Steamed bao buns
( MAKES 10 )
Photo by Tam West
Use these steamed bao buns to make Chinese burgers. Kathy fills hers with crumbed chicken thighs, pickled vegetables, citron mayonnaise and chilli-spiked green cabbage. To prepare the cabbage, simply toss ¼ of a finely chopped green cabbage with ½ a finely chopped green chilli. Mix through a little of the red onion from the pickled vegetables and moisten with a little citron mayonnaise.
- Place the sugar and yeast in a small bowl and pour over the warm water. Leave in a warm place for about 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the peanut oil. Pour in the yeast mix and mix until you have a dough. The dough should form into a soft, but not sticky, ball.
- Place the dough on your bench top and knead by hand until it is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- If necessary, wash and dry the mixing bowl, lightly oil and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
- Divide the dough in half. Cover one half with plastic wrap and set aside. Divide one half of the dough into 5 even-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a bun shape and place on a piece of baking paper as you go, making sure they are well apart. Lightly brush with peanut oil and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes or until they increase in size (half of their original size again).
- Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.
- When ready to steam, place a bamboo steamer on top of a wok with enough water in it to prevent it boiling dry. Place a piece of baking paper in the base of the bamboo steamer.
- Carefully lift the first five buns using the baking paper and place in the lined bamboo steamer. Replace the lid and steam for 10-12 minutes until the buns are puffed and sound hollow when you tap the base. Carefully remove the steamer from the wok and lift out the buns. Repeat to steam the remaining five buns.