Comfort food: Extra fluffy Bánh bao (aka Vietnamese Steamed buns) with non-sticky dough recipe
Yay! Friday was the last day of school before the beginning of Easter vacation and I can say that it was a really good start, because my mom and me were making one of my absolute favorite dishes ever: my beloved BÁNH BAO !!!
Really, it was love at first bite and somehow I have always considered Bánh bao as some kind of comfort food, since I could only enjoy these tasty dumplings about twice a year and actually this matter of fact hasn’t changed. We only make them for special occasions like this time for Easter as a gift for our former neighbors ( that I have mentioned in the Party Sandwich Loaf post before ) and for some other acquaintances.
In fact, these delicacies are of Chinese origin as well like the Bánh chay in my previous post and were brought to Vietnam a long time ago. Usually, the savoury filling consists of ground pork, mushrooms, cellophane noodles, Chinese sausage (Lap xuong) and a portion of hard-boiled eggs. In the past, it was my aunt who made them from scratch and that actually didn’t happen very often, because the process was a bit time-consuming. But one day, she gave my mother the recipe, so that we could try to make them on our own and over the course of time she changed the recipe and finally ended up with this result which you can see below.
At first, when we were still unexperienced, the dough used to be very sticky and we were always forced to use a lot of dusting flour, but with this recipe I am going to share with you later, that will definitely not be the case anymore. On top of that we decided to omit some ingredients of the filling due to the fact that Chinese sausages are quite expensive here and to be honest, I have never liked hard-boiled eggs before. But I promise, this filling still tastes great ;)
To sum up, we managed to make exactly 37 buns out of more than 2 kg of wheat flour and 1 kg of ground pork, but unfortunately there are only 12 pieces left for our family to eat :( Well, then I can only wait for the next holidays to come so that I will be able to enjoy them one more time ^^ . And I hope you will do as well with the help of the recipe given below.
Ingredients: (for about 37 buns)
For the dough:
2250 gr wheat flour (type 405)
1 litre skim milk
400 gr sugar
1 package vanillin sugar
2 packages (14 gr) instant dry yeast
2 packages (34 gr) baking powder (we used the ones including cream of tartar)
For the filling:
1 kg ground pork
800 gr carrots (shredded in fine stripes)
2 big onions (diced)
100 gr dried Mu-Err and Shiitake mushrooms (soaked in hot water for 1 hour, chopped in little pieces)
5 tbsp fish sauce
5 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp pepper
Parchment paper cut into 40 10x10cm/4″x4″ squares
10 litre bucket with a lid
For the dough:
- Combine wheat flour with yeast, baking powder, sugar and vanillin sugar in a 10 litre bucket.
- Pour milk in a little pot and heat to about 40 degrees and make sure to not let it boil.
- Add milk to the flour mixture and knead it to a smooth dough.
- Close the bucket with the lid or take a cheesecloth to cover it and put it in a closed, off-state oven (or another warm place) to let it rise for at least 4 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
- Combine all ingredients in a non-stick pot and cook until everything is done.
- Let completely cool down before using.
- Take your dough out of the oven.
- Take a piece of dough (a little bit bigger than an egg) and flatten it out thinly.
- Put about 2 tbsp full of the filling in the middle of the dough and gather up the edges and pinch them firmly together to seal, then turn the bun over and place on a square of parchment paper. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming. Continue until there is no dough left anymore.
- Prepare the steamer and put as much Bánh bao in your steamer as you can and steam for about 25-30 mins.
- Enjoy while they are still hot.