About this recipe:Follow this recipe carefully and you will be rewarded with comforting, fluffy and tasty Chinese steamed buns. Hom Bao refers to any filled Chinese buns, but if you want to fill these with traditional barbecue pork filling before steaming, follow the recipe for Char Siu Bao, also on this site.
Carol chi-wa Chung
1 tablespoon dried active baking yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
4 tablespoons plain flour
4 tablespoons water
110ml (4 fl oz) warm water
200g (7 oz) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
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Method Prep:3hr › Cook:30min › Ready in:3hr30min
Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Mix in 110ml warm water, 200g flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up. Put each ball on small greaseproof paper squares. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns, still on greaseproof paper, as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate, leaving 2 to 5cm (1 to 2 in) between the buns. At least 5cm space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes. Ensure that water does not come in contact with the buns.
REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto the bun surface and produce yellowish "blisters". Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.
You can fill the buns with most anything you like, including veggies for a vegetarian dish. If you want to fill these with traditional barbecue pork filling before steaming, follow the recipe for Char Siu Bao.
Altered ingredient amounts.
This recipe gave me the soft, fluffy texture I was looking for. Instead of warm water, I substituted warm milk which I think helped make the dough even more light and fluffy. I had to add about an extra 4Tbsp of flour because the dough was REALLY sticky and difficult to work with. The only bad thing about this recipe was that after the 3 hours for the 1st rising, I noticed that the dough had a somewhat sour aftertaste, like sourdough bread, which was more noticeable after steaming the bun (I steamed a golf ball sized amount of dough to test for texture and taste before I rolled and steamed the rest of the dough). So I added a pinch of bicarb to counteract the sour flavour, and an extra 1/2 tsp of sugar because I personally like a sweeter dough. I used my own meat filling recipe to fill the bun. Yummy. UPDATE: *Tip* Add the bicarb after you have proofed the yeast, with the rest of the dry ingredients in the 2nd step of the recipe. - 14 Jul 2008