This post concludes my adventure with making steamed buns/ bao. Yeah…I can see many signs of relief there haha!
I think my mom often told us “Don’t play with your food” when we were young. This is an exception guys. Play with it all you want. This was the 5th time I made Steamed Buns/ Bao and never knew I could have so much fun with them. Seriously….again? You bet! After knowing how to pleat the flower pattern, I moved on to learn few patterns. I watched all these at YouTube.
The last four time I made the Bao, I used the ready-mix flour bought from the store. This time around I made the bao from scratch with family recipe.
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour (and extra for dusting)
- 6 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 packet of active instant yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 Cup of lukewarm milk
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- 16 of 3×3 -inch square of parchment paper
- Prepare a large mixing bowl and add in flour, corn starch, cooking oil and baking powder and stir to mix well.
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk and sugar. Once dissolves, let it sit for 5 minutes until foamy and pour into the flour mixture and mix well. Knead the dough until it is smooth and doesn't stick to your hands anymore, about 10 minutes. You may need to add more flour or you may not. If the dough is still rather sticky, you may need to add a bit by a bit.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl to let it rest for about 1 hour or longer in winter time. It will double in size. Roll the dough into long sausage shape. Divide your dough into half and then half again until you get about 20 small doughs
- Dust your working area with some flour. Roll each ball out with your rolling pin to thin circle
- Fill your bao with whatever filling you have (meat, veggie, coconut and egg jam (kaya), etc) and bring all edge together and pinch to seal or if you are obsessed like I am, pleat some patterns on the bao 😉
- Prepare your steamer. Wrap the lid of your steamer (like wrapping a gift basically) with a clean kitchen towel and secure with rubber band/ string or whatever you have on the top. This is to prevent the vapor from the steam drops back to your bao and this will create "burn spots"
- Don't over crowd your steamer, you may need to steam in batches, that's fine, as the bao will expand, especially if you make big one. Steam small bao for about 10 minutes. For a bigger one and especially with meat filling inside, you many need at least 20 minutes
EAT THEM ALL ?
As you can imagine with me keep on making all these bao, we can’t finish all at one go. Individually wrap them with the cling wrap and freeze them. They freeze pretty well for about one week. When ready to serve, DO NOT THAW! Go from frozen straight to the steamer (boiling hot) and steam them for about 5-10 minutes, and you will still have a very soft and fluffy bao 🙂
So, now for the fun part too, Photo time 😉
Leaf shape bao & Flower shape bao
Crab shape bao (are you having fun yet? I am)
Braids shape bao (and I thought you can only did it with your hair! huh!)
Of course eating the bao gotta be factored in as well…
I used Coconut and egg jam, because I have made some the other day. Feel free to make char siu bao, bak bao or even tau sa bao. The possibility of filling them with edible stuff is endless 😉
Here is the related YouTube video: