Pineapple bun with flowing custard

I hope that everyone had a great mid-autumn festival yesterday celebrating with your beloved families and friends. For those that did not know what this is all about, it’s a special day that we celebrate a day of fullness and happiness in chinese culture, where we eat big meals and eating mooncakes. This year, I made the Taiwanese Mooncakes instead, but it is as good as the traditional ones!

pineapple buns with custard 02

The last few days have been very quite in this blog, as I have been absolutely crazy with work… Last Saturday I joined my business partner in entering a streetfair where we showcases our work and to meet new people. Then yesterday, I received our final package of wedding photos and full edited videos, (YES! I LOVE THE PHOTOS) and that IK and I were too busy selecting the photos to put on into our formal photo album. The week has been crazily packed but productive. Luckily that today I’m spared with some time to make my nolgastic bread bun~ if you remembered me sharing a few of the traditional bread buns last couple of weeks, you’ll know I’m (all of a sudden) too addictive to bread making!

pineapple buns with custard 04

So this one is an unusual one, we called it “ball lor bao” in Cantonese back home, which literally means “pineapple buns”; funny enough this bun does not consist of any pineapple ingredients, instead it is called so because the crust looks like a pineapple from the outside. This bun is a sweet bun, and I specially made it with flowing custard to give it a nice texture rather than just a dry bun. I love how it turned out at the end, even though there involves a lot of hardwork!

My custard was not perfect unfortunately, I think I add too much milk! This recipe is a second trial after I decided to threw my first batch away before they turned out too runny! Damn!! I hope you’ll enjoy them, for those that don’t like custard, the alternate option is to place a piece of butter in the middle and heat it up in the oven, melting butter is ALWAYS GOOD!

pineapple buns with custard 01
You’ll need (makes 8):

For the bread:

  • 30 grams of cake flour
  • 270 grams of bread flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 140 ml of lukewarm milk
  • 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 25 grams of caster sugar
  • 30 grams of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

For the custard:

  • 60 grams custard powder
  • 40 ml of milk
  • 100 grams of caster sugar
  • 130 grams of coconut milk / or normal milk
  • 80 grams evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 30 grams of melted unsalted butter

For the crust on top:

  • 100 grams of bread flour
  • 50 grams of margarine
  • 40 grams of caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons of milk powder (optional)

Other ingredients:

  • 1 egg, beaten

pineapple buns with custard 03
How to?

Make the custard first:

  1. Mix all ingredients except the butter until combined, no lumpy flour.
  2. Add butter and mix thoroughly until combined.
  3. Pour into a shallow but large bowl, and steam until set. To test, stick a skewer/fork into the custard and if it comes out clean, it is ready.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Place it in the fridge for 10 minutes to further cool.
  5. Place the custard onto a clean bench top. Knead until combined and shiny on the outside.
  6. Measure 400 grams and leave aside. Place the rest back to the fridge.

To make the crust:

  1. Mix all ingredients together until combined. Wrap in plastic film and store in fridge to harden for 15 minutes.

To make the bread (bread machine):

  1. Mix instant yeast into lukewarm milk. Sit aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Place all bread ingredients (except the butter) into the bread machine (starting with wet ingredients to dry ingredients) into the bread machine.
  3. Start the dough function in your bread machine until it forms a dough. Open the lid and add the butter. Let the bread machine continues until the whole process completes. (Noted the whole process include 60 minutes resting time – check your bread machine to ensure this applies to your machine). If it does not include the resting time, let the dough rest in the machine for 60 minutes.
  4. After 60 minutes, poke a finger into the dough and if the hole remains, the dough is ready. If not, let it rest for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. On a working surface, cover with light bread flour, and knead the dough to release excess air.
  6. Divide dough into 8 equal portions.
  7. Cover with a damp cloth over and rest for 10 minutes.

To assemble:

  1. Divide 400 grams of custard into 8 equal portions. Leave aside.
  2. Divide crust dough into 8 equal portions. Leave aside.
  3. With a rolling pin, roll out one bread dough to form a flat circle. Place 1 portion of the custard in the middle. Grab all the edges of the bread dough and pinch together and roll into a ball (so that the custard is within the dough). Repeat with the rest until all 8 dough balls are done.
  4. Place 1 portion of the crust dough in between 2 plastic wrap. Using the rolling pin, roll out until it forms a 1.5mm thick round circle.
  5. Carefully peel the crust dough out of the plastic films and cover onto the bread dough ball. Repeat with the rest of the crust dough until all 8 bread buns are covered.
  6. Using a knife, score criss-cross over the crust layers. Cover with damp cloth over all 8 buns and rest for 40 minutes until the buns has double its size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay a baking tray with parchment paper and lightly grease with spray oil.
  8. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin layer of the egg wash over the crust of each buns.
  9. Bake the buns until golden brown. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

pineapple buns with custard 05
Tips:

  • Buns can be stored in an air-tight container after completely cooled and last for 3 days.
  • Reheat the bun in the oven for 15 minutes or so, to make the crust taste crunchier again.
  • If you don’t use a bread machine, you can do hand-knead following step 1-6 in here.
  • Dough have strong flexibility that bounce back due to gluten within the flour. Whilst rolling out the dough, ensure action is fast.
  • Dough expands with yeast during resting periods, do not place bread too close to each other or else they will stick together whilst expanding and baking.
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