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Mini Bao (小蒸包)

Category: Bao or Bun
Region: Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water (warm)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

  • Proof the yeast by combining it with 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let the mixture sit for about two minutes or until bubbles appear on top.
  • Combine the yeast mixture with the flour and the rest of the ingredients. The dough will be slightly sticky. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth. This may take about five to eight minutes.
  • Put the dough in a bowl, greased with vegetable oil, that is big enough to accommodate twice the size of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and prick a few small holes in it. Let the dough rise for about one and a half hours or until the dough has doubled.
  • Roll the dough out into large square on a floured surface. Cut into small rounds using a cookie cutter. Repeat the rolling and cutting with the remnant dough until it is all used up. Place the rounds on a floured baking tray and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • Line a steamer with greased parchment paper. Arrange the dough rounds in the steamer and steam over slowly boiling water for 8 minutes.