Steamed Char Siu Bun

Success! Success! Success! I made steamed Char Siu Bun from scratch.

Two years ago, when I was in Australia visiting, I told my 2nd younger sister I can make Pao. She was amazed, however, after half a day of labor, she was disappointed with the Pao that I made. She told me that it did not taste like the Pao from Dim Sum Restaurant.

Two years later, after many failures, I have discovered the secret to making light, fluffy and delicate with delicious flavor char siu buns.

 

Char Shao Pao 燒包

 

 

This recipe is complicated because you need to prepare a dough starter. To make the dough starter you need to save a small piece of simple dough and let it stand overnight in the refrigerator until it becomes sour. The dough starter can be kept for one week in the refrigerator.

Char Siu Bun filling (makes about 24).
1 lb roasted pork
mix slightly less than 1 cup water with 1 1/2 T each: sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce
mix 2 T cornstarch with 2 1/2 T water
2 T lard (which I omitted)
1 1/2 t sesame oil
1/4 t pepper
Cut the cooked roasted pork into 1/4″ cubes. Bring the soy sauce mixture to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture to thicken. Add sesame oil and pepper. Let the mixture cool. Add the pork and mix well.

 

Recipe adapted from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei.

Simple Dough Recipe
6 cup flour (all purpose flour)
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 T yeast
1 T baking powder
2 T shortening

I used my bread machine to make this dough. But you can make the dough without using the bread machine. Results will be the same. The first step in making any “yeasty” dough is the yeast itself. Check the expiration date on the yeast. If the yeast is not expired, dissolve the sugar in a warm water and the add the yeast. After 10 minutes, if the yeast becomes foamy and floats to the top, the chances of your dough rising is high. If the yeast does not become foamy and float to the top, your yeast is not active. Perhaps the water you used is too hot or too cold. Do not proceed further until you are sure the yeast you are using is active.

If you are using bread machine, just throw all the ingredients into the bread pan, choose the dough setting and push the start button, after 3 hours or so, when the machine beeps, the dough has risen and is ready for use.

If you are kneading the dough by hand, put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough until smooth and elastic. I read somewhere that if you touch the dough and it feels like a baby’s bottom, it is ready. Cover the kneaded dough with a sheet of plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place for about two hours until it has tripled in bulk.

To make the dough starter, after the dough tripled in size, save a piece of dough about 4 oz. Wrap the small piece of 4 oz dough in a plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator.

If you are not a picky like my sister, you can use the remainder dough to make buns. The dough is not as light and fluffy but it is still delicious. The following photo shows how to wrap a pao. I used the left-over filling from Siew Pao.

Roll the dough into a long roll and cut it into 24 pieces; Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. Place one portion of the filling on the center of a dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Shape the dough circle by pleating and pinching the edges to form the bun. Make the other buns in the same manner. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes then steam them for 12 minutes. Remove and serve.

 

 

If you have extra dough, you can make Peanut Butter Flower Rolls.

 

 

Now, once your dough starter turns sour after a night in the refrigerator, you are ready to make the fluffy Dim Sum Char Siu Buns. Here is the recipe:
Dissolve 4 oz dough starter with 3/4 cup water and add 2 cup flour. After kneading, place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 8 hours or until it has doubled or tripled in size. I used the bread machine to knead and to keep warm.

After the dough has doubled or tripled in size, prepare the following dough with 1 t baking soda, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T shortening, 3 cup flour (use less if you feel the air surrounding you is dry, I always use less flour and add a little by little if needed), 1 T baking powder. Combine these two doughs and knead until smooth and elastic. I also used the bread machine for this step. Since the bread machine is still on, you have to push the stop button first. I left the original dough in the bread machine, added the rest of the ingredients (baking soda, water, sugar, shortening, flour and baking powder) into the bread machine, choose the dough setting and push the start button.

Roll the dough into a long roll and cut it into 24 pieces; Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. Place one portion of the filling on the center of a dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Shape the dough circle by pleating and pinching the edges to form the bun. Make the other buns in the same manner. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes then steam them for 12 minutes. Remove and serve.

