Baozi Tips: Today I am going to show you a very popular, homie, and humble dish, a homemade Chinese steamed bun with pork filling.
So today I will walk you through this process and share with you some Baozi tips.
First, you will need plain flour, water, sugar and dried active yeast.
Dissolve sugar in water.
If the weather is warm, you can use cold water. If it’s cold, you can use lukewarm water.
Make sure it’s not too hot, not over body temperature.
Dissolving sugar in water will speed up the activation process of yeast.
Gently sprinkle dried active yeast into the water.
Let me explain a bit. There are two kinds of yeast, one is dried yeast like mine, and it needs some time to activate first.
The other one is instant yeast, which can be mixed directly with flour into a dough.
Either one is okay.
After 10 minutes, you can see that the yeast is getting foamy, and that means your yeast is activated.
Next, slowly stir in the yeast water in your flour.
When they incorporated together, use your hand to gather them together to form a dough.
Roughly knead it into a dough first.
And then transfer the dough on a working surface to knead further.
Do it with some strength and press down the dough with your body weight over your palm.
Press the dough down and then roll it so that you can evenly distribute your strength.
Keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth and shiny.
The kneading process is very critical to the texture of your final product.
You can never skip a kneading process of a dough.
Transfer the dough in a large bowl, and cover with a piece of cling film, and leave to sit under warm temperature to rise.
The time needed depends on the room temperature.
1 or 2 hours will be enough.
While we are waiting for our dough to rise, let’s prepare our pork filling.
Besides pork mince, you will also need soy sauce, shaoxing wine, salt, sugar, sesame oil, potato starch, dark soy sauce, white pepper, oyster sauce, chopped spring onion and grated ginger.
Start off by combining all these ingredients into the pork mince.
A pork filing is better with some fat in it.
If your pork mince is too lean, you can add extra vegetable oil in it.
A lean pork filling will end up very dry in a steamed bun.
Stir the filling for a while to make the mince a bit sticky.
Add in 100ml of water in 3 times.
Give it a quick stir when water goes in to help the filing absorb.
Water eventually will become the juiciness oozes out of your steamed buns.
Keep it up until all the water has been absorbed in the filling.
Now the filling is done, and set aside.
Let’s go back to our dough.
You can see that the dough has doubled its size.
If you are not sure about it, you can have a test.
Flour your finger and stick it into the dough, and you will find that the dough does not collapse.
And the hole in the dough holds there, but it’s okay to shrink a little bit.
You can stretch the dough and take a look at the inside, you will see a lot of aerated texture.
That means your dough is ready.
Remove it from the bowl onto a working surface.
Now knead the dough for a second time.
Repeating a kneading process helps to remove any excess air in the dough.
Knead until the dough becomes smoother.
Divide the dough into halves.
Cover one part you are not working with right now with a piece of cling film and set aside.
Roll out the other one into a long and even dough.
Cut in the middle.
My recipe can make 12 buns in total, so divide this part into 6 equal portions.
Get one portion, roll it into a ball and then press down flat.
Same goes for the other portions.
Cover those you are not working with under cling film, and leave out just one.
Roll this one out with a rolling pin, and make sure you have thicker center and thinner edge of this dough sheet.
To do it, roll up your rolling pin first, and then turn the dough sheet with the other hand.
And then roll up the rolling pin again. Repeat this rolling up and turning process.
So you will have a thicker in the center, while thinner around the edges dough sheet.
It should be slightly bigger than your palm, and do not make it too thin.
Spoon one big portion of pork filling on the center of this dough sheet.
Now, let’s begin.
First, lift a corner of the edge, and then pinch to make a pleat.
Gather up the rest around the filling and pinch together to close the bun.
Use the thumb of the other hand to assist you to make even pleats.
Normally, a bun should have 16 – 18 pleats in total.
When it comes to an end, pinch the seam side into a small circle by turning the bun, and then close it.
Look, it looks like a mouth of a goldfish.
You can keep this little circle, or you can just pinch it. Whatever you like.
Now let’s get them in the steamer.
Line the steamer with parchment paper with holes in it.
Or you can cut the parchment paper into small pieces and line then underneath.
Place your buns on top.
Leave some space between each bun.
Now let them rise for a second time.
In a large pan, pour a generous amount of hot water.
It doesn’t have to be boiling water, just warm and hot.
Place the steamer over the water, and cover with lid.
So now you will have warm steam coming up from the bottom.
Let the buns rise again in this warm environment.
You don’t need a long time for this, just 10-15 minutes.
Remove the lid, and you can see the buns grow even bigger. Now they are ready to get some sauna.
Over high heat, bring it to a boil, and when you see steams coming out, cook for another 15 minutes.
Remember, do not remove the lid once they are cooked.
If you remove the lid immediately after the heat is turned off, your buns will collapse when they are exposed to cool air.
So wait for 2-3 more minutes, only when the temperature cools down a bit can you remove the lid.
Now these white and aerated lovely buns are ready to serve.
The filling I have is a very basic pork filling without other ingredients in it.
Have a bite, you will be amazed by the succulent flavor coming right to your face, and all the juiciness just oozed out into your mouth.
So be very careful not to burn yourself.
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