Everytime I make this, it usually gets better. It was a hot, slightly humid day when I made these yesterday. Let it proof on the counter rather than in the oven. Resulted in dough that raised nicely with a nice round shape for the buns. I had some almond milk on hand so I substituted it for the milk. Voila, lactose free.
Making bao is time and labor intensive so I usually double the batch. I have a three quarter sized sheet pan and it works wonders. Using two half sheets means that I have to open the oven and rotate halfway through baking.
Makes 20 buns
Ingredients for buns:
|Single batch (makes 10 buns)
Ingredients for brushing buns:
- 2 egg yolks, whisked for double, halve for single
- Syrup (1 teaspoon sugar + 2 teaspoons water)
Method for making buns:
- Put sugar in hot water, let sugar melt completely. Add milk and oil, mix well. Allow cool to 104F (40C), add yeast and stir well. Cover with a cotton towel for 10 minutes and let it rest. The mixture should look foamy.
- Add sifted flour into the mixture, mix well. I usually use a mixer for a few minutes on low until the dough comes together.
- Knead dough until not sticky. Divide dough into two balls. Can leave that way in a large bowl and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Or form into two logs and put into a large French white casserole with lid. Leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. Can also set oven to bread proof setting or 100F. The dough will be more than double in size.
- Cut dough into 10 parts in equal size and stuff with filling of choice. I like using red bean paste but char sui is also tasty.
- Brush with egg yolk. Let it have a second rising for 20-30 minutes if possible.
- Bake for 16 minutes at 360F. Baking time will vary with oven but you know when it’s done when the tops turn color. Brush with syrup (sugar in water).
Bao recipe adapted from: http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2008/09/incredible-baked-cha-shao-bao-chinese.html#ixzz1HkjcVP6J
Tips on handling the dough
- Cut pieces of dough from the roll, four at a time and form into balls. Let sit on the counter for a few minutes.
- Using one of the balls, start flattening along the edge with your fingers. Go around the edge in a circle, finishing in the middle. The finished product should look like a bowl.
- Fill with the filling.
- Start pinching the edges together in a circle until the edges are closed. When finished it should look like a wonton or those appetizers that look like purses.
- Twist the top to seal and push into the bun. This will become the bottom of the bun. When left to rise for at half hour or so, it will fill out and close the gaps.
Char Sui Bao
BBQ pork bun. Pretty easy to find a recipe on the web. I tend not to make these as often is it is a lot of work to make the char sui and then cool, cut and stir fry. But boy is it tasty.
Dau Sa Bao
I usually use the store bought red bean paste but I sometimes make my own using the following recipe.
Lean Yoong Bao
Lotus seed paste bun. I buy it from T&T but I find it’s a bit sweet. If I could find the ingredients I would make it from scratch.
Kai Mei Bao
Cocktail buns. This uses a mixture of shredded coconut (I prefer unsweetened) and melted butter. I don’t have the proportions but make sure that it has a paste like consistency.
Ga Lei Bao
Curry beef bun. I used a recipe adapted from the following:
Make sure that the filling is dry and not wet. Otherwise it will leak while baking.
I’ll add some pictures the next time I bake.