If you leave more than 30 minutes, the dough will be over risen and dough may shrink after steaming.

Lee Ping’s notes: (1) For health reasons, I used unbleached flour, so the bun looks a little off-white. (2) Also, I use bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper. Bamboo steamer is good for steaming buns because the water from condensation is absorbed by the bamboo and not dripped back to the bun during the steaming process. (3) If you find that during your kneading, the dough is too dry and you add water, make sure you knead it well. Otherwise, your bun will look like a face with tiny pimple holes (mo peng in Hokkein Language). (4) If your dough smells sour, a little baking soda (less than 1/4 tsp) will neutralize the sourness.

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59 Comments

Filed under Asian Snacks, hipfood

59 responses to “Steamed Char Siu Bun

  1. Hi, I’m so glad I discover your blog. I’m away from home and don’t really find the Asian food here authentic. Besides, I prefer to make my own, to control ingredients.

    I probably don’t have the time now, but in future, will try out this recipe.

    You didn’t mention about the dough starter. Do you add it together with the rest of the ingredients in the bread machine?

  2. Oh no, too late… food pictures…

    Now I’m hungry.

  3. Dear Earthember,

    Welcome to my blog. Yes, it is hard to find authentic Asian food away from home. My husband and I used to drive at least five hours one way just to eat a good meal.

    Thanks for pointing out the dough starter. Yes, if you are using the bread machine, the dough starter can be added with the rest of the ingredients. (It is hard to blog, cook dinner and entertain my kids at the same time. Thank God, I have an understanding husband who takes care of the kids while I blog.) I just updated my article to include more information about the dough starter.

    If you have a bread machine, you are more likely to succeed because the bread machine keeps a certain warmness for the dough to rise without drying out the dough.

    p/s I just paid a visit to your blog. You have 4 children ages ranging from 8 months old to 12 years old and you are located in Auckland. My parents, sisters and brother lived in Auckland for many years and I have 3 children. So, we do have a few things in common.

    Jonzz,
    They are yummy aren’t they? Light and fluffy with overflowing delicious filling.

  4. char siu bao is my most favorite dim sum item! Yours look absolutely wonderful, and just like one taken out from the steamer of an authentic dim sum restaurant!

  5. Peter Chong

    Hi Lee Ping,
    Congratulation to you on your success in making the Dim Sum Char Siu Pau which looks so authentic and scrumptious to eat.
    Great effort you have put in!
    We observed that the children really enjoyed eating the pau in the photo.
    We hope we can savour your cooking when we are in Portland next.
    Good luck.
    Papa

  6. Dear Mandy,
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the compliments. I just paid a visit to your blog and your cake is delicious. I still have a picture of that moist chocolate cake in my head.

    Dearest Pa,
    Perhaps you can help me make this when you get here. The kids love to help me roll out the dough. I usually give them some of my extra doughs to play. :)

  7. alice

    Haha! I want to eat but I don’t want to make. You did it. Good job!I used to make using the shortcut method, i.e. with baking powder but it was not as fluffy. Now no time at all, with things cropping up now and then. Can’t wait for summer vacation to come.

  8. Dear Alice,

    Unlike you, I don’t look forward to summer vacation as my kids will be home 24 hours a day. I may not have time to blog at all. :)

    I understand, you have a lot of things going on in your life right now. Making Pao (especially from scratch) naturally, is the last thing on your mind.

    I know two shortcut method but it doesn’t taste as good as making it from scratch. The first shortcut method is using the biscuit mix. The pao made from this premix is fluffy but it tastes salty. The second shortcut is using Ta Pao Fen (Lily has an article using this method). I have tried it in the past and it tastes pretty good but not as fluffy. However, the quality control on these Ta Pao Fen is questionable because sometimes it tastes a little too salty.

  9. V

    I particularly love the picture of your three lovely daughters enjoying the bao. And what nice, big baos you made! :) And yes, the mom’s blog is fine.

  10. Dear V,

    Great, I have already added you to the Mommie’s Blogger link.

