Double Trouble

To celebrate the beginning of a long holiday, I decided to go a bit all out and two cakes in one night for the first time! It was definitely quite a work out! πŸ˜‚πŸ’ͺ (How does professional do it?? πŸ˜†)

Which one do you like the look of? πŸ˜‰

Pineapple, Lime and Mango β€˜Mocktail’ Cake πŸ–
Chocolate, cookie and caramel cake 🌹

Once Upon A Pineapple

On this Throwback Thursday and continuing the theme of bread week, I would like to talk about a very memorable bread from my childhood called Bolo Bao, literally translated from Chinese as ‘Pineapple Bun’.

My homemade Bolo Bao

Bolo Bao is a sweet bun originated from Hong Kong. It is an extremely popular treat there (being apparently named as a cultural heritage in 2014), and many people including those in my family enjoy it so much to the point that it is consumed almost every other day. There are many bakeries and eateries in Hong Kong that specialise in this bread, and my mum used to regularly go to a particular eatery to get fresh Bolo Bao that had come straight out of the oven during her work days.πŸ˜‹ Now, just to clarify that despite its name, it has absolutely no pineapple in it! What it does have is the signature sweet, crunchy pastry on the top, which to me resembles a craquelin on a choux bun and tastes like a sugar cookie. And, this crust is the very thing that leads to its name due to its pineapple-like texture and appearance. 🍍🍍 πŸ˜‚

A few years, I tried to make this bread at home and actually turned out to be quite successful with it.😊 The dough is an enriched dough but otherwise the rest of the procedure is fairly straightforward including the crust.

Bolo Bao (‘Pineapple Bun’)

Quantity: 16 buns


For the dough:

450g strong white/bread flour

60g unsalted butter

110g caster sugar

225g milk

2 tsp yeast

1 large egg, beaten

For the pastry crust:

200g plain flour

60g unsalted butter

60g lard

110g caster sugar

Β½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Β½ tsp baking powder

1 large egg yolk

3 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. To prepare the dough, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add the beaten egg to the yeast solution and mix.
  3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Use a wooden spoon and then your hands to bring the mixtures together. Knead for about 10 minutes to form a smooth dough. (The dough will be quite wet but try not to be tempted to add more flour.)
  4. Cover and allow it to rise for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Knock the air out of the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead again for 2 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into equal portions and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Leave the dough to rise for about 20-30 minutes.
  7. While waiting for the bread dough to finish its second rise, get the crust ready by starting with rubbing the butter and lard into the plain flour. Mix in the sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder.
  8. In a separate small bowl, mix the yolk, milk and vanilla extract together. Add it to the flour mixture and mix with your hands to bring the mixtures together to form a smooth dough.
  9. Transfer the dough for the crust to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough to equal portions and roll them into balls between your hands. Dust the balls with a small amount of flour and, using a rolling pin, roll them out into even, thin circles.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place a baking tray with a cupful of water at the bottom of the oven to create steam.
  11. Place the crust on top of the buns and brush with an egg wash.
  12. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Then, leaving on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Do you have any memorable bakes from your childhood that speak about your culture? Let’s share in the comments below! 😊