My boys and I love steamed buns with red bean paste filling very much. I usually make this steamed bun in bulk and keep extra in the freezer. This round, I decided to make some cute ones after inspired by some bloggers.
Actually, the dough was adapted from char siew pau dough recipe. Filling was ready-made red bean paste bought from bakery supplies shop. For small buns like this, I used about 25g of filling for each bun. If you are making bigger size, says 12 bus with this recipe, perhaps you may want to use more filling.
Ingredients (makes 14 buns):
7g instant dry yeast
170ml lukewarm water
½ tsp white vinegar or lemon juice
280g low-protein flour aka hong kong flour
100g wheat starch
90g icing sugar
30g shortening or vegetable oil
10g baking powder
Food colouring (I used liquid type)
Cocoa Powder (I used 100% cocoa)
350g red bean paste, divided and shaped into 14 balls
- Sift together flours and icing sugar. Place sifted flour mixture in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Fill well with lukewarm water, vinegar and yeast. Use a spatula, gently stir the water to dissolve the yeast then slowly bring together flour mixture.
- Add in shortening or oil and knead for 10-15 minutes until soft dough is formed. It should be smooth on the surface.
- Cover dough with damp cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size. I used bread maker’s dough mode to prepare my dough up to this step.
- Dissolve baking powder in cold water, sprinkle over dough and knead until well combined. Divide dough into 16 equal portions. Use 2 portions for decoration, add and mix in food colouring as desired. Set aside.
- To make bun, flatten a white dough with a rolling pin to make a 3” circle. Then place filling in the middle, wrap and pinch the dough to seal. Place it on a 1.5” square parchment paper, seal side down. Repeat this step for the rest of bun.
- Roll coloured doughs into desired thickness, cut out ears, eyes and etc. Lightly brush the part to be stick on the bun with water, then stick in on the bun. If possible, decorate all buns within 10 minutes after wrapping in filling.
- Arrange buns into a steamer, leave about 1” gab in between buns. Spray water mist over buns, and steam in a preheated steamer on high heat for 10 minutes. Remove buns from steamer and cool on rack to prevent soggy bottom.
This steamed bun recipe does not required long proofing/resting time, the max I would set at 10 minutes. I was unable to finish all decoration within 10 minutes because of my busy buzzy boys. As a result, the texture was not as fine and smooth as it should be.
These are cutters for cookie and obento I used for those buns. I think my panda's ears were too pointed, I should have used something rounder like bear's cutter. Almost forgot, a pair of scissors will come in handy.I made leftover coloured dough into a plain steamed bun (mantou - 馒头), it was surprisingly good - smooth surface, fine texture and peel-able "skin". I think I have mastered the technique of making mantou.