    Yes, my three girls loved the homemade bao. My 8 year old ate two baos. My 6 year old ate 1 full bao and secretly scooped some more fillings from my pan onto her plate! Even my 23 month old baby likes the bao. :)

  11. Ahhh… I am hungry!!! Very hungry now!!!!

  12. wow..i didnt know it involves such a process..sour dough as well??? hmm.. it looks mouth watering and makes me want to go out and order some char siu baos now!

  13. Hello. I just hopped over here from…I can’t remember who’s blog! and I’m so impressed with your char siu paus! Esp. your patience! I’ll definitely have to try seeing as my husband loves paus and we haven’t found any decent chinese restaurants where we are right now!

  14. ps. I just noticed that you’re from Klang! So am I! I lived there till I was about 14!

  15. Fabulous, MrsHBT! I’m inspired by you, but I’m still recovering from making bread from scratch using Rose Levy Beranbaum’s ‘Bread Bible’ hearth bread recipe — long, slightly complicated process, but the results were impeccable and so tasty. Absolutely worth the effort.

    Your third pau-wrapping pic is so cute — like an ‘Eskimo’ all wrapped up cosily.

    I haven’t thought of char siew pau in a while, and now, thanks to you, I’m craving it! ;-P

  16. Since my granddad got the stroke, he has to stop eating pork and …then stop eating beans because the protein gives him the gout. But I think he can take some Flower Rolls…I think I’ll make some and replace the peanut butter with corn cream.

  17. Dear Beckysmum,

    If you are really hungry, don’t attempt this recipe. You need to wait patiently for the dough to rise. That reminds me. If you attempt this recipe, freeze the leftovers, they will taste good after steaming under high heat for 12 minutes, especially if you are really hungry.

    LotsofCraving,

    Yes, Kangaroo Man. Making authentic Dim-Sum like Char Shao Pao is very involved. If the dough starter is too sour, the baking soda will neutralize it.

    Dear Wok and Spoon,

    Welcome to my blog.
    Yes, I have patience (and determination) when it comes to food because I know it is something that I will be successful. That + a little prayer = yummy food. I am always experimenting with new recipes and reinventing some old recipes to make it hip.

    So, you are also from Klang. Did you by any chance go to school in Convent Klang?

    Dear Argus,

    Did you post the recipe for your “made from scratch bread using Rose Levy Beranbaum’s ‘Bread Bible’ “? If you know how to make bread from scratch, you have a higher chance of success making this. You will need to learn how to wrap the bun. If the filling touches the side of the dough during wrapping, it will be tough to enclose the bun tightly. Wrapping the bun itself is an art; the number of pleats, etc. I remember that I practiced making pleats on my children’s playdoh.

    “…like an ‘Eskimo’ all wrapped up cosily”. That is an excellent way to describe. It is very important to enclose it fairly tight because the dough will expand and “burst” during the high heat steaming.

    Dear Teckiee,

    You are a very thoughtful granddaughter. I think a little corn cream may work in the flower rolls. If you find that it is hard to keep the corn intact during the rolling process, you can try wrapping the corn cream like a bun, instead of a roll.

    Another alternative is to make an indentation hole at the top of an empty (kosong) round bun and just top the bun with some corn cream. I have seen some bread buns done in that manner.

  18. wmw

    Wow….lovely. And what a process…Makes me really think about the way food is prepared before I pop it into my mouth!

  19. Wow, hats off to you, wish you live closer so I can run over and “steal” some char siu pau. To make the buns white, put vinegar in the boiling water that you use for steaming, datz how you get it white white.

  20. Dear WMW,

    You always leave such inspirational comment.

    It is quite an involved process, but the end result is so rewarding. Also, when one make it at home, the ingredients are carefully chosen, i.e. Less lard, and best cut of fresh meat.

    Dear KopiSoh,

    “…, wish you live closer so I can run over and “steal” some char siu pau” :) If you live closer, I will save one bun for you.

    p/s Thanks for your tip as well. Not many people know about this tip. I guess you are a pretty good cook yourself. Perhaps KopiSoh can post recipes in her blog sometime?

