A twist on the original Chinese Pineapple Bun. I love, love simple cookie crust buns like these (think conchas, melon pans, etc.). There's just so much variation in the textures and flavors of the bun itself. And on top of that, it is so easy to make your own twists on the bread. It's perhaps the most munchable and tasty snack bread that I've ever had.
This variation includes a chocolate bun base, a chocolate mochi stuffing and a chocolate chip cookie crust. For those who are not too familiar with "bolo" or "pineapple buns," these circular fluffy breads are topped with a so-called cookie crust. It's basically a sugar cookie mixture that has a specific cross hatch pattern on the top.
Very chocolate-y indeed. I love eating dark chocolate and incorporating the ingredient into my baked goodies. So this is basically an homage to my favorite bun and baking ingredient! Let's get baking!
Alright so even though this treat is super tasty and yummy, it takes a bit of work. Here are some helpful tips!
- Do not be tempted to add more liquid to the bread dough before adding the butter. The butter will soften the dough and make it sticky.
- However, it is okay to add a couple of tablespoons of flour if you find that while kneading, the dough gets to sticky or is not seeming to want to make itself into a smooth dough ball.
- BUT! Don't add tooooo much flour. This will only make your bread tough and chewy and we don't want that. If it is only somewhat sticky, that's fine. Just keep kneading, keep kneading!
- It is so important to follow the exact ratio for the cookie crust. We don't want melty mushy butter cookie crust topping, now do we? No no. Don't add too much flour either, just follow the ingredients.
- Make sure you chill the cookie crust completely before using it. Again, save yourself a mushy buttery sticky mess!
- Use a piece of plastic wrap on the tops and bottoms of each cookie crust disc. It's very sticky and you don't want to melt the mixture.
- Always try to keep your cookie crust discs in the fridge. Only take them out when necessary- when you are assembly the bun and are ready to make the top pattern.
- Be sure that when you are about to make the top pattern, that your cookie crust disc on top of the bun is cold!!!! Or else there's gonna be a mess...
- Mochi is super duper sticky. Do not forget to put cocoa powder on your surface. Yes, coat it all in powder. If you are not using chocolate, corn starch is the standard. If you are making matcha flavored mochi, matcha green tea powder is what you'll be using.
- Always egg wash your breads! This gives them such a nice shine.
- Make sure you don't under bake the buns. It is easy to and then they just deflate in front of your eyes when you take them out. Trust me, I know. Let it go to about 14-15 minutes before taking them out.
For the Chocolate Bread Dough:
- 310g bread flour, more if needed
- 2 hefty tb cocoa powder
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 70g white granulated sugar
- 140g water
- 1 large egg
- 30g butter, softened
For the Cookie Crust Top:
- 88g butter, softened
- 72g icing sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 150g all purpose flour
- 3 hefty tb dark chocolate chips
For the Chocolate Mochi:
- 60g glutinous rice flour
- 1.5 tb cocoa powder
- 18g corn starch
- 30g white granulated sugar
- 96g water
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 large egg, cracked and mixed
- For the chocolate bread dough: mix together all the first 6 ingredients besides butter. Make sure the salt does not touch the yeast. Or that the salt has been permanently mixed thoroughly with the other ingredients before adding the instant yeast.
- With clean hands, mix the dough until just combined. DOn't worry. At this stage, it'll look super duper disjointed and messy. Don't resist adding more liquid. Add the butter.
- Knead until the windowpane stage. You might need to have a bag of flour next to you. The dough will get very sticky but you can get away with adding a few tablespoons at a time of flour until the dough isn't sticky anymore. That is, when you pull a part of the bread dough up, it should not break because the gluten has been developed enough.
- In a well oiled bowl, place the dough inside and make sure all sides are covered with a bit of oil. Not too much, mind you! Put some plastic wrap over the bowl and along with a mug of a very hot water (microwave for like 2 minutes), place the mug and bowl with dough into an oven that is off.
- Let the dough rise for 1 hour in the closed off oven.
- When the dough is rising, make the cookie crust. Add the softened butter and cream together with the icing sugar.
- Add the egg and mix well. Add the flour, salt, and chocolate chips.
- Chill this mixed mixture in the fridge until needed.
- After making the cookie crust, make the mochi. Add all the chocolate mochi ingredients into a bowl. Wet a paper towel to cover the bowl of a very liquid-y, raw, mochi mixture and into the microwave it goes.
- Microwave for 2 minutes with the towel covering the top of the bowl. Take it out carefully (use mittens!) and give it a stir with your spatula. At this point, there will still be some raw liquid dough.
- Place in the microwave for another 2 minutes. After taking it out carefully, give it another mix. The mixture should have gone from liquid-y and raw to sticky and cooked. Let cool in room temperature until needed.
- By this time, your dough should be done. Split the bread dough into 7 equal pieces.
- Take out your cookie crust topping from the fridge. Split this into 7 pieces as well.
- Roll each cookie crust topping into a ball and place it between two pieces of plastic wrap.
- Gently press down on the plastic wrap with your palms until it is a circle with a diameter about 3-4 inches.
- Keep this rolled out cookie crust in its 2 plastic wraps and put it on a plate. Keep this plate in the fridge after each cookie dough is flattened out. Repeat for all 7 cookie doughs.
- For the mochi, dust your clean workspace with some cocoa powder. Place your somewhat cooled chocolate mixture onto the cocoa powder and coat all sides. Cut the mochi slab into 7 equal pieces. Leave aside on another plate.
- For assembly, get a piece of bread dough and flatten it out. Take a mochi piece and put it in the bread dough. Wrap the bread dough up so that the mochi is fully inside the circular bun.
- Repeat for all 7 buns and mochi pieces. Now take out one chilled flattened cookie dough disc and place it on top of the bun. Using your pastry cutter or frosting smoother, make a pattern that goes across the top of the cookie bun. You can be creative here! Repeat for all 7 buns.
- Let the buns rise in room temperature for 2 hours or in the oven with a hot water filled mug for 1 hour.
- Brush the top of the 7 buns with egg wash.
- In a preheated 390 F oven, bake the buns for 15 minutes.