Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Making BAO Filled with Pork and Vegetables

This is one of the few more fun preparing Chinese BAO filled with Pork and Vegetables.

DOUGH:     (doubled)
2 Cups Bob's Red Mill Pastry Flour   -  times 2 to make double:  4 C
1 Cup All Purpose unbleached unbromated flour  - times 2 make double:  2 C
1/4 Tbsp Kosher Salt - or 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt for double
1/2 Tbsp  Fast Rising Yeast - 1 Tbsp
1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder - 2 Tbsp
Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a medium size mixing bowl - just use a whisk.
Warm 2 Cups of tap water.
Add 1 C warm water to mix dough with chopsticks or ladle, etc.
Make into a shaggy dough.
Add 1 Tbsp of Organic Avocado Oil
Add 1/2 C more water onto dry flour at the bottom of the bowl.
Keep mixing.
Add warm water 1 Tbsp at a time at this point until all dry flour is gone.
Start mixing by hand.
The dough should be soft.  Transfer to work surface.
Knead for 2 minutes until a good ball is formed.
Place in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover with plastic and let rise until double in size.

Prepare filling:
Ground pork - I found black pig ground pork
I had close to 540 g of ground pork
Chopped any vegetables you like.
I used Nappa Cabbage - sliced into wedges small enough to go through food processor
1/2 a cabbage   sliced into wedges small enough to go through food processor
Half of Large bunch Cilantro - washed and chopped
Food process the vegetables and squeeze all the juice out (discard juice)
Mix shredded vegetables with:
3 Tbsp Organic Less Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
3 Tbsp Oyster sauce
6 Tbsp Sesame seed oil
1 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp Potato starch
Add ground pork and mix well but not so much that you end up with tough mixture.  Do the gentle folding motion.

Roll out the dough onto work surface.  Form into a long rope and divide into workable size.  
Portion the dough - I had 9 - 60 g/ea dough for large BAO -  and 12 - 56 g/ea for nice satisfying size BAO.   
Form into round ball - Tuck ends and extra dough during weighing and round the dough with the palm of your hand.
Keep them covered or use a cake pan with cover while you are working to fill the first dough with meat filling.
Prepare Steamer basket and start boiling water.
Prepare BAO Skin: 
Roll out the dough. Thinner on the outer edge.  Because you will be folding the edges together, it will even out.  Leave center thicker.   You need to have done this several times already to what is the best thickness.  The way you will be folding and pulling the dough will result in different thickness.  TIP:  You could try with a couple of them them first and let rise covered for 15 min then, steam them first to see the result.
I used Italian Mean Baller for quantity control.   It worked out very well with 60 g and 56g size dough skin
I thought it was too much meat filling, but it turned out A-Okay.
Pinch close with thumb with index finger curled inward.  Pinch the top by gathering the succeeding skin next to your index finger.   Pinch close the end with a twirl.  Place a cut parchment paper under it.  Cheese cloth spread over the bottom of the steam would work also, but I prefer parchment paper (organic parchment paper is even better).

I decided to use my bamboo steamer.  It absorbs the steam droplets better without dripping and wetting the BAO.
I steamed one basket layer at a time.    While one basket is steaming, prepare the 2nd basketful.  Keep the BAO covered with plastic while waiting.
Steam at high.      Steam for 20 minutes (for these sizes)  - done!  
Remove the basket over a cookie sheet.  Prop one end on the rim.
Wait for few second.  Remove the lid and transfer the Bao to cooling rack.

Perfect for my own effort.  Yum!

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