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Bao Buns

by Janet Carson November 26, 2019 at 7:24 a.m.

I am in Suzy Homemaker mode this week preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner for 19-21 people. Yesterday I made the sweet potato casserole,

the bread is totally dried, so I cubed all of that for the dressing, and today I will finish up the rest of the make-ahead dishes, prior to my house getting cleaned tomorrow. I also spent time in the yard getting the leaves off the driveway, sidewalk and deck. As I was raking/blowing more leaves were falling, so total cleanup will come AFTER Thanksgiving.

I am also working on emptying out the refrigerators to make room for all the things I am pre-cooking. When I cook, I like to re-purpose the leftovers into something different. Last Saturday I made some fabulous Asian flavored ribs in my instant pot. What was left of the meat, I shredded. I decided to try steamed buns last night with the leftover meat as the filling.

I have never made them before, but I read several recipes and watched a you tube video on how to wrap them, so I gave it a whorl.

The results were darned impressive. When cooked plain, the buns are called mantou, while the filled buns are called baozi.

I do not own stackable bamboo steamers, so I could only steam 6 at a time in my pot, which meant three batches. I had seen someone say you could bake them, so I did 2 batches in the steamer and one in the oven,

and we loved them both. Clay actually preferred the baked over the steamed, and I preferred the steamed. So far 2 other family members voted on steamed too, but loved both types. I have some left over, so I will try different methods of reheating them to see which works best.

I will make these again! They were not hard at all, and very good. What would we do without internet recipes and you tube videos?!

Here is the recipe I used and what I did:

Steamed Bao Buns

2 ½ cups flour

¼ cup sugar

2 tsp. yeast

1 ¼ cup warm water or milk (I used buttermilk (to use up the container) and strained it after I heated it)

1 tblsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Put all ingredients into your mixer and with the dough hook blend. My instructions said to do it for 7-9 minutes, but within 2-3 it was well mixed. Cover and let rise about an hour. Bring it out and knead for a bit, then divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log and cut into 8 pieces.

I covered the half I was not using first with a towel.

Roll each piece into a circle shape. I started using my regular rolling pin but swapped the smaller pampered chef roller thing because once you get the shape started you want the edges thinner than the middle. Then put in 1 tablespoon of filling of your choice (I had some Asian pork rib meat with sauce)

Starting on one side, pleat the top until you have a small package. Put each bun on a piece of parchment paper. I let them rise again for 45 minutes -1 hour. Don’t pack them too tight in the steamer because they continue to grow. I had 18 and only 6 fit in my steamer at one time. I steamed two batches and tried one batch in the oven. Both were very good. Clay liked the oven ones better because they were crispier, I liked the steamed ones.

Choose your preference – Steam for 25 minutes then serve.

To bake, preheat to 400 degrees, but turn it down to 350 when you put them in the oven. Egg wash them before you put them in, and if you want you can put sesame seeds on the outside. I couldn’t find mine, so just egg wash. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To reheat the steamed ones you can resteam them.

Very good.


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