Translated as ‘treasure’, steamed bao buns with their yielding, pillowy texture and unctuous fillings are our new fave thing. Too difficult to make at home we wondered? Not after learning a few precious secrets from the guys at Devon’s Bao & Roll. Prepare to join the bun club …
You will need
For the boa buns:
Plain flour 300g
Self raising flour 300g
Dried yeast 1½ tsp
Baking powder 7g
Caster sugar 100g
White wine vinegar 7ml
Warm water 285ml
Vegetable oil 50ml
For the pork belly:
Boneless pork belly 1kg, cut into 1 inch slices
Garlic bulb 1, peeled and crushed
Spring onions 1 bunch, chopped
Red chilli 1, sliced
Star anise 1
White sugar 100g
Light soy sauce
Dark soy sauce
For the peanut icing:
Salted peanuts 50g
Icing sugar 50g
Mustard greens 1 jar
- For the buns: Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl before adding the white wine vinegar, mixing and then adding the water. Knead the ingredients until they come together like a dough.
- Next add the oil, a small amount at a time, kneading between each dose. This should take between 20-40 minutes and you should have a dough which springs back when pressed.
- Transfer the dough into a bigger bowl (large enough that it can double in size), cover with clingfilm and leave to prove somewhere warm.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, separate into pieces weighing 70g each. Roll each bun into a smooth oval shape, brush lightly with oil and fold in half.
- Place each of the folded bao buns onto piece of silicon paper and allow to prove for a further 20-35 minutes. Steam the buns for 10-15 minutes in a bamboo steamer.
- For the pork belly filling: Brown the pork belly in a large pan for around 5 minutes. Add the garlic, spring onions, chilli and star anise and lightly fry for 5 more minutes.
- Add the soy sauces in equal amounts until the pork is covered and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down and add the sugar. Leave for around 2 hours, or until the pork belly is tender.
- For the peanut icing: lightly blend the peanuts with the icing sugar until combined. Sprinkle on top of the pork belly-filled bao along with a teaspoon of mustard greens.