I went to Din Tai Fung “鼎泰豐” (a famous taiwanese restaurant) a couple of months ago. Came across chocolate bao in their menu. It looked so yummy, I wanted to give it a try as one of my recipes.
For this chocolate bao recipe, I used Lindt macha white chocolate that melts easily at slightly above room temperature. Any chocolate is fine. Preferably round in shape so that its easier to make a round shaped dough.
The recipe for this chocolate bao has a springy and fluffy texture. And the matcha chocolate just flows out like molten lava chocolate cake. If you prefer, fluffy and cake like texture, have a look at my steam custard bao recipe. Click here https://youtu.be/QbXUGl8IoB8
One of the key ingredient is Hong Kong Flour. In Chinese its called “香港水仙面粉”. Directly translated it is Hong Flour Waterlily Flour. It makes the bun whiter and have a softer, cake like texture just like the Dim Sum Restaurants. The texture is very different from using all purpose flour or just cake flour to make the dough. Also the process when using Hong Kong flour is different from all purpose flour. One key different is the proofing time. The proofing time for Hong Kong flour is very much shorter like half the time.
You may not have it now but its definitely worth the effort buying them later. You may be able to get them from specialty baking shop or chinese grocery shops. See picture
- Steaming wok has to be filled with water and the water at boiling point before placing the steam basket in to steam. Make sure the level of the steam basket is above the water level
- Serve the baozi warm right after steaming. Best eaten warm. Baozi is soft and fluffy when its warm
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How to keep Steamed Baozi?
Let the steam bun cool to room temperature. Recommended to keep baozi a airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
If kept in the fridge, it can last for about 1 week. When ready to eat, remove from fridge and steam for about 10 minutes on high heat. (note: water preboiled before steaming). Serve warm to enjoy.
If kept in the freezer, it can last for about 2-3 weeks. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and steam for about 20 minutes on high heat. (note: water preboiled before steaming). Serve warm to enjoy.
I do not have a bamboo basket. Can I use a normal steamer?
Yes you can, but you need to prevent the water droplets from dripping on to your buns while steaming. Need to wrap the steam cover with cloth to prevent the it from happening
Why is my baozi not as soft and fluffy when cold or at room temperature?
Baozi or any steam cakes or breads becomes tougher when left at room temperature or cold. Baozi is always served warm or right after steaming from the steamer.
Once its cold, steam the baozi again to enjoy it the soft and fluffy baozi when its warm
Can I use all purpose flour to substitute Hong Kong flour?
Its not ideal to use all purpose flour to substitute Hong Kong flour because the the texture of the baozi is very different. All purpose flour will produce chewy buns. But Hong Kong flour will produce soft finer texture.
Also the process and the water content required is different when using all purpose flour. So its not ideal to substitute with all purpose flour
What is the best flour to substitute Hong Kong flour?
There may be other brand that sell flour specifically to make baozi. They are usually labelled as pau flour, low gluten pau flour. You may be able to find it at the Chinese Supermarket or Specialty Chinese Baking Shops. In Malaysia, I get from Bake with Yen
- Hong Kong Flour 200 grams 香港水仙面粉 200克
- All purpose flour 100 grams 中筋面粉 100克
- Sugar 20 grams 糖 20克
- Yeast 4 grams 酵母 4克
- Baking Powder 4 grams 泡打粉 4克
- Salt 2 grams 盐 2 克
- Water 170 ml 清水 170毫升
- Vegetable oil 30 ml 油 30毫升
- 12 Lindt macha white chocolate, round shape 抹茶巧克力 12粒
- Place the chocolate in the fridge for about an hour
- Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add water and form into a dough. Add oil and knead until all the oil is absorbed into the dough. Transfer to a work surface and knead the dough until smooth (about 10 minutes)
- Cover dough and proof for 15 minutes
- Press out all the air and knead a further 1-2 minutes
- Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Form each divided dough into a ball. Flatten with palm. Use the rolling pin and shape into a disk. Place the chocolate into the centre of the dough and gently form into a round bao
- Place the baos into a bamboo rack and cover for about 20 minutes or until the it feels light or when you press at the sides it feel fluffy
- Steam the bao for 10 minutes using high heat. Then off the stove and stand for further 5 minutes. This is a very important step. Or else the buns will wrinkle and shrink. Open the steam cover and the buns are ready to be served
Full recipe video for Matcha Chocolate Bao “抹茶巧克力包”: