Friday, January 3, 2014

Jing Char Siu Bau -- Steamed Pork Buns (Part 3 of 4)

Welcome to Part 3:  The Dough

This stage of the preparation has fewer ingredients and is really quite simple to do.  The main planning part is to let it rest for an hour before you use it to make the buns (see Part 4).  Schedule time to both make the dough and make the buns on the same day.

Steamed Bun Dough (see page 62 of The Dim Sum Book by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo)

2 1/4 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
3 ounces milk
1 1/2 ounces water
2 tablespoons lard (I used vegetable shortening)
Barely any ingredients!
1. Mix flour, baking powder, and sugar together on work surface (I used a large bowl); then make a well in the middle.

2. Add milk gradually and with fingers (I used a big spoon) combine it with flour mixture.

3. After milk has been absorbed, add water and with fingers continue to work the dough.

4. Add lard, and, again with fingers (I used fingers), continue to work dough.

5.  Using a dough scraper, gather the dough with one hand and begin kneading with the other hand.

6. Knead for 12 to 15 minutes.  If the dough is dry, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time and continue to knead, until the dough becomes elastic.  If the dough is wet, sprinkle a bit of flour on the work surface and on your hands and continue working.

7. When dough is elastic, cover with moderately damp cloth and allow dough to rest for about 1 hour.

And now to rest; perchance to dream
 This dough must be used within 1 to 2 hours of the time it has been made.  It cannot be frozen.

My Notes

In all seriousness:  Follow these directions and all will turn out well.  It won't take long, either.  You'll know the dough is elastic if you can pinch a part and pull it, and it stretches into a sheet instead of breaking. Note that the dough sits on the counter while it is resting, not in the refrigerator.

While the dough is resting, prepare for making the buns by setting up your steaming area and preparing to roll the dough.  I would cut 16 pieces of wax paper at about 2.5 by 2.5 inches, too.

The Verdict

This is so very easy.  I piled the flour mixture in a big bowl so it wouldn't scatter all over while I worked it.  I used a spoon to mix in the liquids so my hand didn't get all gooey.  I used my hand to mix in the shortening because the dough was too thick for the spoon, but it wasn't all that sticky by then.

Kneading is easy because it is not a large quantity.  Just fold the dough over on itself and push the halves together, then rotate the dough, and start again.

Tomorrow's post will show you how to put it all together.

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