|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||6%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||2%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This dough makes slightly sweet, light, and fluffy buns. Use this dough to make steamed-filled buns (baozi or bao), unfilled steamed buns (mantou), baked Chinese cocktail buns, and other basic Chinese bun recipes.
This recipe, reprinted with permission from "Chinese Cooking (Company's Coming)" by Jean Pare, uses bread flour, which has a high protein and gluten content to help the bread rise and take shape. The basic principles of making Chinese bun dough are the same as for making any type of yeast dough. You need to have the right conditions for the yeast to do its work of digesting sugar and produce carbon dioxide gas, which gets trapped in the dough, causing it to rise.
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 cup boiling water
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups white bread flour
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a small dish, stir the warm water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Stir to dissolve the yeast.
In a large bowl, stir together remaining 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and cooking oil.
Add the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the egg and the yeast mixture.
Slowly work in enough flour until soft dough forms.
Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover it with greased waxed paper and a tea towel.
Let it rise in the oven with the oven light on and the door closed for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in bulk.
Cover dough with a towel and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Shape it into a 12-inch/30-centimeter long log.
Cut it into 12 pieces.
Fill, shape, and bake the buns according to your desired recipe. Enjoy.
- You can also roll out the dough and cut it into 3-inch circles, brush it with oil, fold in half, and steam. This makes the bread into little fillable delights you can stuff with pork belly, for "tiger bites pig," barbecue pork, or many creative combinations. Or simply serve them with Peking duck.
- For a sweeter treat, Chinese coconut buns have a coconut filling. The dough is crimped into a half-moon shape, brushed with egg wash, baked, and brushed with a honey wash.
- You can use the dough immediately or refrigerate it overnight before shaping and filling it as desired.
- Use this bun dough for both sweet and savory buns. In Chinese steamed pork buns (char siu bao), the savory barbecue pork plays well with the slight sweetness of the bun itself.
How do you store and freeze the buns?
- Make sure to put your bao and steamed-filled buns in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. After cooking them, cool them to room temperature and then place in an airtight container and put in the fridge. They will keep for three to four days.
- To freeze these delicious buns, once again, cool to room temperature, and put the cooked buns on a baking sheet, and freeze until solid (approximately two hours). Place the frozen buns into a plastic container or bag and freeze for up to three months.