Toasted Sesame Baby Bao


 Prep Time : 20 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 8 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread

Hello my lovelies! We are mixing up our bread efforts today. Making fluffy delicious bao. Steaming rather than baking. You can get a bamboo steamer for hardly any money at any asian supermarket. Mine has two layers and a lid and cost around $12. These bao are soft and fluffy with a hint of nuttiness from the sesame seeds. It balances perfectly with the sweetness of the dough. You can shape these in the traditional bao ‘foldover’ style or just make neat round buns to slice and fill. They will look small when they have proved but they puff up even more as they steam. Use them where you would normally use a small roll or even to make a warm sandwich. The are also addictive on their own to be honest. Be careful if you have gas burners that the flames don’t curl around the bottom of the pot. Hijinks will ensue.

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, sesame seeds and baking powder in a large bowl.

Mix the milk and water together and warm to blood temperature. I just microwave it for short bursts until it’s warm when I test it with my finger. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and leave to foam.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients along with the oil and vinegar.

Bring the dough together and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot until doubled in size. My dough is sporting a stylish Kmart shower cap. A good reusable option to cut down on plastic wrap.

Tip the dough out and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

While they’re resting a bit cut out 12 small squares of baking paper. The bao will stick to the bamboo of the steamer if you put them straight down in there and if you make a circle to cover the base then the steam can’t get through.

Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball into an oval. If the dough is springing back and won’t stay in a nice oval then leave the dough to rest for a few more minutes.

Place a chopstick or similar thin round thing – there’s bound to be something around that can stand in like a pencil – in the middle of the oval and fold the dough over into a sandwich. If you are having trouble with sticking use a tiny bit of vegetable oil on your rolling pin.

Pull the chopstick out and transfer the bao to a square of baking paper. Rinse and repeat.

When all the bao are shaped pop them on a tray and cover loosely with a damp tea-towel. Leave in a warm spot to double in size.

When the bao are nearly ready put a saucepan of water on to boil. Make sure there is enough water so it won’t boil dry. When the water is boiling turn it down to a steady simmer and pop the steamer on top to warm up.

Steam the bao in batches. As folded bao I can fit two in each layer of my 8 inch steamer so I need to do 3 batches in total. As round buns I can get 3 in each layer. Put the lid on and leave for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off a bunch of times. At 8 minutes you can crack the lid and give one of the bao a gentle press to make sure it’s springy but that’s it!

Remove the bao carefully – you should be able to pick them up by the paper underneath – and transfer to a wire rack.

Repeat until all the bao are cooked. Let them cool before splitting down the middle of the fold – you should be able to gently open them using your hands – and filling with all manner of deliciousness! Like some duck and slaw with plum sauce and mayo…

Like this recipe? Pin for later or Print for right now:

Toasted Sesame Baby Bao


Prep Time : 20 + 15 mins | Cook Time : 8 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Bread | Makes : 12 mini bao

Soft fluffy slightly sweet steamed buns with a hint of toasted sesame.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (300 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup (120 mls) warm water
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon (50 mls) warm milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Saucepan and bamboo steamer to fit
  • Baking paper cut into small squares

Directions:

Mix the flour, salt, sugar, sesame seeds and baking powder in a large bowl.

Mix the milk and water together and warm to blood temperature. I just microwave it for short bursts until it’s warm when I test it with my finger. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and leave to foam.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients along with the oil and vinegar.

Bring the dough together and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Turn the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot until doubled in size. My dough is sporting a stylish Kmart shower cap. A good reusable option to cut down on plastic wrap.

Tip the dough out and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

While they’re resting a bit cut out 12 small squares of baking paper. The bao will stick to the bamboo of the steamer if you put them straight down in there and if you make a circle to cover the base then the steam can’t get through.

Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball into an oval. If the dough is springing back and won’t stay in a nice oval then leave the dough to rest for a few more minutes.

Place a chopstick or similar thin round thing – there’s bound to be something around that can stand in like a pencil – in the middle of the oval and fold the dough over into a sandwich. If you are having trouble with sticking use a tiny bit of vegetable oil on your rolling pin.

Pull the chopstick out and transfer the bao to a square of baking paper. Rinse and repeat.

When all the bao are shaped pop them on a tray and cover loosely with a damp tea-towel. Leave in a warm spot to double in size.

When the bao are nearly ready put a saucepan of water on to boil. Make sure there is enough water so it won’t boil dry. When the water is boiling turn it down to a steady simmer and pop the steamer on top to warm up.

Steam the bao in batches. As folded bao I can fit two in each layer of my 8 inch steamer so I need to do 3 batches in total. As round buns I can get 3 in each layer. Put the lid on and leave for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not take the lid off a bunch of times. At 8 minutes you can crack the lid and give one of the bao a gentle press to make sure it’s springy but that’s it!

Remove the bao carefully – you should be able to pick them up by the paper underneath – and transfer to a wire rack.

Repeat until all the bao are cooked. Let them cool before splitting down the middle of the fold and filling with all manner of deliciousness! You should be able to gently open the pocket with your hands.

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you don’t like sesame you can leave the seeds out. Or flavour with something subtle that will complement the fillings you intend to have.
  • Don’t use extra flour when shaping the bao – flour on the surface of the dough will cook strangely in the steamer and create unattractive crumpled bits
  • These bao are snack size – if you want to make them larger then divide the dough into fewer pieces and increase the steaming time.

 – Bao should be eaten the same day or frozen for later use. They can be refreshed the next day with a little toasting which can give them a cute toasted dot on top and bottom – 

Adapted from BBC Food.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Toasted Sesame Baby Bao

Leave a Reply