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Unread 04-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
landarc
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Default The Bao-wich

I have struggled with getting a bao (think pork buns here) dough I was satisfied with, at the same time, I have not found a cheap white bun recipe for home use that I liked. This cook may have solved both problems. I made pan-fried bao, steamed bao and a toasted bao, all with one dough and excellent results. From my blog, but, no reason to go there.

For some time, I have been fussing around with bread dough, trying to come up with a suitable bun for pulled pork and other BBQ-type sandwiches. I have made many good bread rolls, but, I am wanting the soft white bun quality that a good BBQ pork sandwich has, but, not having to buy it from the store.

As I was munching on some Pork Belly Bao, it struck me that this might be something to try making, this time starting with a few recipes from other cooks, whose Asian cooking chops are well known, primarily, I would rely on Andrea Nguyen and her book Asian Dumplings, then riff wildly off of that. I ended up making some chicken and mushroom bao, which tasted great. Which, along with some leftover slaw, gave me a test bed idea. This idea.

Yes, a Bao-wich

I had a leftover chicken mushroom bao, which was mostly a steamed bread dough, around some slow braised after roasting chicken and shiitake mushrooms, along with ginger, onion, garlic and carrots. The bao was given a toast to warm up, then split and piled with some Asian inspired slaw. The bao bun was terrific. Soft, pillowy and had a great texture. I have a new plan. This was an excellent bao dough as well, even though I over-steamed a couple, these did not shrink or tighten, they kept their smooth shape. A winner so far.

Bao Dough:
1/8 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup milk
3/8 cup water
1 tablespoon yeast


1. Combine and heat water and milk to 110F.
2. Add syrup and mix. Add yeast and allow to sit for 20 minutes to proof.

1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon fat (I used palm shortening, you could also use lard, bacon grease etc...FAT)

3. Combine dry ingredients, work fat into the flour completely.
4. Combine liquids with dry ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Knead in bowl for 5 minutes, dough may appear a little rough still.
6. Oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, rest for 2 hours.
7. Remove from bowl, knead for 2 minutes, dough will become smooth and stiff.
8. For bao, or other bread shape, I plan on doing buns next time.

This dough comes out feeling quite stiff, but, it remains very workable. It steams beautifully, and my plan, is to steam them for 12 minutes, then toast them in a 350F oven for color and texture.
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Unread 04-02-2013, 10:55 PM   #2
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Bob that looks very interesting and worth a try. You bring the Bao buns and I'll provide the pastrami, lox, bacon, whatever...
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:06 PM   #3
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That sounds like a plan
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Is your Avatar saying "Bob's got back"?
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
landarc
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Not anymore, I took Vinny to say my last avatar was not family friendly enough, so I changed it. I got boxes now
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Unread 04-02-2013, 11:45 PM   #6
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I am coming to the party too and I will bring these. Freshly baked whenever I want a serious hotdog, which is all the time.....

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Unread 04-03-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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Thank you for the back dough recipe. I suddenly have a hankering for pulled pork baos.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 01:08 AM   #8
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One thing I forgot in the post. Once formed, they need to proof for one hour. Then steam
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Unread 04-03-2013, 01:51 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing the recipe Bob! I've been meaning to search for a good bao dough recipe for char-siu bao or pulled pork bao.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 06:04 AM   #10
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Would you mind showing your setup for steaming?
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Unread 04-03-2013, 06:15 AM   #11
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I have no photos of my steaming, but, I am using a simple Black and Decker electric steamer. Largely because I broke my bamboo one some years back. I like to put a layer of coarse shredded lettuce lining the bottom. In a bamboo steamer, I use whole lettuce leaves. With a bamboo steamer, I just set it on a wok with water in it.
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Unread 04-03-2013, 06:50 AM   #12
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A very interesting post, landarc - thank you for posting. Could you specify roughly the size of the bao you're forming?
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Unread 04-03-2013, 07:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
One thing I forgot in the post. Once formed, they need to proof for one hour. Then steam
Wait. Do you eat them, drink them, or read them?
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:02 AM   #14
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Nice bun Onii-Chan!
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Unread 04-03-2013, 08:05 AM   #15
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Very nice, Bob! One day I will try this.

You should take a bao...
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