I think they do sell it in the supermarket like Coles. Powdered sugar is icing sugar.

  11. l c tan says:

    Sorry to trouble u again. To proof the dough, do I need to cover it and place in unheated oven. Thanks

  12. Alyssa says:

    I tried the recipe and I couldn’t get the pastry topping to turn out correctly. It ended up staying a pale white color after baking, and was all flat. Do you have any tips/troubleshooting?

  13. Eva says:

    I have been wondering forever how these are made (I love the ones with red bean filling), thanks for the recipe! Any clue as to why they are called pineapple buns?

  14. Jean says:

    My husband loves this type of bread recipe and we usually buy our dozen at our local bake shop, but here in Sacramento they have a coconut filling that he absolutely loves. Do you, by chance, have a coconut cream filling recipe that I could add to this bun?

  15. Choon says:

    I replaced all purpose flour with bread flour, because I only have bread flour.
    I replaced shortening with butter, and used fine sugar instead of powder sugar.
    I quartered all ingredients to just make 5 buns (for experimental purpose, I don’t want to make that many buns in case they don’t turn out nice).

    And thank goodness, everything turned out GREAT !!

    But the top and bottom is a little too crusty for my liking (but my mum finds it ok), I prefer softer and less crusty bread.
    Is it due to my oven? Or dough is too dry? Or should I put a cup of water into the oven while baking?


  16. lisa robinson says:

    how do you store the leftovers? instead of using shortening, i used sunflower oil instead. hope it works. i am making them now. thanks.

  17. geanie says:

    I love these and our favorite dim sum restaurant (mill creek, WA) just closed. they served these both with custard filling and coconut cream filling. do you have recipes for the fillings? and would you please share them? thank you. You have helped me create at home some of my favorite Asian recipes.

  18. Pauline says:

    Just wondering, is the Chinese “pineapple bun” related to the hispanic “Pan dulce”? The two seem very similar.

  19. Jo says:

    This is fabulous! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Do you have a recipe for making the “Cock tail” bun too? It’s the version with the sweet coconut filling….

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