  21. Came over as soon as I could to tell you, I did the biopsy today and the results came back negative. Yippee, so you see your prayers did work. I came over to personally thank you for caring and mwuah, mwuah, mwuah. Now all’s good.

  22. Dear KopiSoh,

    So glad to know that your biopsy results came back negative. :)

  23. We do have a few things in common. You’re right, it’s not easy to blog with kids. I usually sneak in some time when the baby is napping.

    I also wish you live near me… I don’t mind getting you to be my tingkat caterer. :D

  24. Dear EE,
    I need to look in your Singlish Dictionary for the word used in your comment, “tingkat”. I think it means live. So, you don’t mind me being your live-in caterer?

  25. I will try to blog about making bread from scratch using Mrs Beranbaum’s recipe, which involves making a ‘starter sponge’. That is, as soon as I can get a photo of my fresh loaf uploaded.
    Thanks for your pau-wrapping tips, MrsHBT.

  26. Now that I am back at work, I am always the last to come over. :)
    This is amazing. It is good. I want, I want…..
    I might try this one day….when time permits.
    Thanks for this.

  27. alice

    Summer vacation has advantages and disadvantages for me. No.1 – Hopefully, I might have more time, considering that I don’t have to help in the church school. No. 2 How to keep my son occupied for 2 1/2 months is a problem, esp. during weekdays since I hardly drive now. Maybe I ask him to help me make char siew pao.Must need great skill hor! You must have taken a lot of time and great pains in blogging your recipe. Thank you and also thank you for sharing God’s words as well.

  28. Dear Argus,
    Looking forward to reading your article on making bread from scratch. I wonder if the starter sponge is similar to the starter dough that I used in my Char Siu Pao?

    Dear Judy,
    First or last comments, they are all precious to me!

    Dear Alice,
    I enjoy sharing my recipes, my knowledge, my experiences (good and bad) and my faith. Even before I started blogging, I am always sharing my recipes (and food) with my family, neighbors and friends. I also want to thank you for your continuous support.

    Making any dough related food is great with kids. They love to roll and fold, over and over again. Your son, since he is much older than my kids, will be actual help to you instead of just playing in the kitchen. Cooking with kids is like reading with kids, a great bonding tool, as well as educational.

    p/s I read your comment in WMW’s blog. You make tofu donut from pancake mix? I need to find out more information.

  29. Mrs Beranbaum’s starter sponge is a wet mixture of tepid water, yeast, honey and some flour in a big bowl. After that one scoops the rest of the bread flour over the surface of the sponge. It bubbles up and breaks through in places in the flour.

  30. Dear Argus,

    Thanks for your detailed explanation.

    I had to look up tepid water because I am not familiar with that term. Tepid water is a mixture of two parts cold water to one part boiling water and is frequently used in breadmaking.

    There are so many things to learn in cooking. I am glad to meet you and I hope we can learn from each other.

  31. Hi there! I came over from your old blog. Thanks for coming over to say hi on mine! I also have two girls 9 and 7, I enjoyed seeing your girls eat the pau! if I ever try it I will definitely look this up again, don’t know if I will have the patience ;) but so glad to know someone does, to work it out for me!

  32. Dear Msiagirl,

    Welcome! Our girls are very very close in age. The one eating the pao will turn 9 this Saturday (that’s tomorrow). Aah, I need to stop blogging and prepare for the birthday party.

    My middle child will turn 7 in September and my baby will be turning 2 in July.

    I read that you are located in UK. Did you go back to Malaysia recently?

  33. yes, went back recently and saw some of the nice people we talk to in Blogworld. Happy birthday to your girl – I’m sure she had a lovely party with lots of nice things to eat! Hope you get to put your feet up afterwards.

  34. Dear Msiagirl,
    You must have a blast eating authentic Malaysian food and meeting up with other bloggers.
    Thanks for your birthday wish for my Little Tiger. I am putting my feet up now and……

    blogging. :)

  35. I wish I could come over to your house and eat!

  36. Dear Steamy Kitchen,

    You are in California, right? If you drive 12 hours, you will be here in Portland. I will trade my homemade Paos with your beautiful pottery or dishes.

