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Steamed bao buns

Contains pork – recipe is for non-Muslims only

Fill these steamed Chinese bread rolls with BBQ pork and pickled vegetables for a perfect Chinese New Year party nibble

  • Prep: 40 mins
    Cook: 24 mins
    plus 3 hrs 30 mins rising and proving
  • Makes 18 buns
  • A challenge
  • Makes 18 buns
  • A challenge
  • Calories 119
  • Carbohydrates 23
  • Saturated Fat 0
  • Sugar 2
  • Protein 3
  • Fat 1
  • Fibre 1
  • Salt 0.2

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 119
  • Carbohydrates 23
  • Saturated Fat 0
  • Sugar 2
  • Protein 3
  • Fat 1
  • Fibre 1
  • Salt 0.2

Ingredients

  • 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 greasing and brushing
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Tip

Using a mixer
The dough can easily be made in a mixer with a dough hook up to the end of step 3.

Freezing the buns
The buns can be steamed, then frozen. Once defrosted, simply reheat in a steamer.

Method

  1. Mix together the flour, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl (see tip). Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp warm water, then add it to the flour with the milk, oil, vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.

  2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 mins, or until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size.

  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.

  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.

  5. In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.

  6. 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.

  7. Place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each oval. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick.

  8. Transfer the prepared buns to a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr 30 mins, or until doubled in size.

  9. Heat a large steamer over a medium-high heat. Steam the buns for 8 mins until puffed up (you’ll need to do this in batches). Prise open each bun and fill with the barbecue pork and Pickled carrot & mooli. Eat while they’re still warm.

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