I told you I don’t always cook like a raccoon raiding the trash.
Sometimes people be like, “Did she really make fresh bao?”
This week … wait for it … I MADE FRESH BAO!!! I made it with a vegan filling, but you can totally use meat. The recipe I saw said to cook half of it and mix it with the raw half before stuffing and steaming. I’d cook it all, me.
My filling was minced mushrooms, celery, onion, garlic, water chestnuts, and flavored with salt and Five Spice Powder.
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 Tb sugar
- 1/2 Tb oil
- 2/3 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
Yeah, I cut this down from a recipe that made 12-14 bao. To do the whole recipe, double everything but the flour: The Tasting Table called for 1 1/4 cups “plus more if needed.” I started out with 1/2 cup plus a bit, and had to add and add and add to make a workable dough.
ANYWAY, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the water, stirring with a fork until you need to get your paws into it. Add flour as needed and work it in until the dough is smooth and not very sticky. Cover it and let it rise for two hours or until doubled.
Squish it down. Poke a hole in the middle and work around the circle until you have a loop with the dough being about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. This method makes sure you don’t have thick bits and skinny ends. Kewl!
Cut the dough into about 6 pieces (or 12-14, if you’re doing the original recipe). Roll each piece into a circle … Well, just watch this.
So here’s my wrapper:
And here are my filled bao in a jury-rigged steamer:
Alas! My jury-rigged steamer didn’t leave enough room for the heat to circulate, and the tops didn’t get done. But I popped those babies in the toaster oven at 350F for 10 minutes the next day and finished them off. They were delicious!
Next time, I’ll bake ’em to begin with (20 minutes from totally raw to finished). Or buy me a couple of steamer add-ons for my Instant Pot.
I’m posting at Fatal Foodies today about the potato chips I made at home.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about something with pleats.