This formula is somewhat different from the traditional baozi dough recipes I’ve seen. It uses a machine for one, because I’m lazy. Next, it employs instant yeast instead of regular active dry, which eliminates a step. It also incorporates the baking powder early. The reason, because modern baking powders can sit in a wet medium and still react when heated hours or even days later. Though it’s not strictly traditional, it works splendidly.
1 lb. (3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
8 ounces (1 cup) water
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) canola or peanut oil
Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle (beater) attachment. Stir on low to combine. Meanwhile combine the water and the oil. Turn the mixer up to medium and pour in the wet stuff. Keep the mixer running until a dough begins to form. Switch to the dough hook and knead until the dough is smooth and uniform, 4-6 minutes.
Remove the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough into 12-15 pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover the balls with a cloth while you work.
Roll each ball out into a roughly 5” circle. Place a tablespoon of the filling of your choice in the center and crimp the dough to enclose it (photo tutorial to come). Place each finished bao on a small square of parchment. Allow them to rise for about half an hour. Meanwhile set an Asian steamer on the boil.
Gently set the buns into the steamer giving them some room to expand. Steam the buns for about 20 minutes. Remove the steamer from the heat without opening it and allow the steam to dissipate for roughly 10 minutes. Serve them warm.