As our friend was with us on Sunday morning, she decided to teach my wife how to make the Bao (chinese bun). As we had red bean paste at home, they decided to use this to as the filling in the bao. It seems like it has been a food festival at our house in the past week.
Ingredients for the dough:
Low gluten wheat flour 600g
Sugar 4 1/2 oz
Shortening 1 1/2 oz
Yeast 1 tablespoon
Crescent double-acting baking powder 3 teaspoons
Water 325 mls
They started off with making the dough, and kneading it to work the gluten (ala the Great British Bakeoff and Paul Hollywood). They used a special baking powder for this, which is available on Amazon. The dough was then allowed to proof (i.e. rest and rise) before the bao was made.
Next they made small little parcels of dough, flattened to a round shape to receive the red bean paste. This was then wrapped up at the top to produce the traditional bao shape seen below. The filling can vary depend on what you would like in it – meat, other types of bean paste – as they say, the choice is yours.
These were then placed into our steamer and cooked in steam for the required time.
The final product, ready to eat. Do note that the bao available commercially all look very white – but that is because of the bleached flour used or adding of flour beaching additive i.e. not very natural. Hence the colour of our Bao looks much better (white but not too white).
Now that it has been steamed, it is ready to eat. Nice. Now that my wife knows how to make the bao, I expect that this will be a regular feature at our house (hint, hint).