As I was munching on some Pork Belly Bao, it struck me that this might be something to try making, this time starting with a few recipes from other cooks, whose Asian cooking chops are well known, primarily, I would rely on Andrea Nguyen and her book Asian Dumplings, then riff wildly off of that. I ended up making some chicken and mushroom bao, which tasted great. Which, along with some leftover slaw, gave me a test bed idea. This idea.
Yes, a Bao-wich
I had a leftover chicken mushroom bao, which was mostly a steamed bread dough, around some slow braised after roasting chicken and shiitake mushrooms, along with ginger, onion, garlic and carrots. The bao was given a toast to warm up, then split and piled with some Asian inspired slaw. The bao bun was terrific. Soft, pillowy and had a great texture. I have a new plan. This was an excellent bao dough as well, even though I over-steamed a couple, these did not shrink or tighten, they kept their smooth shape. A winner so far.
1/8 cup agave syrup
1/2 cup milk
3/8 cup water
1 tablespoon yeast
1. Combine and heat water and milk to 110F.
2. Add syrup and mix. Add yeast and allow to sit for 20 minutes to proof.
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon fat (I used palm shortening, you could also use lard, bacon grease etc...FAT)
3. Combine dry ingredients, work fat into the flour completely.
4. Combine liquids with dry ingredients in a large bowl.
5. Knead in bowl for 5 minutes, dough may appear a little rough still.
6. Oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, rest for 2 hours.
7. Remove from bowl, knead for 2 minutes, dough will become smooth and stiff.
8. For bao, or other bread shape, I plan on doing buns next time.
This dough comes out feeling quite stiff, but, it remains very workable. It steams beautifully, and my plan, is to steam them for 12 minutes, then toast them in a 350F oven for color and texture.