Pineapple Buns with Cream Filling (Bolo Bao)
Why This Recipe Works
by Tim Chin
If there is one benchmark against which to judge any Chinatown bakery, Bolo Bao is it. Its moist, fluffy interior is the result of adding a cooked flour and water paste called tangzhong to an enriched bread dough. Tangzhong allows the dough to absorb far more water, yielding super moist buns that bake up extra light and fluffy. Most bakery-style versions come with a hard, custardy topping with a crosshatched pattern that resembles the outside of a pineapple. My version is inspired by the shatteringly crisp bolo bao offered at Tim Ho Wan—one of Hong Kong’s only Michelin-starred dim sum restaurants (dubbed “the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant”). These buns are filled with vanilla Pastry Cream after baking.