Learn how to make soft and fluffy Momofuku steamed buns (fold-over steamed buns) that you can later use to make pork steamed buns.
FOLD OVER STEAMED BUNS
I never heard of Momofuku steamed buns until probably 5 years ago. I’ve never been to any of the Momofuku restaurants. They are definitely made famous here in the U.S. by Momofuku in NYC. My husband loves their steamed buns. Momofuku pork belly buns to be exact. Unlike the regular steamed buns with fillings stuffed inside the buns, the steamed buns are folded over in half and can be opened and filled up with whatever you want in between like a sandwich.
I used my basic soft and fluffy Asian steamed bun recipe to make this Momofuku steamed buns. I wrote in more details how to make a soft and fluffy steamed bun in that post if you are interested in reading more about it.
MOMOFUKU FOLD-OVER STEAMED BUNS STEP-BY-STEP MAKING GUIDE
I used my Basic Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe to make this fold-over steamed buns.
1. PREPARE THE DOUGH
Place the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and cooking oil in a mixing bowl. If you are using a stand mixer, use a dough hook attachment. Add cold milk or room temperature water. Add cooking oil. You may need to add more milk/water if the dough is still a bit dry. Add more teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes together and continue to knead for 5 minutes. Then add in the salt and continue to knead until the dough is smooth again
2. SHAPE THE DOUGH
Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Work with one dough at a time. Pull and tuck the dough from top to bottom so the seams are at the bottom and the surface is relatively smooth
Roll the dough into a smooth round ball in between the palm of your hand or as I did in the video. REALLY make sure the dough is smooth.
Slightly flatten with your palm and roll into a circle or slightly oval, about 1/2-inch in thickness
Place the parchment paper on one half of the flattened dough. It’s fine too if you choose not to do this step. The folded bun can still be opened without any problem as I showed you in the video.
Fold the other half over to form a half circle
3. PROOF THE DOUGH TO ABOUT 50% ITS ORIGINAL SIZE
Place the shaped buns on a tray cover with a clean cloth and let them proof for about 15-20 minutes to about 50% of its original size. They don’t have to double in size. Do not overproof them
4. STEAM THE BUNS
Wrap the lid with a cloth: to prevent water condensation dripping back onto the buns
Bring water to a rolling boil in the steamer and then LOWER the heat to LOW (yes, not high or medium)
5. DO NOT RUSH TO OPEN THE LID
Turn off the heat and let the steamed buns rest for 1 minute before opening
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MOMOFUKU STEAMED BUNS
MAKE KONG BAK PAU
MOMOFUKU CHAR SIU BAO
MEAT: 2-3 thinly sliced char siu
VEGGIE: slices of fresh cucumber, chopped green onion
SAUCE: a drizzle of hoisin sauce, kewpie mayo
What will you sandwich in between this Momofuku steamed buns?
How to Make Momofuku Flat/Fold-over Steamed Buns
For both options:
Making the dough with a machine:
- Place the flour combination (either option 1 or 2), instant yeast, sugar in a mixing bowl. Use a dough attachment hook to knead the dough on medium speed and add the liquid followed by cooking oil and knead until it is smooth and not sticky, about 5 minutes. You may find that you still need to add more liquid, add it a bit by a bit until it comes into a dough. Add the salt and knead again until the dough is smooth
Making the dough by hands:
- Place the flour combination (either option 1 or 2), instant yeast, sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix until you get a rough dough (it's not going to be smooth yet). Cover and rest it for 15 minutes. Then go back and knead it. You'll be surprised by how easier it is to knead it now. Knead until the dough is smooth and pliable, about 10-15 minutes. At any point during kneading, you can always stop and rest the dough if you find it hard to knead. This is to relax the gluten. Then go back to knead again and you'll be surprised by the difference it makes by just resting the dough before kneading again. It's easier for you too
Resting the dough:
- Cover and rest the dough for 15 minutes. This is not to proof the dough. It shouldn't double in size. This is to relax the gluten for easier shaping and rolling the dough
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions
- Keep the dough balls covered to prevent drying out. Work with one dough at a time. Pull and tuck the dough from top to bottom so the seams are at the bottom and the surface is relatively smooth
- Flatten the dough ball with your palm and use a small roller to roll it out into an oval shape and then fold the buns over to form a half circle. You can put a parchment paper in between before folding, but it's fine too if you don't
- Let the dough rise at room temperature or at a warm place. If it's winter where you are, you can use your oven "bread proof" function to let them proof in there, or simply turn on your oven to the lowest temperature and then turn off and after 15 minutes, place the shaped buns in there to let them proof. They won't necessarily double in size, but at least puff up to about 50% of the original size. This may take about 30 mins to 1 hour at a warm temperature. Don't go by the time however
- Most likely your steamer won't be able to accommodate steaming all buns at one go unless you have something like this 3-tier food steamer (which I love a lot!). You may need to steam in 2-3 batches, which means, the rest of the batches will sit longer and continue to proof while waiting for the steamer. Not good for the buns! Here's what you can do: Make sure the cover them with plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator to slow down the yeast activity or halt it all together until they are ready to be steamed
- Bring the water in your steamer to a boil. Wrap the lid of your steamer with a kitchen towel to prevent moisture dripping back on the steamed buns as this will create "burn" spots
- LOWER THE HEAT TO MEDIUM. Place the buns in there, leaving about 1-inch space in between. Cover with a lid but leaving it about 1/4-inch gap for some steam to escape. Steam on medium heat for 15 minutes. This is especially important if you see that you have overproof the steamed buns (the steamed buns have doubled in size and they have widened to the side). As long as you steam them like this, the buns will not wrinkle and collapse later when you take them out from the steamer
- After 15 minutes, turn off the heat. DO NOT OPEN THE LID of the steamer. Let the buns sit there for 1 minute like this. The buns will not sink or wrinkle due to the sudden change in temperature
- If you make extra and plan to store them, place them on a baking sheet, not touching each other, and then put the entire tray inside the freezer for about 1 hour. They will harden, but not completely frozen yet. Transfer to a freezer bag and they will not stick to each other anymore. Try not to keep for more than 1 month
Check out this Soft and Fluffy No-Yeast Chinese Steamed Buns. These are so good and super easy to make!