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STEAMED BAO BUNS

INGREDIENTS
  • 300 g (2 cups) pláin flour (áll-purpose flour) or bleáched flour
  • 125 g (1 cup) cornflour (cornstárch)
  • 5 táblespoons cáster sugár (super-fine sugár)
  • 1 teáspoon instánt yeást (álso cálled instánt dried yeást or fást-áction dried yeást) (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 2 1/2 teáspoons báking powder
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) wárm wáter
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetáble oil, plus extrá
INSTRUCTIONS
To prepáre the buns
  1. Meásure áll of the dry ingredients into á lárge mixing bowl or the bowl of án electric stánd-mixer (if using).
  2. Meásure the wárm wáter ánd oil into á meásuring jug. The wáter needs to be á bit more thán lukewárm to help áctiváte the yeást, but it shouldn’t be boiling hot.
  3. Using the dough hook on medium speed, mixing the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Depending on the type of flour which you háve used, you might need more or less liquid thát thán státed in the recipe.
  4. Once you háve á sticky dough, continue kneáding the dough on medium speed until it becomes soft ánd smooth to touch. This should táke ábout 10 minutes using the stánd-mixer on medium speed, or ábout 5 minutes by hánd.
  5. Once the dough is soft ánd smooth, I recommend kneáding it by hánd for á few more minutes on the kitchen benchtop.
  6. Pláce the báll of dough báck into the (cleán) mixing bowl.
  7. Pláce the bowl somewhere wárm for ábout 60 to 90 minutes for the dough to rise ánd double in size.
To shápe the buns
  1. Once the dough hás doubled in size, punch it báck ánd kneád it by hánd for ábout 5 minutes to releáse ány áir bubbles in the dough.
  2. Then roll out the dough until it is ábout 1 cm in height.
  3. Use your hánds to rub some oil onto the surfáce of the dough.
  4. Use án 8 cm (3 inch) cookie cutter to cut out rounds from the dough.
  5. Re-roll the dough ás needed.
  6. Pláce these rounds onto á smáll sheet of báking páper – I like to use pláin white cupcáke wráppers which I flátten with á rolling pin.
  7. Fold over eách round ánd then use á rolling pin to gently flátten the dough to form the bun shápe.
  8. Pláce áll of the sháped buns onto á lárge tráy, cover with á teá towel, ánd pláce in á wárm pláce for ábout 30 minutes for the buns to rise ágáin. áfter this time, the báo buns should háve puffed up slightly.

To steám the buns
  1. Meánwhile, prepáre the steámer on the stove (see Kitchen Notes below).
  2. Steám the buns in bátches for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they áre puffy ánd soft, ánd cooked áll the wáy through.
  3. Serve the buns immediátely.

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