Sweet, fluffy steamed bao buns, stuffed with tender char siu pork.
What you will need
CHAR SIU PORK
2 cloves Garlic
1" Fresh Ginger
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Hoisin
4 Tbsp Honey
1/2 tsp Five Spice
2 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
1/2 cup Warm Water
1/4 cup Honey
1 tsp Instant Yeast
300 g AP Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
125 g Corn Starch
1/4 cup Cooking Oil(Nutritional facts 217 calories, 4.94 g fat, 28.95 g carbohydrates, 13.56 g protein, 31 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium)
How to cook
Char Siu Pork
Peel garlic cloves and chop or grate to a fine paste.
Peel ginger with a spoon and grate or chop to a fine paste.
Place the soy sauce in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Add the hoisin.
Add the honey.
Add the five-spice powder.
Add the crushed garlic.
Add the grated ginger. Mix well.
Add the pork shoulder. Coat in the marinade. Cover and chill to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
Place marinated pork on a baking sheet, reserving the extra marinade in the fridge. Using a baking rack will help speed up cooking. Using parchment or a silicone mat liner will speed up the cleanup. Roast for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300°F
After an hour in the oven, baste the pork with the remaining sauce.
Return to the oven for one more hour, or until the pork is tender, easily pierced with a fork.
Place the warm water in a large mixing bowl. The water should be around body temperature, just warm enough to dissolve the honey and make the yeast nice and comfy.
Add the honey. Stir to dissolve.
Add the yeast and give it a stir. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to get a little foamy.
Add the flour.
Add the baking powder.
Add the corn starch. Mix to a shaggy dough.
Add the oil. Knead the dough in the bowl to bring it together into a stretchy ball. If the dough is too firm and doesn't stretch nicely, knead in some more water, in small amounts, until it does.
Knead the dough by hand for about 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set it aside in a warm spot in your kitchen. Give the dough about 60-90 minutes to proof. After proofing, the dough should be nearly doubled in volume.
Roll the dough out to a large disc, around 1/4" thick.
Cut out some circles, around 4" in diameter. If you have a collection of ring moulds, use the largest one. I couldn't find mine so I just grabbed a plastic container with a large mouth.
Cut a piece of parchment into 3" squares. As your bao buns are steaming, they will get impossibly sticky. To keep them from sticking to each other or cooking surfaces, we're going to separate them with these pieces of parchment.
Take up each dough round and fold in half, placing a piece of parchment into the fold, wrapping the parchment over the back of each bun to protect the bottom of the bun. Arrange the buns in a steamer basket. A dim sum-style steamer basket is ideal for this, but I was able to get this metal steamer to work just fine. I would recommend adding a circle of parchment before arranging the buns on top. My buns stuck to the steamer a little more than I would have liked.
Cover the pot and steam for 12-15 minutes or until the buns are fluffy and cooked through. They are best served immediately, piping hot and fluffy.