About this recipe:Have you read about them and wondered how to make 'Hom Baos'? Follow this recipe carefully and you will be rewarded with comforting, fluffy and tasty Chinese steamed buns. Fill them or dip them into sauces, you'll love them both ways!
Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 4 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.
Mix in 110ml warm water, 200g flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up. Put each ball on small greaseproof paper squares. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.
Bring water to a boil in an idli steamer or pressure cooker or deep pan, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the pan. Transfer as many buns, still on greaseproof paper, as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate, leaving 2 to 5cm (1 to 2 in) between the buns. At least 5cm space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes. Ensure that water does not come in contact with the buns.
REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto the bun surface and produce yellowish blisters. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked.
You can fill the buns with most anything you like, including shredded meat or chopped veggies for a vegetarian dish.