  37. cherry

    Hi Lee Ping

    Those pics of pau drove me a full mouth of salivary….really temptation, cannot resist.
    I had tried and it is super nice!
    But i simply can’t wrap the pau nicely. Would you mind share in step by step for pau pleating?
    Or if there is any video clip or photos to be share ?
    If it is avaliable.

    Thanks in advance.

  38. Dear Cherry,
    Glad to know that my Pao recipe worked out super nice for you. Here’s the link to a video on how to wrap Pao:

    http://tinyurl.com/357ocj

    Thanks Jaden of Steamy Kitchen for sharing this video.

  39. Fran

    Hello Lee Ping,
    I came across your blog the other day and noticed that you seem to have success with char siew buns which I have been trying to make for a long time. I wanted to try it out and have a question about the starter dough. Why do you use 6 cups of flour to make the dough and only use 4 oz? Sounds like 6 cups of flour will make alot more than 4 oz of starter dough? Can I make 1/2 or 1/4 quantity?

    Also do you have the recipe for peanut butter flower rolls. Maybe my daughter will like it in which case, I can make the whole quantity of starter dough.

    Many thanks and I look forward to your reply.

    Fran

  40. Hello Francoise,

    Little Chicken who will turn 3 in July is potty training. She is taking her nap now. Phew! Finally, have a break from Mommie duties and decided to reply to your question.

    The following was what I wrote in my article.

    To make the dough starter, after the dough tripled in size, save a piece of dough about 4 oz. Wrap the small piece of 4 oz dough in a plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator.

    If you are not a picky like my sister, you can use the remainder dough to make buns. The dough is not as light and fluffy but it is still delicious. The following photo shows how to wrap a pao. I used the left-over filling from Siew Pao.

    I use 6 cups of flour to make the dough. When the dough has tripled in size, I use all but 4 oz of the dough to make my buns. This 4 oz of dough is called the starter dough and will be used to make the fluffy char siu buns that my sister likes. Of course, you can decide to use all of the 6 cups of flour dough as starter doughs. I am not sure how many starter doughs you can get with 6 cups of flour.

    I have not tried 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe but logically it should work.

    I do not have the exact recipe for the peanut rolls but you can try the following. Once your dough has risen enough, you can divide them into smaller pieces. Flatten each piece and apply peanut butter on each piece of the risen dough. Use the photo that I posted as a guide to form the flower rolls.

    Hope that helps, if not feel free to write email (or leave a comment) to me.

  41. Fran

    Hi Lee Ping, I will try to make less and see what happens and use the balance dough to make the peanut rolls. Just afraid that if it turns out to be alot and my daughter who is very picky won’t eat it, then I will end up eating peanut rolls for the whole week. That is what happened when I made choc muffins and used 80% bitter chocolate. She only likes milk choc. I had to eat 12 muffins or throw it all away. :( Did you steam the peanut rolls for 10 min? Thanks, Francoise

  42. Hi Fran,
    I steamed my peanut rolls for about 12 minutes.

    Just like the Char Siu Bao, let the Flower Rolls stand for 10 minutes then steam over high heat for 12 minutes. (If you leave more than 30 minutes, the dough will be over risen and dough may shrink after steaming.)

    I have two ideas regarding your dilemma of too much left-over buns.

    1) After the Peanut Butter Flower Rolls are steamed and cooled, the left-over can be stored in the freezer section of your refrigerator. That way, you don’t have to eat all of the rolls yourself, if your daughter does not like them.

    2) Instead of making the dough all peanut butter flavor, make some plain ones. These plain buns are called Man Tou (饅頭), in Mandarin. My daughters love them as they can dip them in condensed milk. These buns will freeze as well. Auntie Lily has detailed recipe for Flower Rolls. Follow her link to the detailed recipe from this link. I wanted you to see how delicious deep fried Flower Rolls can be first. :)

    To avoid freezer burns, you can store extra buns in air tight bags.

    p/s I am introducing my family to dark chocolates instead of milk chocolates because the darker it is, the better it is for our health. Your chocolate muffins with “80%” bitter chocolate sounds good to me. Perhaps one day, your daughter will learn to appreciate that and eat more of your muffin creation.

