How To Serve Bao Buns Recipe Easy

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Bao buns, those fluffy steamed pillows of goodness filled with savory or sweet delights, have taken the food world by storm. Originating in China, these versatile buns have become a global phenomenon, and for good reason! They’re fun to make, endlessly customizable, and absolutely delicious.

This comprehensive guide will equip you with everything you need to create restaurant-worthy bao buns in your own kitchen, no fancy equipment required. We’ll delve into the science behind the dough, explore a variety of fillings, and troubleshoot common issues. So, grab your rolling pin, unleash your inner dumpling master, and get ready to experience the joy of bao!

Hoisin Tofu Bao Buns (Vegan)
Hoisin Tofu Bao Buns (Vegan)

Understanding Bao Dough

Unlike traditional bread dough, bao dough relies on a technique called “tangzhong” (湯種; pinyin: tāngzhǒng), which creates a uniquely soft and fluffy texture. The process involves pre-cooking a portion of the flour with water to create a roux. This roux gelatinizes the starches in the flour, leading to a dough that’s both springy and tender.


For the Tangzhong:

  • 50g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • For the Dough:
  • 250g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3g (1 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 3g (1 1/2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 3g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) lukewarm milk
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil

  • Directions:

    1. Make the Tangzhong: In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour and water for the tangzhong. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent. It should have the consistency of thick paste or cooked porridge. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

    2. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

    3. Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the lukewarm milk, cooled tangzhong, and vegetable oil.

    4. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms.

    5. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-12 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. If the dough feels sticky, add a little bit of flour at a time, one tablespoon at a time, until it becomes manageable.

    6. First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.

    7. Shaping the Buns: Punch down the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a disc, about 3-4 inches in diameter.

    8. Filling the Buns: Place your desired filling in the center of each disc. Gather the edges of the dough up towards the center, pinching them together to form a tight seal. Make sure there are no gaps to prevent the filling from leaking out during steaming. Pleat the top of the bun to create a traditional bao look (optional).

    9. Second Rise: Place the shaped buns on a steamer basket lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between them for expansion. Cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes.

    10. Steaming: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the steamer basket over the pot, ensuring the bottom of the basket isn’t touching the water. Steam the buns for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook, as the buns can become tough.

    11. Serve: Remove the buns from the steamer and let them cool slightly before serving. Enjoy them warm for the best texture!

    Nutrition Facts (Per Bun, Approximately)

    Calories: 250

  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 5g