When I published my Polo Buns recipe in 2009, I cheekily tried to rename it as Turtleshell Buns. Little did I know at the time that a mere 6 years later, there are now recipes for creating actual Turtle (or Tortoise) Shaped Polo Buns! Of course at that time, I had no idea that Japanese bakeries were already selling these Turtle Melonpans, but after doing a bit of research, I found a reference from another blog which mentioned these Japanese turtle-shape buns, also published in 2009, but about half a year after I posted my polo buns… The wonder of internet!
Making these buns are not difficult, they are just a bit fiddly. I added pandan paste to colour the cookie crust to make little green turtles. One thing I did differently this time was to make the criss-cross pattern during the shaping of the turtles, before the second rise. As you can see, there are less cracks on the cookie crust because during the second rise, the criss-cross patterns expanded during the rise and so prevented the cracks. I actually prefer the cracks as they make the crust more shell-like, so I would do the criss-cross pattern after the second proof next time, just before baking.
Makes 8 buns
Same as Cheese Polo Pau recipe, but omit the cheese filling, and instead of pineapple essence, use a little, about 1/4 teaspoon, of pandan paste. For the eyes, use the blunt end of a bamboo skewer dipped in melted chocolate to dot.
To make the turtles:
After the first rise of the dough, punch down and remove 140g of the dough for heads, legs and tails. Divide the remaining dough into 8 equal portions for the body. From the 140g dough, divide into 100g for legs and tails, and the remaining 40g for heads. For the legs and tails, divide the 100g dough into 40 portions of about 2.5g each, and shape each piece into an olive shape. For the heads, divide the 40g dough into 8 equal portions of 5g each, and shape each piece into droplet shape.
For the body, follow the instruction in step 4, and wrap the cookie crust just enough to enclose about 3/4 of the dough, no need to enclose completely since there is no filling.
Place the body with the crust facing up, then tuck the head, 4 legs and a tail underneath, and let rise for the second proof. Finally just before baking, dot on the eyes.