How can I Make Baozi?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 02 February 2020
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Baozi are Chinese steamed buns which are commonly on offer at dim sum parlors and some Chinese restaurants. Many people are quite fond of this Chinese treat, which can come in a range of flavors, and they are fortunately quite easy to make at home. Thanks to the diversity of fillings and sauces which can be used with baozi, it is usually possible to make something to everyone's taste, and this dish can be a big hit at potlucks and dinner parties.

There are two steps to making baozi: creating the dough, and making the filling. In some cases, these buns are simply steamed as-is, without any filling, but they can also be stuffed with things like red bean paste, mushrooms, vegetable mixes, chicken, barbecued pork, lotus flowers, and an assortment of other ingredients. Depending on the filling, baozi may be savory, or sweet, and they can be dressed with chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a variety of other ingredients to taste.


To make the dough for baozi, start by proofing a package of yeast in a half cup of warm water with two tablespoons of sugar. When the yeast has foamed up, add one cup of warm water and a half teaspoon of salt, and whisk briskly to blend. For sweet dessert baozi, you can add another tablespoon of sugar. Next, add four cups of flour, one at a time, beating well as you do so. You may need to add slightly more or slightly less flour; the goal is to create a cohesive ball of dough.

Once the dough is made, it needs to be kneaded on a floured board or counter until it is smooth, which takes around 15 minutes, and then it should be allowed to rise, covered by a damp towel, for an hour or until it has doubled in bulk. While the dough is rising, you can prepare the filling. If you're using something like ground bean paste or prepared candied lotuses, the filling doesn't require that much work, obviously, so you only need to set out the package. For things like chicken and barbecued pork, the filling will need to be cooked; many Chinese markets sell already cooked meats which can be used for this purpose, or you can make your own ahead of time. Vegetables like bok choy, water chestnuts, carrots, mushrooms, and anything else you might imagine need only to be chopped and lightly seasoned, as they will cook through when the baozi are steamed.

After the baozi dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and push it into the shape of a disc. Sprinkle one teaspoon of baking powder on the dough and knead it again until smooth, before cutting it into 12 equal chunks. Cover the chunks with a damp towel while you work so that they do not dry out.

To make an individual stuffed bun, take a chunk of dough and compress it into a disc which is slightly thicker in the middle. Cup the disc in your hand, and press a spoonful of filling into the center. Using your other hand, bring the edges of the disc together and twist them to seal the bun, and then set it on a piece of parchment paper. Continue this process until all of the buns are made, and then set them out to rise for one hour, covered with a damp towel.

Once the baozi have risen, steam them for 10-20 minutes, depending on their size; you may want to cut one open and test it. The finished steamed buns can be served immediately, refrigerated for a few days, or frozen, depending on your needs; to reheat, just steam the baozi again.


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