Cha Siu Bao (Pork-filled Buns)

May 17, 2020

Ingredients

Pork Filling:

  • 2 cups chopped cha siu
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 2 tbs hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Tangzhong:

  • 20g bread flour
  • 27g water
  • 60g whole milk

Dough:

  • 320g bread flour
  • 9g active dry yeast
  • 3g fine sea salt
  • 120g whole milk
  • 56g granulated sugar
  • 42g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 whole egg, room temperature

Egg wash

  • 1 whole egg, room temp
  • splash of milk

Method

Pork filling:

Mince 2 shallots, finely diced. Throw in oiled saucepan and cook for 5 min. While it's cooking, Combine 2 tbs oyster sauce, 2 tbs hoisin sauce, 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp corn starch in a small bowl and mix well. Once shallots are toasted, add 2 cups chopped cha sui and brown for 2-3 min. Pour in mixture and turn heat up to medium-high until it starts to bubble.

Tangzhong

Heat 20g bread flour, 27g water, & 60g whole milk over medium heat in a small pan. Whisk continously as it cooks until it's a thick paste. You'll know it's ready when you run a spatula down the pan and line holds. Remove from heat & let cool.

Dough

Combine cooled tangzhong, 320g bread flour, 9g active dry yeast, 3g fine sea salt, 120g whole milk, 56g granulated sugar, 1 whole egg (room temperature) in stand mixer. Mix with dough hook attachment on low until ingredients are mixed and no dry spots are left. Then knead on low for 5 minutes.

Add 42g unsalted butter, softened in small portions, about 10g at a time. Knead on medium for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and passes the window pane test.

Proof the dough in a lightly oiled bowl for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours until doubled in size. At the end of proofing, it should pass the poke test.

Shaping

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Divide the dough into 9 pieces. Shape them into balls and place them onto a sheet tray, with 1 inch space between. Put sheet in fridge for 10 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to shape and wrap.

Flatten dough ball into a circle with rolling pin, making sure the edges are thinner than the center. Scoop 1 tbs of pork filling onto the center of the dough. Imagine your circle dough is an analog clock. Fold the 12 and 6 o'clock edges to meet and pinch together. Repeat with 9 and 3 o'clock. Then 11 and 5, and 1 and 7. Pinch all edges together to seal all seams. Make sure the bun is sealed so the filling doesn't leak out during the bake.

Repeat with all the dough balls. Then place filled and sealed dough balls seam side down with 1 inch space between.

Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash (1 whole egg, room temp, splash of milk) right before putting them in the oven. It'll give then a nice shine.

Bake for 25-30 at 350°F min until the tops are golden brown. Let cool for 30 minutes to prevent spilling hot liquid on yourself. Let cool 15 minutes if you really can't wait.