Now you too can be a fancy schmancy gourmet chef at home with these homemade folded steamed buns (or baos). Made with more or less the same dough as traditional baos, the folded style allows for cramming in a lot more pulled pork or, as is popular right now, crispy pork belly. Enjoy!
Folded Steamed Bao Recipe
Yield: 16 medium buns
- 3 cups (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the lukewarm water and set aside for 1 minute to soften. Whisk in the oil to blend and dissolve the yeast. Set aside.
- Combine the sugar, baking powder, and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, moving from the center toward the rim, to work in all the flour. Add lukewarm water by the teaspoon if this doesn't happen with relative ease.
- Keep stirring as a ragged, soft mass forms. Then use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball.
- Transfer to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth, fingertip-soft and slightly elastic.
- Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. The dough is now ready to use.
- Roll into two logs, and cut into 16 pieces.
- Flatten each piece with a rolling pin into a slightly oval shape.
- Lightly oil one side and fold in on itself. Place on a cut piece of parchment or wax paper.
- Steam the buns for 10 minutes.