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How To Make Bao Buns

If you’ve ever wondered what’s in these bad boys, well, nothing bad at all really – only a tiny bit of sugar! These homemade bao buns are fluffy, light and easier than you think to make. You can even make them up to a day ahead and then steam them before serving. So good!


How To Make Bao Buns

10 minutes
45 minutes + 2 hours proving
Makes about 14

360g (12.6oz) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

20g (0.7oz) skim-milk powder

4g (0.14oz) baking powder

5g (0.17oz) instant dry yeast

35g (1.23oz) white sugar

35g (1.23oz) vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing the dough

200g (7.05oz) warm water

14 squares of baking paper (about 10x10cm/4x4inches)

  • Step 1

    Place flour, milk powder, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the vegetable oil and water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the liquids. Stir with a spoon and then use your hands to knead until the dough comes together. Empty out onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth, adding extra flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough sticks to the palm of your hand. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover and rest in a warm place for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

  • Step 2

    Once risen, transfer the dough to a work surface and dust with flour. ‘Punch down’ the dough by kneading it for 5 to 10 minutes. The aim here is to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1cm thick. Dip your fingers in vegetable oil and lightly spread the oil over the surface of the dough. Then use an 8cm diameter pastry cutter (or a plastic cup of the same diameter) to cut out rounds. Remove the excess dough. Fold rounds in half and flatten slightly with the rolling pin. Place on a square of baking paper and place directly into a large bamboo steamer or onto a tray. Repeat with remaining dough (excess dough can be re-rolled and used). Cover the folded rounds and set aside to prove for 30 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Fill a wok one-third full with water and place over high heat. When the water is boiling, place the bamboo steamer over the wok and steam buns for 12 minutes. Then turn off the heat (don’t lift the lid) and allow the buns to rest over the hot water for 5 minutes. Buns can be made up to a day in advance and steamed to re-heat before serving.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 18 reviews)
Very good0%

These are amazing every time

March 26, 2024

These bao are a bit of work but they get easier each time. I usecthe Thermie to knead and they always turn out shiny, fluffy and delicious.

I would not bother with any other recipe.

Avatar for Tara R
Tara R

the best!

January 24, 2024

I’ve ordered these many times in restaurants and finally decided to see if I could make my own. I’m amazed at how easy it was. They came out light and fluffy and oh so yummy. We filled them with smoked pork belly that was tossed in char sui sauce and siracha. Topped it all with bahn mi pickled veggies and fresh cilantro. Holy smokes- better than any restaurant! Thank you, thank you!!

Avatar for Janet


January 22, 2024

It was my first time cooking this and they turned ou perfect!! Thank you so much:)

Avatar for Fiona

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