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Bao buns (steamed buns)

very easy
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
12 mins
18 buns


4 cups
unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tbsp.
3 tbsp.
skimmed milk powder
1 tbsp.
instant yeast
1/2 tsp.
baking powder
1/2 tsp.
baking soda
2 tsp.
1 1/2 cups
1 tbsp.
vegetable oil (plus a bit more for basting)


Step 1
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the water and oil. Combine until mixture forms a ball. Knead for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.
Step 2
Shape the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Turn the ball to ensure it is thoroughly coated with oil. Cover with a humid cloth and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
Step 3
On a floured work surface, divide the dough into 18 balls. Using a rolling pin, flatten each ball into an oval shape. Using a pastry brush, baste the dough with a bit of oil.
Step 4
Fold the dough onto itself to form a half-moon. Place each half-moon on a small piece of parchment paper and place on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step 5
Put a bit of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Place a bamboo steam basket over the pot. Place a few buns, still on their parchment paper, into the basket, lower the heat to medium, cover, and steam-cook for approximately 12 minutes. Repeat until all the buns are cooked.