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Steamed Bao/Baozi - Chinese Sausage and Scallion

Updated: Mar 14, 2021

I think this is our favorite savory bao. I made this one up for my family. The inspiration came from Chinese sausage baos from Chinatown. The green onions add flavor and texture balancing the fat in the sausage. Best right out of the steamer, these steamed baos are perfect for snacking or a quick breakfast!



When done just right the steamed bread has a fluffy, and slightly chewy texture and you can NEVER go wrong with anything with Chinese sausage in it.

We like to twist and coil this bao to show off the pretty red and green filling.

Steamed Chinese Sausage and Scallion Baos/Baozi


Ingredients (makes 15)


Dough

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 cups all purpose unbleached flour (or bleached all purpose flour for whiter dough)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup warm water

1 Tablespoon butter, cut into small cubes

1/2 teaspoon baking powder (be careful NOT to use baking soda by mistake)


Filling

5 Chinese sausages, chopped small

6 stalks of green onions, finely chopped


Equipment

small wooden rolling pin

parchment paper

steamer


Directions

I like to give the yeast a little head start. In a small bowl add the yeast, 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water (110°F is best but don't go hotter - should feel warm on the back of your hand). Let sit to start blooming while you get your other ingredients together.


In a large mixing bowl, add flour, milk, other 1/4 cup of warm water, butter and baking powder. Stir with a silicone spatula or in the bowl of a mixer using the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture, which should now be slightly bubbly. Mix with spatula or paddle attachment until you get a shaggy looking dough. Then switch to kneading by hand or using the dough hook. Knead for 8-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it feels dry and dense, add a tablespoon of water at a time and wait till incorporated before adding more if needed. Dough should feel soft like play dough. If it looks too wet continue to knead a couple minutes to give the flour a chance to absorb the extra moisture. If still wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to incorporate.



When the dough is ready, gather into a smooth ball and place in a greased bowl. Spray top lightly with a cooking spray and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Place in a warm dark place like your oven (but don't turn on your oven!). Let sit to proof until doubled in size (1 hour).


After 1 hour, remove dough, punch down and knead gently back into a ball. Now it's ready to divide and shape as you wish! Use your thumb to poke a hole in the middle of the ball to form a doughnut shape and gently pull and stretch the "doughnut" until you get a consistent thickness. Cut the doughnut and gently roll the log on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 15 equal pieces. If you want to be exact, use a kitchen scale. Dough should weigh about 800 g, so each piece should weigh about 53 g. Cover cut pieces with a damp cloth.


Working with one piece at at time take one piece and place on lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your rolling pin. Roll firmly to get an oval shape about 2 1/2" wide by about 6" long.

Divide the chopped Chinese sausage into 15 portions. Fill the bao with one portion of sausage and a tablespoon of green onions. Bring up the edges, along the long sides, and pinch to close. Start on one end and while twisting the log, curl it around in a spiral like a snail shell. Don't worry if some of the filling starts to poke out.


Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and cover with a damp towel to rest while you fill, twist and roll the rest. Get water boiling in a steamer. Steam for 10-12 minutes, leaving at least 1" between each bao as they will expand. Enjoy!!





Pro tip: If you are making multiple batches (doubling or tripling this recipe) you will need to increase the amount of water slightly to maintain the correct pliability of the dough. It should always feel like play dough that bounces back, not dense and dry and not sticky.


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