Bao Buns are extremely soft fist-sized steamed buns. After steaming, the buns are generally squeezed together and filled with meat. The Bao Bun originates from the north of China where these buns have been made for over 2400 years. Just like with the Bapao, the word sandwich or buns doesn't really have to be added. Bao means bun.
- Mix warm water, milk, yeast, half the sugar and oil in a bowl.
- Whisk to dissolve yeast and sugar, then let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, the rest of the sugar, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl.
- Then pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. If using a mixer, start on a low speed to slowly combine all the ingredients and then mix on a medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes until it forms a ball of dough.
- Do you knead by hand? Then continue until you have a nice ball of dough.
- The dough should be elastic and very soft, but should not stick to your fingers or to the mixing bowl.
- Now let the dough rise for about 2 hours or until it has tripled in size.
- Let it sit longer if necessary.
- After rising, place the dough on a clean surface and dust the work surface with a very small amount of flour.
- Roll out the dough to half a centimeter thickness.
- Cut the dough into 14 to 16 circles of about 10 cm using a ring mold or glass.
- Lightly brush or spray some oil on the top of the circles, then fold them in half to form a crescent shape.
In the pan or in the oven
- Place each bao on a piece of (steam) paper and put them in the steamer.
- If you don't have a steamer, you can also use a large colander or sieve.
- Cover the steamer or colander with a lid and let it rest for another 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring enough water to the boil in a wok or steamer (or large pot with a lid).
- Carefully place the steamer or colander with the bao over the boiling water in the wok/pot/pan.
- Make sure the water doesn't hit the baos.
- Cover the pan and steam for 8 to 12 minutes.
- When they're done, tilt the lid slightly to let out all the steam, about 2 to 3 minutes before taking the lid off completely.
- The baos are now ready, fold or cut them open a little and fill them with the filling you want.
Enjoy your dinner
Bao Buns are delicious to combine with all kinds of marinated strips of meat. From the grill or from the pan for lunch, dinner or as a snack for your guests. Our favorite is the combination with the tasty and spicy marinated Korean Gochujang chicken strips. If the bao sticks to the paper after steaming, sprinkle the paper a bit with cold water to make it easier to get them off.