Steamed bao buns
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus 3 hrs 30 mins rising and proving
- A challenge
- Makes 18 buns
- 525g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar, plus a pinch
- 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 50ml milk
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for brushing and for the bowl
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- STEP 1
Mix together the flour, caster sugar and ½ tsp salt in a large bowl (see tip). Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of sugar in 1 tbsp warm water, then add it to the flour with the milk, sunflower oil, rice vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.
- STEP 2
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 mins, or until smooth. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size.
- STEP 3
Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Flatten the dough with your hands, then sprinkle over the baking powder and knead for 5 mins.
- STEP 4
Roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are about 3cm wide – you should have 18. In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.
- STEP 5
Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball, one by one, into an oval shape about 3-4mm thick. Rub the surface of the dough ovals with oil and brush a little oil over a chopstick. Place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each oval. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick.
- STEP 6
Cut 18 squares of baking parchment and put a bun on each. Transfer to a baking tray, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr 30 mins, or until doubled in size.
- STEP 7