Fluffy Bao Buns In 5 Steps
With Chinese New Year around the corner, I’ve whipped up a five-step steamed bao recipe that anyone could make at home – with a little help from family-owned Taiwanese restaurant, Mr. Bao.
Once you’ve steamed perfectly pillowy baos, check out my savoury ‘n’ sweet fillings to stuff them with (my personal favourite is the custardy apple ice cream).
Are you ready to master the steamed bao? Here’s what you’ll need.
7g fast-action yeast
2 tbsp caster sugar
340g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Bamboo steamer or bain-marie
Step 1: Combine the yeast and sugar in a bowl with 150ml of warm water. Mix and set aside for 10-15 mins. Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarb and a pinch of salt, then combine to form a dough ball.
Step 2: Knead onto a floured surface for 5 minutes, until the dough is perfectly smooth. Place it in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Mr. Bao tip: “The more time you can give for the first prove, the more you’ll get back! Extra time will help you maximise the fluffiness of your bao buns.”
Step 3: Place twelve 1-cm squares of baking paper on a large baking tray. Roll your dough until it’s ½cm thick and cut out twelve circles with a 7cm round cookie cutter.
Step 4: Place each circle on a square of paper and brush with veg oil (so they don’t stick when folded). Fold each one in half, cover the tray with cling film and leave in a warm place for another hour to puff up.
Mr. Bao tip: “When using a metal steamer, don’t forget to place the baking paper under the bao before steaming. This will help to stop sticking.”
Step 5: Once risen, steam in batches for 9-11 minutes until cooked through. Add your chosen filling and serve warm.
Remember, the first bao is chef’s treat. And maybe the second is too.
How’re they looking? Snap your bao-nty of buns, pop ’em on Instagram and tag Mr. Bao @mrbaouk and @goustocooking so we can see!
A bit about Mr. Bao…
Mr. Bao started on a post-it note between Frank and his friend Nick: “bao buns are awesome, start a bao restaurant”. Mr. Bao’s philosophy has always been that creating a little home from home could be something powerful. Unlike chain restaurants, family values are at the heart of our business – which is why you’ll see the owners serving tables or cleaning the bar. Some of our staff even started as customers. Our love for what we do can be seen on the faces of our crew and tasted in every dish.
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