Bao basics

Bao. Bapao. Baozi. These Asian steamed bun goodness has been embedded in Dutch culture so deeply it’s hard to believe there ever was a time there weren’t any. Lets say that goes for the store bought 40 secs in de microwave ones.

Sure, if you talk time and efficiency they’re g-r-e-a-t. But once you’ve made them yourself, you’ll start to wonder what the bleep you had those in your life for. And why.

Through time I’ll post all sorts and variances of bao’s: open, stuffed or as a bun. There are endless possibilities for stuffing. For now let’s just start with a basic how to for the dough alone.

For 10 bao’s:

  • 500 gr bao flour (available at the Asian grocery)
  • 350 ml water
  • 7 gr sachet dried yeast
  • 1 ts sugar
  1. Mix all ingredients together and knead untill the dough is soft.
  2. Let it come together in a ball and put in a bowl covered with a kitchen towel of cling film. Let it sit and rest for at least an hour so it can double in size.
  3. Divide the dough in 10 little balls using flower on your hands so the dough won’t stick all over the place. Line a steam basket with parchment paper.

Bun
– Steam a ball of dough for 15-20 minutes.
– Once done you can use them as a regular bun.

Stuffed
– Roll out a ball of dough.
– Put a tablespoon of your filling in the middle and fold the dough back together. If the dough won’t stick together you can use water to glue it back together.
– Steam in your basket for 15-20 minutes.

Open
– Roll out a ball of dough in to an oval shape.
– Fold over a piece of parchment paper.
– Once done steaming it’ll be easier to fold open, stuff and fold again.

P.s. Bao’s need their own space in the steam basket (ugh, diva’s). So you nee to steam them in batches of 2-4 bao’s depending of the size of your basket/pan.

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