CHINESE STEAMED BAO BUN ( By Sarita bhat
500gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tbsp caster sugar, plus a pinch
1tsp fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing and brushing
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
Mix together the flour, sugar and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl (see tip). Dissolve the yeast and a pinch of salt in 1 tbsp warm water, then add it to the flour with the milk, oil, vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 mins, or until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 2 hrs, or until doubled in size.Take the dough out onto a clean work surface and punch it down. Flatten the dough with your hands, then sprinkle over the baking powder and knead for 5 mins..Roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into pieces that are about 3cm wide – you should have 18..Make the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and leave to rest for 2-3 mins.
Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball, one by one, into an round shape about 3-4mm thick. Rub surface of the rounds with oil with brush a little dust flour over the surface of the rounds.Transfer the prepared buns to a baking tray lined with baking parchment,or Banana leaves. cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hr 30 mins, or until doubled in size.Heat a large steamer over a medium-high heat. Steam the buns for 8 mins until puffed up (you’ll need to do this in batches). Prise open each bun and fill with the barbecue pork or Chicken ,carrot, cabbage and spring onions .. Eat while they’re still warm with spicy hot soya chilli garlic dip .