These soft and fluffy bao buns are the perfect vessel for your favorite fillings! I like to make a big batch of these ahead of time because they store really well in the freezer. To reheat, I simply steam for 5 minutes and they’re ready.
These bao buns are the perfect blank canvas for your meal so feel free to get creative with the fillings!
Steamed Bao Buns
- 2 cups (300g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 tsp (3g) baking powder
- 1/4 tsp (1.5g) salt
- 1 tsp (3.5g) instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp (20g) sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk, warmed to 100-115 F
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- Combine yeast, sugar and milk in a bowl and whisk to mix well. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together until combined.
- Once the yeast has bloomed, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl with the flour. Using your hands or a spoon, mix until a rough ball of dough forms.
- Lightly dust cutting board or work surface with flour. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel or saran wrap and let it to rest for 10-12 minutes.
- Knead the dough for 1 to 2 minutes and form into a ball. Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or saran wrap. Set aside and let the dough rise for at least 1 hour in room temperature.
- While the dough is resting, prepare 10 (3×3) pieces of parchment paper for steaming.
- After the dough has risen and doubled in size, punch the air out and cut into 10 pieces. Each piece should weigh approximately 45-50 grams. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or saran wrap to prevent them from drying out.
- Lightly flour cutting board or work surface and form the dough into a round ball. Using the palm of your hands, press down to flatten the dough. Roll the dough out into a long oval shape, approximately 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches and 1/4 inch thick.
- Gently brush oil on one side of the dough. Then fold the dough in half length-wise. Place the dough on top of a parchment paper. Repeat for the remaining dough
- Transfer the dough onto a sheet tray and cover with saran wrap or kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 15-20 minutes.
- Once the dough has risen, assemble onto a steam basket. Set the steam basket over a pan with boiling water, cover, and steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes making sure to keep the lid on.
- Serve while hot and enjoy!