Hawaiian Buns are a delicious treat: they are soft, and sweet, and perfect for both snacking on or serving with a warm meal. The most famous are, of course, the orange package of King’s Hawaiian buns found in your local supermarket. While the supermarket brand doesn’t contain pineapple or honey, those two ingredients were often used by Portuguese immigrants in Hawaii in the early 1900’s when refined sugar was scarce or too expensive to purchase. Our no-knead brioche and challah doughs already contained honey, so with just a little tweaking (and some pineapple juice and vanilla), we found ourselves with a great version of these famous buns, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
We have more Thanksgiving bun recipes on our site (Herb Crock Pot Dinner Rolls! Soft Pull Apart Buns!) and you can find links to them here. We also have a Thanksgiving round up post, complete with many of our sweet breads, plus a homemade-bread stuffing recipe, that you can check out here.
Fresh pineapple juice will not work here; the enzymes in fresh destroy the yeast. Some people heat the fresh juice with good results (this will kill the enzymes), but I’ve found canned to be the easiest (and cheapest) method. The pineapple juice can inhibit the yeast, so we use extra here to insure a good rise, and soft, tender buns. Having your eggs at room temperature will also help the dough rise quicker. The juice can also cause the melted butter to curdle when mixed, so I keep them separate until everything is mixed together. You can shape the buns the night before serving and let them do a slow rise overnight in the refrigerator.
1 cup [240 g] lukewarm water (100F or below)
1/2 cup [120 g] canned pineapple juice (fresh will not work here, see note above), room temperature
2 tablespoons yeast
1/4 cup [50 g] granulated sugar
1 cup [2 sticks | 226 g] unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup [170 g] honey
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon kosher salt
7 cups [990 g] all-purpose flour
In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the water, canned pineapple juice, yeast, and sugar.
Mix the butter, honey, eggs, vanilla, and salt together in a 6-quart bowl or lidded (not airtight) food container.
Pour in the flour and begin to mix, slowly adding the water/pineapple mixture. Use a Danish dough whisk to combine all the ingredients together (this can also be done in a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle). The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled; don’t try to work with it before chilling.
Cover (not airtight), allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours, and then refrigerate.
The dough can be used as soon as it’s thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours. Refrigerate the container and use over the next 3 days.
On baking day, cut off 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough and divide the dough into 8 pieces. Quickly shape the pieces into balls. Place the balls in a greased 8 x 8-inch baking dish, or an 8-inch cake pan. If you want more than 8 buns, as shown in the photos, double the quantity of dough used, or pull cut 2.5 ounce pieces to make the amount needed. If you want pull-apart buns, nestle the buns close together. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour. Brush the tops with egg white (this will give them some shine).
Bake the buns at 350F for 16 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with melted butter, then bake for 5 to 8 more minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, and brush the tops with more melted butter.
Serve slightly warm and enjoy! These buns can also be made in a Crock pot, follow our direction for Crock Pot Buns here.
With holidays coming up, these are very festive…
People often ask us why we only used all-purpose flour (where we called for white flour) in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Why not “bread” flour, which is higher in protein and is often considered traditional in bread? Well, not in all traditions. French baguettes, for example, are typically made with lower-protein flour for a more tender, and less chewy crumb. And we knew most of our potential book users already had all-purpose flour in the house. But sometimes, a stiffer dough is desirable, like when something really needs to hold its shape, like these wreath-shaped, well… bagels. You can always swap bread flour into our recipes that call for all-purpose, just by adding a little extra water (details below).
Today’s treats weren’t really bagels, since I didn’t boil them before baking, but they did start life shaped just like our regular bagels. Then, they get the snipping treatment like our Pain d’Epi (wheat-stalk bread, a French trick of the eye)…
We’ve been doing a round version of the Pain d’Epi for years–take a ring-shaped bread and cut it like an Epi–kind of like a wreath. Seems you ought to be able to make little ones: (wreath-bagels). I thought this would be easier to accomplish with higher-protein flour (for a stiffer dough), so I tested with bread flour. And they certainly held a beautiful shape–just look at the pictures.
I used our basic white-flour recipe, but since I was swapping in bread flour, which is higher in protein and absorbs more water, I increased the water by 1/3 cup (see our FAQ for details on adjusting for other flours). This will work for any of our recipes that call for all-purpose flour–you need a little less than 1 tablespoon extra water for each cup of bread flour that you swap for all-purpose. Today, I weighed the flour and water on a digital scale— the normal recipe (with all-purpose flour) calls for 2 pounds of flour and 1.5 pounds water, but since I was using bread flour, I used more water; that extra 1/3 cup works out to a total of 1 pound, 10 3/4 ounces of water…
(… for more about using digital scales click here.) I used a Danish dough whisk to mix the water, salt, yeast, and flour, but a wooden spoon would have been fine too. You can see that it’s wet, but not as wet and shapeless as our all-purpose flour basic white dough when first mixed:
After about two hours of rising at room temperature (assuming you started with lukewarm water), it can go into the fridge, where it can be stored for up to two weeks, though I used my stuff right after the 2-hour rise.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a baking stone near the center of the oven and an empty metal broiler tray on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the bagels. In most ovens, 20 or 30 minutes will be enough, in others you may need up to 45 minutes (check temp with an CDN High Heat Oven Thermometeroven thermometer). Dust the surface of the dough with flour and snip off 3-ounce portions of dough (the size of small peaches). Despite the fact that the dough isn’t kneaded, wet dough like this one sets up structure and stretch on its own:
Dust with flour and shape the piece of dough into a smooth ball as we described in the Basics post, and then poke your thumbs through:
… and start stretching…
Keep stretching, dusting with flour as needed, until the hole is about three times the width of the sides, otherwise the bagel-hole will close up:
Cover loosely with plastic wrap if you’re in a dry environment, and allow to rest for 20 minutes. You won’t see much rising during that time.
Dust with flour and use a Chicago Cutlery Insignia Kitchen Shears, Blackkitchen shears to snip down nearly all the way through, cutting at a shallow angle (about 30 degrees). Deflect the cut pieces sideways, away from the center of the bagel:
Get under the parchment with a pizza peel…
… and slide the whole thing, paper and all, onto the hot stone. Carefully pour 1 cup of water into the metal broiler tray (cover the glass oven window with a towel before approaching with water to prevent cracking of the glass), or check out our post on steam alternatives for other ways to generate steam in the oven. Slide into the oven and bake with steam for about 15 to 20 minutes at 450F, or until richly browned.
You can enjoy these slightly warm…