I personally find that bao making is very challenging eventhough I've been making it so frequently. Though, it's just a simple white steamed bun. What makes it so challenging? The main problem is the colour of the bun. Yeah, WHITE is the name! I also came across that many blogger facing the same problem as well. Mostly ended up with a sloppy yellowish or brownish look or with spots all over the bun! What about bun which is hard as a rock! Again, NOT rising.... is the name, yeap! I had the same problems when I first making them but not anymore. These days I even make my own steamed buns with only all purpose flour. I don't need any special bao flour nor any whitening powder, and still manage to give you a nice and fluffy white steamed bun. But of coz, bao flour will provides better texture because it's the finest flour, lighter and whiter.
These are the buns I made with all purpose flour which only cost RM1.35 per kg, Bluekey brand. Does it look white and fluffy? Definitely, they are! Basically, all purpose flour is unbleached flour and it won't gives you snow white buns. Well, lets put it this way, bun making is fun. All you have to do is to know your friends better. For instance, yeast & baking powder. Both of them are a must for white steamed bun making. Mr Yeast has a few great buddies as well, like warm water, sugar and flour. Bun with starter dough will provide soft & fluffy bao skin. But remember, Mr Yeast hates hot water & salt. Dissolved baking powder in water will prevent spots on buns after steaming. Try to hand knead the dough if you don't owned a good dough mixer.
The following recipe was inspired by Cheah@ No Frills-Recipe. But I hand knead the dough instead of using a mixer or bread maker.
And here's what I did.
Ingredients for Bun Dough :
100ml lukewarm water
2-1/2 tspn yeast
1 tbsp sugar
First, combine sugar, water and yeast together and mix well. Then stir in flour to form a sticky dough. Leave it aside for 10 mins or untill it started to rise. If the dough is not rising, please check the expiring date of the yeast. Or give it another 10 mins. If it's still not working, meaning the yeast is no more active. Make a new batch.
1/4 tspn salt
100ml water, room temperature
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn vinegar
2 tbsp shortening
(1) combine ingredients (A) and place it in a big mixing bowl, make a well in centre.
(2) combine ingredients (B) and mix well.
(3) place starter dough in the centre of the flour, slowing push in the flour and knead.
(4) gradually, add in ingredients (B) to the starter dough and keep kneading untill a dough is form. It will look a little crumby, dry and yellowish but it's ok.
(5) then add in shortening and knead untill combined. You won't get a smooth dough yet but a nice non-sticky dough. Once the wall of the mixing bowl is all clear and shinny, meaning it's done.
(6) set the dough aside for 1 to 1-1/2 hour or untill double in size, make sure to cover it with a damp tower.
(7) by then, you will notice the dough became whiter (not snow white). Punch dough to release air and knead untill smooth. (see above 2nd picture)
(8) divide dough into 50gm each, cover with a damp towel to prevent dry skin.
(9) roll out each dough and place in the fillings.
(10) plead the edges and place it to a parchment paper, simply spray on a little water.
(11) set aside to rest for 15-20mins and then steam for 10-12 mins over high heat.
(12) off the heat, remove the lid a few minutes later to prevent shrinkage.
Do they look tempting to you too? All purpose flour steamed bun looks just as nice.
You can start making the filling while the dough is resting but still the best cook this a day before and keep refrigerated.
Ingredients for Quicky Chicken 'Kou Ruo' :
100gm chicken fillet, diced
100gm fried taro/yam, diced
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 cube 'lam Yue'/red fermented beancurd
2 tpsn vegetarian oyster sauce salt &
pepper to taste
*thickening : 1/4 cup water + 1 tspn corn starch
(1) preheat a frying pan with one tablespoon of oil.
(2) stir in onion, taro & chicken, simmer over medium heat untill cooked.
(3) add in fermented beancurd and oyster sauce, mix well.
(4) now, add in salt & pepper and then follow by thickening. Be sure the filling is not wet.
(5) off the heat, remove everything from the frying pan and leave cool before chilled in refrigerator for 30 mins.
Hubby and the kids are not a big fan of char siew bao. So, this is something different for them to enjoy. I have to thank Cheah for her lovely ideas & delicious steamed bun recipes. They all sounded really tempting. Hopefully, I will have time to try out the curry filling steamed bun soon.
I'm sending this to Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event.
By the way, this is my number 400th post and I am celebrating my 2nd blogaversary at the same time as well. Just imagine how time flies.