  43. Fran

    Thanks Lee Ping, for the tips and link to Lily’s Blog. I am going to start the dough now. Will let you know my outcome. Couldn’t reply to your email. The mail gets returned saying ‘blocked for spam’.

  44. Fran

    Hi Lee Ping,
    so my report…
    Well, firstly, I halved the starter dough recipe. I kept 4 oz and made the rest into Man Tou. Just steamed for 12 min like you said. They were very good. Since I did not have anything savoury with sauce for it to soak up, I spread it with peanut butter. Was delicious. Then I tried it with peanut butter AND Nutella. You should try this combination. Even more delicious!
    The next day I continued on to make the char siew pau. Altho my filling was a success, the skin was not like what I was looking for. I think it is because of the flour I used – probably too heavy. It is just different in Germany. Every other pau recipe I have tried gives the same result. I get a shiny skin after the pau cools. I do not want to buy pau flour because of all the chemicals in it. Also, I am not an expert at pleating the dough so some turned out ugly looking. Nevertheless, the whole result was still good and alot better than the previous recipes I have tried. Thanks alot for your help. I will still make it again.

  45. cd

    looks like a good authentic recipie, im very excited to find this one, nice blog btw! i cant wait to try this out.

  46. Angel

    Hi there, I’m so thankful that i found your blog. Yesterday i tried making charsiewpau by following a recipe online, my paus were not light n fluffy, so im eager to try out your recipe this week. I have afew questions, i hope you won’t mind helping :)

    “Dissolve 4 oz dough starter with 3/4 cup water and add 2 cup flour. After kneading, place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place. Let the dough rise for 8 hours or until it has doubled or tripled in size. I used the bread machine to knead and to keep warm.”
    I do not have a bread machine. So, do i still do the same steps, let the dough rise for 8 hours in room temperature?

    “After the dough has doubled or tripled in size, prepare the following dough with 1 t baking soda, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 T shortening, 3 cup flour (use less if you feel the air surrounding you is dry, I always use less flour and add a little by little if needed), 1 T baking powder. Combine these two doughs and knead until smooth and elastic.”
    After this step, i would be filling/shaping the buns right? When you’re shaping/wrapping the buns, how thick is the dough? Like 1cm? Are the buns going to rise a lot when i steam it?

    Thanks so much for any helps!! By d way, you make the most amazing looking homemade buns I’ve ever seen!

  47. Dear Angel,
    Just when I thought very few people was reading my blog these days, an “Angel” writes me a comment. Sure made my day.

    You had asked if you do the same steps but let the dough rise for 8 hours in room temperature. The answer is yes. I used the bread machine because our room temperature sometimes is simply not warm enough. (Once, I used the preheated oven but the dough got too dry. Later, I learned that it is possible to use the oven, just leave a bowl of water underneath the dough.) So, yes, you can make this without the bread machine. After kneading, place the dough in a bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place.

    After reading your second question, I realized that I had left out the instructions on how to fill and wrap the buns. I have editted this article to include that. The additional text is italicized. The readers who actually try out the recipe is the ultimate editor for the recipes I post. Thanks for your comments and questions.

    As far as the thickness of the dough, 1 cm was about what I had. And yes, the buns are going to rise, fluff up and slightly burst open. So please make sure that you enclose the buns well. :)

  48. Shermaine

    Hello!

    thanks a lot for the recipe.
    i am yet to try it.
    have some questions first though.

    when making the dough – about how long do you think i’d need to knead it for? coz its not really mentioned in each step.

    if i substitute plain flour for cake flour would it turn out with a better result?

    and lastly, what else can you make with the remaining dough from the dough starter? someone mentioned mantou. do you know how i would go about that?

    sorry for all the questions!
    =))

  49. Dear Shermaine,
    It has been awhile since I kneaded any dough by hand, since I bought the bread machine. However, I would recommend that you knead at least 30 minutes. That is the amount of time that bread machine knead dough.

