300g low gluten flour e.g. cake flour with protein content (6-8%)
70g white sugar
9g baking powder
7g instant yeast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp finely diced onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g (14 oz) Chinese BBQ pork (try my homemade version here), cut into small dice
½ cup char siu sauce*
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water
For the dough, mix together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre pour in the water and the oil. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough starts to form. Then use your hands to knead the dough for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and springy to the touch. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, for the filling, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Then add the Chinese BBQ pork, char siu sauce, soy sauce, sugar and water. Mix well and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Then stir through the cornflour mixture. Simmer for a further minute or until the filling is very thick. Remove from heat and spread the mixture out on a tray. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes to cool down.
Take the dough and on a floured surface, roll into out into a rough rectangle, then fold the dough in half and roll out again. Repeat another 2 times. Then roll up into a cylinder and cut the dough into 16 pieces (the sides will have a spiral pattern due to the folding). Flatten a piece of dough with your palm. Then use a rolling pin to roll the edges so that they are thinner than the centre of the dough disc (similar to dumpling wrapper). Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Take a disc of dough and place 2 heaped tablespoons of filling in the centre. Pleat the dough edges up and around the filling to completely enclose. Place the bun on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 1 hour in a warm place.
Place the buns in a steamer and cook over boiling water for 10 minutes or until the dough is fluffy and cooked through.
– Char siu sauce is a type of Chinese BBQ sauce that can be found at any Asian grocery store.
– Hong Kong or Pau Flour has a similar protein content as cake flour but it is bleached and milled very fine. So if you want super white buns, then go for that. But cake flour has a little more flavour and is still bleached…just not as much as the Pau flour. Protein content directly influences how much gluten can be formed. The lower protein means less gluten forms and this makes the buns tender and fluffy.