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!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Home Testing Honey Tsa Sao Bao - Chinese Honey BBQ Pork Buns - 3 Cups Flour Method

I am no sure where I got this recipe for the BBQ Pork Buns now.  It's been a while since I typed up the draft copy.
Try it and see.
The dough is mixture of medium strength flour.  Basically, the pastry flour.  In the Chinese cook book, it says, ZON ZONG FA MIEN - Medium gluten raised dough
This formula uses half the dough saved from previous product and half of the new product dough.  Basically a Preferment saved from the previous dough, then, half of the new dough are mixed together.     If you have no plan to make the Bao two days in a row or make something else the next day, just do the Preferment and on the next day cut the Dough recipe into half instead of 3 Cups, etc.

The dough is 1 time plus 1/2  (preferment - a day old)
Make - 12 BAO
Preferment dough - A day before.
1-1/2 Cups - Pastry Flour - Use only 2-1/2 Cup in a large mixing bowl.   Save 1/2 C aside for work surface.
1/2 Tbsp of Yeast
1/2 Tbsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of Sea Salt 
 Total of 1/2 C of warm water:  Mix all dry mixture with 1/3 Cup of warm water.  Add the rest as needed to form a soft dough.
Mix the flour into shaggy dough with chop sticks or large spatula or with your hand.  Knead for 2 min
Add more water a  bit at a time to form into a soft dough.
Place in lightly greased plastic bag. 
Place in refrigerator overnight.

Next Day -
DOUGH:  Enough to make preferment for next day's product.  Otherwise, cut the formula into half
 3 Cups - Pastry Flour - Use only 2-1/2 Cup in a large mixing bowl.   Save 1/2 C aside for work surface.
1 Tbsp of Yeast
1 Tbsp of sugar
1/2 tsp of Sea Salt
Mix 1 Cup of warm water, but save 1/4 C.
Mix the flour into shaggy dough with chop sticks or large spatula or with your hand.
Add more water a  bit at a time to form into a soft dough.

After making the new dough, combine the new and preferment dough.  Knead well - about 2 min.  Place in lightly greased plastic bag.   Rest in Refrigerator - at least for 30 minute.
Bring out the dough and divide them into 1/3 each.    Save 1/3 of the dough away in a plastic bag tightly and place in refrigerator for next day project.

To make MI ZXE TSA SAO BAO,   This is without using the purchased BBQ - Tsa Sao / Chia Xiu pork.
Add 1/3 C warm water in a medium bowl.
With hand shred the whole dough into golf ball size chunks.  Just shred into the water. 
Then, add 1-1/2 C Flour (Preferably Pastry Flour or the low gluten flour)
4 TB sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
Mix all together with Chop sticks.  The dough will look shaggy.
Then, take the dough out to the work surface - no flour on the work surface.
Add 2 TB Oil to the dough, then, start Kneading the dough until all oil is mixed in.
Your hand should not be sticky when the dough is nice and smooth and the dough would not stick to the work surface.  It means the dough is ready.
Cover and rest the dough for 5 minutes.

Prepare the filling:
Premix 1 TB flour, 2 TB Corn flour (corn starch), with 1/2 C water.  Set it aside.
Chop 1 medium onion
1/2 Kg Pork Loin - dice into small cubes

Add 3 TB Oil into a wok and stir fry onions and pork cubes.
 Stir fry till they are slightly browned and aromatic;
Add 2-3 TB Oyster Sauce; 3 TB Soy Sauce; 3 TB sugar. 
Add food color paste if you want, but I didn't; Beet juice is an alternative to make it red in color.
Add flour slur - cook till the meat mixture is thickened.

Cool and refrigerate.
Slice the dough into 12 pieces on floured work surface.
Roll the dough into THICK disc.  Thick in center, but "slightly" thinner at outer edge, but not 'thin".
Fill the dough.

Fan fold the dough, but Do Not Close the folded dough - Leave the opening at the top. 
Or close the dough and Invert the dough in the palm of your hand and roll the dough between the palms of your hand.  Place the bao on the cut parchment paper.   Using scissor, cut the top open - but not too big.
Steam for 12 min in High Heat.
Remove the steamer basket still with lid on from the steamer pot.  
Wait 1 minute.  Then, remove the lid off

The ones with crisscross opening did not open up like the ones purchased at the market or at the restaurant, but the formula turned out pretty good.   And I don't believe in those Snow White BAO you eat at the Dim Sum Gio Row - meaning at the restaurants that serves Dim Sum where Chia Xiu Bao's dough is 'Snow White'.  I don't care if you add liquid milk or powder milk, it is inconceivable without adding titanium.  Anyone succeeded in making a Snow White bun without additive, please show me.  I would like to test out the formula.

Here is an the original notes I took: 

Basic dough: 
Flour - 3 C
Sugar - 2 Tbsp
Yeast - 1-1/2 tsp
Water - 1-1/4 C

Oil - 1 Tbsp
Combine everything except oil.   Combine with chop sticks until water is absorbed; then add oil. Knead until smooth.  
Cover and proof for 25 to 30 min.  Place in oiled plastic bag and tightly close the bag and leave in refrigerator for 2 hours for low temp proofing method.  
For ZON ZONG FASHIAO FA - for Preferment method - divide the dough into two, and place each in oiled plastic bag, refrigerate for 4 hours or more in plastic bag.
Then for ZON ZONG MIEAN TWUAN:          MIEAN ZONG - 1 portion
Water - 1-1/4 C  - add only 1-1/8 C first and reserve 1/8 C and use it only if needed.
Sugar 2 Tbsp
Flour 3 C
Yeast - 1/2 tsp
Mix sugar and yeast into water.  Hand shred MIEAN ZONG and add pieces into the mixture.  Add flour, then mix with chopsticks.   Start kneading the dough until smooth.  
Cover and place in warm place for about 10 to 15 min.  Take 1/3 of the dough can be used for cold MIEAN ZONG.
Use the rest to make various type of pastries that requires ZON ZONG MIEAN TUWAN. 

Mid-Year Reflections on Home Made Food

Since I started on this blogging many years ago, I've tried several recipes from here and there, etc.   From time to time, I looked at my kitchen gadgets and wondered often why do I have so many of them.  Just recently, I was viewing the 10 things this and that you should know or avoid at YouTube sites.  And they reminded me why I have those gadgets and recipes and formulas when I could just go out and buy them.  It's because they got all these wierd additives and drivatives made from - "Surprise!", and I don't think none of us like those surprise I-Cysteine, dough conditioner, in our flour or in our baked goods.  What is I-Cysteine made from?  Check it yourself.  Then there is the Red food color... why I want to find a way to produce it from Beets, Cherries, etc. myself, instead of buying food made with food color or 'Carmine";  And those Vanilla flavored ice-cream made from Castoreum.   
So, again, I have to vamp up my energy and continue with my home cooking and not being lazy to give in.
(These are just some of the pics from the past years.  Hmm... Yum!!)