by Neil Clifton
"It's like eating clouds" My eldest daughter declared when she tried her first Bao - they are dead simple to make, you can freeze the dough and they are best stuffed with any left overs you have - roast chicken, pork or beef, any kind of veg - always make more than you think you will eat - they don't last long in our house.
250 g warm water
60 g sugar
2 tsp dry yeast
520 g plain flour
60 g olive oil
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tbs baking powder
1. Combine water, sugar and yeast and mix for 15 seconds with a whisk. Then leave for 5 minutes to froth up.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a dough forms, then knead for 5 minutes.
3. Place in an oiled or floured bowl and leave for 1hr to prove.
4. Roll to about 5mm thick and cut with a cookie cutter, fold in half and place a torn oiled baking paper in between the top and bottom of the folded bao.
5. Steam the bao, either in a colander above a simmering pan of water or a chinese style steaming basket for circa 30 mins.
6. Remove and allow to cool (if you want) and stuff with your favourite filling.
HINTS & TRICKS
The dough will stick so make sure you have plenty of lubricant and baking sheet when you fold the bao. They are awesome with any stuffing, my favourite is beef rib.