Saturday, 25 January 2014

WFT?!: Steamed Custard Bao

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Bao or you may know them as 'pao' or 'bun' is the new street food trend in Melbourne.  With places like Wonderbao being a such a big hit as well as baos being a regular feature on the yum cha menu.  

I am particularly partial to a steamed custard bao (Lai Wong Bao).  Anything featuring custard is wonderful in my world.  However I find the custard bao at yum cha or even the ones you buy frozen in the Chinese grocery stores a bit too sweet.  So I tried my hand at making my own and I was quite proud of the way they turned out, bearing in mind I am not a professional chef.  

Just out of the steamer

Custardy interior

I have a steamer oven which makes life so much more easier as I don't have to fiddle around with balancing bamboo steamers over hot boiling water on the stove top.  I also took Jamie Oliver's tip of putting the baos in individual paper muffin patty cases.  This is so that they don't stick to your plate when cooking and it also guides the dough so that it rises up instead of growing sideways into flat discs.  

I have a stock standard dough recipe which I dredged up for this and I used hkjenn's recipe for the custard filling.  
Custard filling - could eat this on its own.  
Bao dough recipe:

  • 3 tablespoons of raw sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1.5 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 1/4 cup of strong plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • Place sugar, yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let stand until yeast is foamy (approx 10 minutes
  • Sift flour into large bowl and add yeast mixture and oil.  Mix with spoon to combine then tip out on floured surface to knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  
  • Place dough in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel.  Leave to proof for at least 3 hours.  
  • Uncover the dough and punch it down.  Knead again for a few minutes.  
  • Sprinkle baking powder onto the dough and knead it for several minutes until it is evenly incorporated.  
Custard Filling (I doubled hkjenn's recipe and had a little left over for me to eat on its own)

  • 20g of custard powder
  • 100g of wheat starch
  • 200ml of milk
  • 100g of butter
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 90g of caster sugar
  • Combine custard powder, wheat starch and caster sugar in non stick pot.
  • Add milk and stir over a low heat until mixed.  Then add butter
  • Let butter melt over the low heat and stir in beaten eggs.  
  • Keep stirring until thickened then turn off heat.  
To assemble baos:
  • Divide dough into 12 even balls then roll out into discs.
  • Add custard filling in the middle and pinch to seal.  I put the seal side down into the muffin patty cases.
  • Put into steamer oven or into a traditional steamer for 10 - 15 minutes.  
Chow down.  

Until next time,
Nom Seeker, Glutt

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