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Steamed Buns

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Does anyone have a good recipe for Chinese bun dough? I tried Barbara Tropp's recipe from the China Moon Cookbook last night but something didn't go right. The dough was very stiff and did not rise. Maybe my yeast was dead. In any case, if someone can point me in the right direction, I'd be grateful.

(BTW, please spare me the "China Moon Cookbook is terrible" line. This is the only recipe I've attempted from this book that hasn't been wildly successful.)

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  1. Here is a recipe that I adapted from several sources.
    I've used it for Chinese Steamed Buns and Chinese
    Steamed Pork Buns and my family can't get enough
    of them.

    (For the record, this recipe is in my own words and not copied
    from any other source.)

    Chinese Steamed Buns

    1-1/2 cups warm water (95F)
    1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
    1 Tablespoon granulated sugar

    4 cups bread flour
    2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    2 Tablespoons cooking oil

    In a two-cup measuring cup, stir yeast into warm water along with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let stand for 15-minutes, until bubbly.

    Place flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt into a stand mixer
    fitted with dough hook.

    Turn on mixer to medium speed and add yeast/water to dry ingredients in mixer.

    When dry ingredients are moistened, add cooking oil to mixer.

    Add a little flour or water as needed to form moist, non-sticky dough.

    Knead for 10-minutes.

    Place dough in covered bowl and allow to rise 1-1/2 hours in a warm place.

    Punch down dough and divide into 16-pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and
    place on a small piece of parchment paper.

    Allow to rise 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

    Steam for 20-minutes.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Antilope

      Sounds like a good recipe, did you find the oil added in made the buns a bit more like pastry?

      1. re: madeliner

        2 Tablespoons of oil in 4 cups of bread flour is a pretty standard bread recipe, not pastry.

        1. re: Antilope

          Thanks I just find adding oil to a pizza dough makes it flakier more like a greek crust but I know most loaf bread recipes contain oil, just wanted to be sure

    2. You'll maybe hate this, but after having steamed buns for the first time I went home and tried this...

      I used refrigerator biscuit dough, and flattened to disks and put honey and sesame seed inbetween and sealed and steamed. I thought they turned out great. But I'm sure any basic white bread dough would work fine. Even Trader Joe's white pizza crust dough.

      If making your own dough, remember that water hotter than about 115 degrees kills the yeast.

      1. here is a recipe that I have had good results with.
        makes 12 3" Buns
        .75 C warm Water(105-115F)
        2.5 tsp rapid rise yeast
        2 tsp sugar
        2 T Oil
        2.5 C (18oz) Unbleached Flour
        Proof Yeast in Water with the Sugar. Then add Oil.
        Place Flour in Food Processor with Plastic or Metal Blade
        While the machine is running pour wet ingredients in.
        Work for about a min. Should just barley not stick to your Fingers and be very smooth.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chefj

          that looks good- thanks!