My family love Chinese style bbq pork buns (char siu bao). I had made a roast pork the night before last and wanted to use up some of the leftovers. Of course my pork wasn’t roasted in the traditional Chinese bbq style, but with the addition of a sauce mixed into my roast pork, I felt I could get away with it. For the bun dough I used the master recipe from my copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
2 cups of roast pork diced (I used leftovers remember)
(Adapted from The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo)
For the Filling (make while the dough is rising):
5 tablespoons low-sodium chicken stock
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp tapioca or corn starch
2 tsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
Pinch ground white pepper
1 tbsp oil
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup barbecued pork, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp Shao Xing rice wine or gin
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, tapioca starch, ketchup, soy sauce, and white pepper; set aside.
Heat a wok or pan over high heat for 40 seconds and add oil. Coat wok with oil using a spatula then add onion. Lower heat to medium, and cook until onion turns light brown, about 2 minutes. Raise heat to high, add pork, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add wine, and stir to combine.
Stir the reserved stock mixture and add it to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and turns brown, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add sesame oil, and stir to combine. Transfer to a shallow dish. Cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Once the dough has risen for the first time I took small pieces of it and flattened it to the size of a small saucer using floured hands so it didn’t stick.
Then take about one heaped tablespoon of the pork filling and place in the center of the dough disc.
Gather up the sides of the dough disc to form a ball shape enclosing the filling. Be sure to seal the filling inside of the dough or it will leak out. I placed my buns with the gathered seam side down and brushed with a beaten egg to give them a glossy finish.
Place buns on a sheet pan dusted with some flour and bake in the oven for approximately 15–20 mins depending on your oven.
I served mine with a plum sauce for dipping which was a great compliment.
***As I said before, these are a quick cheats way to make pork buns, so if you are looking for the traditional char siu bao, then this recipe probably isn’t for you. It was really a way of using up our leftovers and enjoying the pork in a different way to how it was first served up.
There is nothing quite like the smell of bread baking. Unless of course it’s cake or cookies baking. But bread fills the house with that moreish, yeasty fragrance you just can’t get enough of. Recently I purchased a fabulous book titled “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.” You start with a basic dough from the master recipe that can be kept in the fridge until you want to bake something. At which point you take some of the dough and add your flavours, shape, bake and eat! This week I have really been hungry for Tandoori Chicken so decided to make that and what better to accompany this meal than some tasty garlic naan bread.
3 cups of lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (1 1/2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher or other coarse salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour, measured with the scook and sweep method.
Mixing and Storing Dough
1. Warm the water slightly: It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100 degrees F. Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours. You can use cold tap water and get an identical final result; then the first rising will take 3 or even 4 hours. That won’t be too great a difference, as you will only be doing this once per stored batch.
2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5 quart bowl or preferable, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food grade bucket. Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.
3. Mix in the flour — kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once, measuring it in with dry ingredient measuring cups, by gently scooping up the flour and leveling it off with a knife. Mix this in with a wooden spoon, or high capacity food processor (14 cups or larger) or mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. If it get’s too dry you can reach into the dough with very wet hands and press the mix together but don’t knead. You are finished when everything is uniformly moist. This will yeild a dough that is wet and loose which will probably conform to the shape of the container.
4. Allow to rise. cover with a lid but not airtight. Do not use screw top jars as the gasses will not be able to escape and the jars could explode. Allow the mix to rise at room temperature for approximately 2 hours. The top may begin to collapse in on itself, this is ok. Longer rising times up to 5 hours will not harm the result. You can begin using any portion of the dough after this time to make your breads.
When you wish to bake some bread, DO NOT KNEAD. Just shape your loaf in 30 to 60 seconds and you are ready to bake. It is best baked on a pizza stone with some cornmeal sprinkled on it to prevent your loaf from sticking.
|For my naan bread I just took a peach sized portion and rolled it flat with my rolling pin, shaped it into 8 inch ovals and fried it in a cast iron skillet that had some ghee (clarified fat) in the bottom of it. I covered the skillet and rotated the bread after about two minutes. Watch for burning and adjust your temperature accordingly. I cooked it for another 3 to four minutes on the second side and then buttered it with some roasted garlic butter we had made.
You can use this master recipe to make all manner of breads and I will be trying different types here again in the future. If you enjoy homemade bread this is a must have book for your collection. Bread making at home has never been this easy!