Red bean Bao (chinese bun)

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.

Dough for the chinese Pau (bun)
Dough for the chinese Bao (bun)

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.

Red bean paste bao
Red bean paste bao

These were then placed into our steamer and cooked in steam for the required time.

Boa ready to be steamed
Bao ready to be steamed

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).

Boa after steaming
Bao after steaming

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).