    I have not tried to substitute cake flour for plain flour (i.e. Deviate too much from the dough recipe).

    I have used the remaining dough to make “Mantou” before. Simply roll the dough into a 1 or 2 inch wide strip and cut into 1 or 2 inch pieces. The larger the pieces, the larger the Mantou, the longer you have to steam. Let the Mantou stand for 10 minutes then steam them for about 12 minutes. I usually over-steam my dough to make sure that it is cooked thoroughly using a bamboo steamer.

  50. Panda

    What a beautiful family! What a great kitchen with a great cook! Thank you for sharing the recipe! I am making my own right now! (hopefully will be successful as well…)
    all the best!
    Panda

  51. Panda

    I used both red bean paste and Char Siu as fillings and both worked out perfectly! I am so excited that I will be able to make my own steam buns!

    I don’t have a bread machine so I kneaded the dough myself. It was rather hard at the beginning and took me quite sometime (at least 2o minutes) to get everything evenly into the dough. I kneaded the dough until it was elastic (however, mine was not as smooth as a baby’s butt…) and then I put the dough into my oven with light on. I also put a glass of warm water into the oven and let the dough rise for about three hours. Best dough ever!:) Thank you so much for sharing!

  52. chomp

    Hello, I tried your recipe, and it worked really well. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I kept a spare dough starter, and after 3-4 days, there are little black spots on them. Smelled ok, and do not look like mold or anything. Have you ever seen this?

    Thanks

  53. Hi Chomp,
    Thanks for your feedback. I am glad the recipe worked really well for you.

    You asked if I had seen little black spots on the spare dough starter after 3-4 days. Not on my dough starter but I have seen little black spots on pizza dough before, on some premade dough that I bought from a local store. I thought it was mold cause it didn’t smell good, so I threw the dough away. Additionally, I found a link on google if you are interested in why bluish-black spots appear on pizza dough. Hope that helps…

  54. chomp

    Mrs HBT, thanks for the link about spotty dough. It mentioned something about oxidation of bran particles in old dough that disappears after baking. – It makes sense, since I am using unbleached flour, and it happened only on the outer most layer. The inside of the starter did not have those spots. The dough did not smell bad either. Also, the bao did not have any spots after they were steamed.

    Regarding the dough starter, you can also save some of the fluffy char siu bao dough for use as dough starter the next time. This way, you will not need to use additional yeast, or make additional starter dough. I tried this, and it worked pretty well at round 3. (Round 1 = dough starter with yeast per your recipe, round 2= with dough starter from round1, round3 = with left over dough from round 2).

  55. Hi Chomp,
    You have just taught me something. Thanks for sharing the cause of the black spots.

    Using left over dough from round 2 is good information to have. Thanks for trying that out and sharing that tip.

    I am excited when my readers have success in trying out the recipes I post on my blog (especially the really complicated ones, like this one). Thanks again for trying and for your return feedback.

  56. CookNEat

    “Round 1 = dough starter with yeast per your recipe, round 2= with dough starter from round1, round3 = with left over dough from round 2″

    this is what dim sum restaurants do, they do not start a new dough everyday, not sure if the “dough starter” works indefinitely.

  57. Hi CookNEat,
    Thanks for your comment. Yeah, don’t know if the “dough starter” works indefinitely.

  58. lisa mc

    thanks for your great recipe. i have tried before to make these but have always been disappointed with the dough. yours is the best i have made so far. i varied using olive oil for the shortening. for my filling i used ginger garlic onion blitzed and cooked in hoisin, chopped water chestnuts and fresh coriander. i also mashed some tofu when the mince mix ran out, cooked with the same extras and it was exceptional. put vinegar in the boiling water to keep the buns white. my children are in heaven. they have been taking them for school for lunch.
    i have some starter dough left over, what can i do with it??? can i freeze it so i don’t have to go thru the overnight waiting period again?

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for sharing with me your experience of making the bun. For the leftover starter dough, I would put it in the fridge instead of the freezer. (if other readers know otherwise, please comment here.) I have stored cooked buns in the freezer before but not uncooked dough. Hope that helps.

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