525g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1½ tbsp caster sugar, plus a pinch
½ tsp salt
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp baking powder
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, caster sugar and salt.
- Dissolve the yeast with a pinch of sugar in one tablespoon of warm water. Set aside for two minutes, then add to the flour along with the milk, vegetable oil, rice vinegar and 200ml water. Mix into a dough, adding a little extra water if needed.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for two hours or until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface and knock back, pushing any air out. Flatten the dough out, then sprinkle over the baking powder and knead for five minutes.
- Roll out the dough into a long sausage shape, about 3cm thick, then cut into 20 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball and set aside to rest for 2-3 minutes. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- Roll out each ball, one by one, into an oval shape around 3mm thick. Brush with oil. Lightly oil a chopstick.
- One at a time, place the oiled chopstick in the centre of each piece of dough. Fold the dough over the chopstick, then slowly pull out the chopstick. Place the buns on the prepared baking trays.
- Cover with a clean tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
- If you don’t have a steamer, scrunch up three large sheets of tin foil to form three tight balls of equal size. Place in the bottom of a large pot or wok. Set a small heatproof plate on top. Carefully pour about 2cm of boiling water into the bottom of the pot. Place one batch of bao buns on the plate and place the pot over a high heat. Cover with a lid and steam for 8-10 minutes or until the buns are puffed up. Continue with the remaining batches.
- Gently open out each bun and add your favourite fillings.
Per Bao: 109kcals, 1g fat (0.2g saturated), 21.6g carbs(1.4g sugars), 2.9g protein, 0.8g fibre, 0.06g sodium