Friday, 11 July 2014

Steamed Buns (Sponge Dough Method) 蒸包子(中种法)

A good recipe with simplified steps, yet does not compromise on the taste and appearance.

Yield: 16 x 6cm diameter buns

Minced Pork Filling
300g minced pork
50g turnip/water chestnut, sliced
1 tbsp green scallion, cut
1 tsp coriander, chopped, optional

1 tbsp white scallion, cut
1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped

3 tsp fine sugar
1 tsp low salt soya sauce
1/4 tsp dark soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoning powder
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp corn starch
120g water

1. Heat up 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot at medium low heat. Add in ginger and garlic, stir-fry till fragrant.
Stir in the white scallion,
Add in 3 tsp sugar, then add in the light and dark soya sauce. Wait till the sugar and soya sauce start to bubble, add the rest of the condiments from salt to water.

When the mixture thickens into gravy,

transfer the gravy to a bowl and allow it  to cool down before adding to the minced pork. Set aside.

2. Add minced pork, turnip/water chestnut, green scallion, and coriander, into a mixing bowl.

After the gravy has cooled down, pour onto the minced pork. Mix using a fork, and stir in one direction till the ingredients become sticky

3. Cover with a food wrap and store in a fridge for 1 to 2 hours. 
Transfer out of the fridge when you start to prepare the dough.

The Sponge
80g Hongkong/all purpose flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast
70g water

1. Mix flour and instant dry yeast in a mixing bowl.

2. Slowly add in the 80g of water, stir in one direction till it form into a paste.

3. Cover and let the sponge dough proof for 30 to 45 minutes.
If you like the bun to carry an alcoholic aroma, let the sponge dough proof for 45 minutes. 

The Dough 
250g HongKong flour*
Sponge from above.
60g confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
20g rice bran/corn oil
70~80g water, add as required

*You may replace the 250g HongKong flour by 220g all purpose flour and 30g corn starch. Water to be increased to 80 to 90g.

1. Mix HongKong flour, confectioner's sugar, double acting baking powder, by using a hand whisk.

2. Pour the sponge dough and rice bran/corn oil, into the mixture in (1), and mix brielfly.

3. Slowly add in the water and stir at the same time, till you get all the ingredients into a big lump.
Leaving behind about 10g of water to be added depending on the consistency of the dough.
Avoid adding too much water to the dough, to help the buns to keep its shape after steaming.

4. Transfer the dough onto a floured work top and knead into an elastic and smooth dough.

5. Flatten the dough and divide into 16 portions, each about 36g. Roll into balls, dust with plenty of flour, and place in a mixing bowl.

6. Roll out the dough into a flat dough skin with the edge thinner than the center.
First, flatten the dough with your palm,
While one hand holding and pulling,  the other hand operates the rolling pin.
Slowly stretch the dough into a flat dough with the centre thicker than the edge.
Flip the dough skin over, so the smoother side will be facing out when wrap.

Scoop about a tbsp of minced meat paste onto the center of the dough skin. Wrap up and pinch to seal. Place the finished dough onto a piece of paper.

7. Proof the buns for 20 minutes before steaming. Start the 20-minute countdown when you complete shaping the first bun.

8. Start boiling water when you complete the 4th bun. When the water boils, steam the buns for 7 minutes under medium high flame.

Turn down flame to low and open the lid slightly for 3 minutes.

Turn off the flame, and let the buns stay in the steamer for 5 minutes.

9. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack.

You can also keep the warm buns in a rice cooker.

10. Serve warm :)


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