Turtle Power!

I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog for a while because I’ve been pretty busy recently. But, I took some time out today to make one of my favorite asian bakery breads: buo luo bao (aka Pineapple bread). Ironically, there is actually no pineapple in the bread or recipe. The bread gets its name from the topping that looks like the skin of a pineapple. I stumbled across a photo of some “turtle bread” a week ago and thought it was just so adorable, so I decided to shape each of my buns into small turtles. I used black sesame seeds for eyes.

Here’s how they turned out:

Pretty cute, no? :)

Here’s the recipe I’ve been using to make sweet Asian breads and the “pineapple topping.” I feel like the bread recipe could use a little tweaking because it’s not exactly the way I want it yet, but it’s getting there. Please comment if you have any suggestions on how to improve it :)

Sweet Bread:

  • 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten

1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 a cup of flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Add oil and milk to the butter and heat until about 100 degrees. It should feel warm, but not too hot.

3. Pour the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add beaten eggs (reserve 1 tbsp for egg wash later) and stir well to combine. Beat the mixture for 3 minutes.

4. Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough is formed. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Add small amounts of flour if the dough is still too sticky.

5. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a clean, damp towel. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (about 1.5 hours). During this time, make the “pineapple topping” (see below). After the first rising, punch down the dough and let it rise again until doubled (about 1.5 hours).

6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape them into flat buns. Place them on lightly greased baking sheets and then cover them with a slightly damp towel (this prevents the dough from drying out). Let the dough rise again for about 45 minutes.

7. After the dough has risen, roll out your refrigerated pineapple topping to about 1/2 cm in thickness. Use a cookie cutter or glass cup to cut out 12 circles slightly less wide than your buns. Lightly score the toppings with a criss-cross pattern.

8. Brush the top of the dough buns with a small amount of water and place each pineapple topping on top of the dough buns.

9. Brush the buns with the reserved egg.

10. Bake the buns at 350 degrees for about 13-15 minutes on the middle rack, checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn.

Pineapple topping:

  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.

2. Add the egg yolk, baking soda and milk. Mix well.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture. Mix by hand until smooth and not sticky.

4. Chill the topping, wrapped in plastic, until ready to use.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

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13 responses to “Turtle Power!

  1. THIS IS THE CUTEST THING EVER!! I wish I had the patience to bake these!

  2. awww they’re sweet!

  3. I feel like we’re kindred spirits because my name is also Eve(lyn) and I’m also asian and I also have a food blog and I was searching the internets for this EXACT recipe AND I have like 5 billion black halo dresses. Lets be frands.

  4. way to cute to be allowed. and just an fyi in step 5 it says douch instead of dough ;)

  5. HAHAHA douch…

    SOOOO adorable, Evelyn! I love it! I wonder what they taste like. Is this the bread that they sometimes fill with taro root?

  6. These are so cute! I love turtles and I love pineapple bread. I’ve been trying to find a good pineapple bread recipe also. I’m going to try out your recipe.

  7. awww they are too cute to eat! (almost)

  8. How much milk are we suppose to use in the sweet bread portion?

  9. OMG. i LOVE turtles. this is too cute!

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