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Crispy Bottomed Baobies

Get ready for a Charles Boyle treat with these buns which satisfy all of your mouth feel desires. This recipe for pork buns is from Marion's Kitchen.

Prep time: 2 hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes: 10 buns

Ingredients Dough:

150g plain flour

35g white sugar

4.5g baking powder

3.5g instant yeast

75ml water

1tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients Filling:

250g pork mince

1/2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine (or rice wine vinegar)

1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2tbsp finely grated ginger

1/2 chicken stock cube

2tbsp water

1 1/2tbsp spring onion

1 1/2bsp finely chopped coriander

1/2 tsp salt

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of black/white pepper

Ingredients extra:

1 1/2tbsp of oil (for frying) Sesame seeds for topping

Soy or chilli sauce for dipping

1. Dough, a bao, a delicious bao

In a large bowl measure out your dry ingredients: 150g plain flour, 35g white sugar, 4.5g baking powder and 3.5g instant yeast. Give it a mix until all combined (gasp hack: chopsticks isn't just a harrowing childhood memory of a piano song, the utensil actually work really well as a mixing tool). Once mixed, add 75ml water and 1tbsp vegetable oil, mix again with your chopsticks until it becomes a rough, shaggy dough (it should start lamenting that 'it wasn't me', even though it is about to do it on the kitchen counter).

Pour the dough onto your work surface and knead for 10 minutes until it forms a smooth, temptingly slappable ball, it will looks slightly like a giant, grandaddy bao at this point.

Place in a large bowl and cover and rest for 1 hour.

2. Look Fill-it, I'm a bao

While your dough is resting make the filling. In a large bowl, simply mix together all of the filling ingredients: 250g pork mince,1/2 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine (or rice wine vinegar),1/2 tbsp soy sauce,1/2tbsp finely grated ginger,1/2 chicken stock cube, 2 tbsp water,1 1/2tbsp spring onion, 1 1/2bsp finely chopped coriander,1/2 tsp salt, pinch of sugar, pinch of black/white pepper. E, wala! as they say in America.

3. Get in baotch, we're going rolling

Now it's been an hour, flour your work surface and pop your post-restalism dough onto it. Roll into a rough rectangle, fold in half and then roll out into a rectangle again. Roll into a long sausagey cylinder, so it looks a snake on the run (or rather, on the slither).

Cut your escaping snake into 10 equal pieces.

Roll each dough piece into a 8cm diameter circle, then roll the edges out so that the dough is thinner at the edges and thicker in the middle (like you will be after these bao). Repeat with all of your dough baobies.

They may not be perfect circles, and end up looking like the BFG's ears, but don't worry, this will be fixed when you pleat your bao later.

5. Fill me up baottercup

Hold a dough round in the palm of your hand and place 2 tbsp on top. Pull the sides up and pleat over the filling to create a finished bao.

Place on a parchment lined tray and repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.

6. Cook one baotch at a time

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil to the pan and swirl the pan to coat it. Place the bao carefully down into the hot pan, pleat-side up, and cook until they have golden bottoms, like they've been sunning their little baotties for too long.

Pour in water so it goes half way up the buns and cover the pot, cook until the water is nearly all evaporated.

Remove the lid and leave those baod baoys to crisp for a couple of minutes.

Serve the bao with some sesame seeds sprinkled on top and some soy for dipping on the side.

Dink and sink your baobies!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: " I have probably mentioned on one of previous bao recipes that I am the Queen of Bao, however, I'm starting to realise that I am only the queen of eating bao, and maybe not the queen of making them. This was a very easy recipe and the instructions from Marion were very clear, but when it came to cooking the bao, I have to admit I messed up... I used a rusty old non-non-stick-pan and the crispy bottoms did not come away with my bao, instead ending up as sloppy, left-behind messes. I ended up with massive food envy of Kate's perfect bao and some tasty for the mouth, but not for the eye, bottomless bao myself.The filling was delightful, but the lack of crisp made these bao feel incomplete so it's a 9/10 from me! (It would be 10 if I had used a decent pan!!) "

Kate says: "Crispy bottom baos, boots with the fur, the whole club is looking at these tasty boys. These were so scrummy, and a perfect light dinner if you have the time to make the dough in advance. We halved the original recipe, but I forgot to half the oil for frying so they ended up being a bit more oily than crispy - but still delicious. Be careful when adding the water to the oil as it splashes everywhere.The filling is so yummy, but I should have stuffed more in to make them super juicy and plump. I feel like the next time I can ace this but with my own failings this time round I give this 8/10"

.../10 Gasps


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