Recipe:Chinese steamed bao dough

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Prep time: 2 hours, 15 minutes plus rising time

Cook time: 25 minutes

Makes 8 large or 12 medium-size steamed buns

This recipe is unique in that it is a biscuit and yeast bun all-in-one. It has the lightness and simplicity of a biscuit while also having the smell and glutinous texture of a yeast bun. This once-secret Chinese recipe will satisfy both types of bread lovers.

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water, divided use

3 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted, divided use

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon shortening

INSTRUCTIONS

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl; then add 1/2 cup flour to the yeast water. Mix well. Cover, but do not let the cover touch the dough. Keep in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Mix granulated sugar, 1 cup of the flour and 1/2 cup water, add to the yeast dough and mix thoroughly. Cover, but do not let the cover touch the dough. Keep in a warm place for 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.

In a big mixing bowl, thoroughly mix remaining flour with baking powder; then knead into the doubled yeast dough.

Gradually add shortening and remaining 1/4 cup water, kneading on a lightly floured surface until dough pulls back and is well mixed. Put dough in a bowl and cover, but do not allow cover to touch the dough. Keep in a warm area for about 2 hours or until dough almost doubles in size.

Punch down, knead 5 minutes and roll the dough into a log about 2 inches in diameter. Cut dough log into 8 equal sections and roll them into balls. With a small rolling pin, roll balls out into flat discs about 1/2 inch thick.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of char siu filling (recipe at right) into the center of the dough circles and close by stretching together sides or use dim sum pleating technique (ask a Chinese cook).

Put stuffed buns on parchment paper and let them rest in warm place for 30 minutes.

Transfer buns into a steamer and steam for 25 minutes.

Serve immediately.

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