Bolo Bun (Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包)


Pineapple Buns. 菠蘿包. Usually a soft and fluffy bun with a slightly crunchy, sweet topping. On occasion, it can be filled with red bean or custard, but the iconic bun is usually plain or split in half and spread with butter. These babies are a classic in any Asian bakery and you can usually score one for a buck or less. This Cantonese staple got its name not from being pineapple flavored, but because its top crust is slashed, brushed with an egg wash, and baked to a golden yellow which resembles the outside of a pineapple.

20160102_165828On a whim, I decided to try out my hand in making this long time favorite bakery purchase. I used by absolute favorite egg dough (challah) and shaped each into individual sized buns and placed upon them a crown of that sugar crust. To be honest, it turned out amazing. Especially warm out of the oven, the soft bun paired with that subtle crunch is the perfect pairing.

While rolling out the crust can be a bit time consuming, I find taking time to roll it super thin and cutting it large enough so that it drapes over the entire bun makes for a better end-product. Also, don’t forget that egg wash if you want a beautiful yellow pineapple bun! If you really want to go crazy like I did, fill it with a milk-custard filling for that extra punch!

Note*** This version of the recipe is solely mine. When reposting, please cite me and my website.

Copyright july 2016 ©

Bolo Bun (Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包)

20160102_165852An asian bakery staple pineapple bread with a light milky filling and crunchy cookie crust
>>> Yields 24 buns

-Prep: 40 min
-Bake: 35 min


Bread Dough:
– See challah recipe

Milk Filling:
– 3/4 C dry milk powder
– 1/4 C AP flour
– 1 egg, beaten
– 3 tbsp milk
– 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/2 c white sugar
– optional: 1/2 C shredded or desiccated coconut; 1/2 C raisins, plumped in water

– 1/4 C dry milk powder
– 1 1/4 C AP flour
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 C icing sugar/powdered sugar
– 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
– 2 tbsp milk
– 1 egg yolk
– 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
– 1/4 tsp salt

-1 beaten egg, for egg wash


1) For the bread dough, see challah recipe. Follow steps 1-6. After the dough has risen, divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and set aside.
2) For the filling: Mix together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. In a small saucepan, heat the wet ingredients at medium heat and stir continuously to keep the egg from curdling. After about 2 minutes, add in the dry ingredients and stir vigorously for another minute. Turn off the heat and remove from heat. Continue to stir until a paste forms. Pour the custard into a separate bowl and let cool to room temperature before using. (Alternatively, heat in a microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring constantly between)
3) For the topping: Mix together all the dry ingredients thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Combine the two to make one dough. If it is very crumbly or dry, add in a teaspoon of milk at a time until it comes together. Wrap it in plastic and chill for 10-15 minutes.
4) Remove the topping from the fridge and divide into 24 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a circular shape slightly larger than your buns and about 1/8 inch thick.
5) Roll out each bun dough into a circle, fill with the cooled filling, and pleat it together tightly to close, making sure there are no gaps or openings.
6) Pat each topping disc on top of the bun and repeat for all the buns.
7) Brush the tops of each bun with the egg wash and set aside to let proof for 15-20 minutes.
8) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
9) Using a knife, gently slash the tops of the crust with a tic-tac-toe pattern and apply another round of egg wash to all buns.
10) Bake for 13-15 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
11) Remove from oven and let cool completely before storing. They can be stored at room temperature for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Happy eats!



2 thoughts on “Bolo Bun (Pineapple Bun 菠蘿包)

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