When I was coming back to Penang from my CNY holidays, before I left home, my mom gave me this parting shot:
“肥仔 不要整天做 cake 来吃 很肥的!” (Fatty, don’t bake and eat cakes so frequently, it is very fattening!)
Remember I said I was going to heed her words when I wrote about my newly purchased steamer? So, no cakes for the time being.
The thing is, I still have a third of the self raising flour I bought, about 300g give or take a bit. How can I use up these left over flour without baking a cake? This is when Mr Jamie Oliver comes to the rescue with one of his FoodTube videos.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dr4vxVQ-kNA]
Yeah, buns. I could totally steam some buns, a.k.a 包子 bao! 大包 整多两笼大包 dai bao, jing dor liong long dai bao~
Yeah, I know, Jamie is English, he’s not exactly the best reference when it comes to Chinese recipes. I wasn’t going to do his pulled pork looking filling. I was just attracted to the way he made his dough with the food processor. Well, a blender is sort of the same as a food processor, isn’t it?
That’s genius! That’s the best lazy man tips that you can ever get if you want to make a dough. With a food processor/blender, you avoid the process of kneading by hand and getting your hands all sticky and horrible and difficult to wash. In other words, you avoid the most troublesome process.
Anyway, for the dough, there are only two ingredients that I used: self raising flour and milk. The portion to use would be 2 portions flour, 1 portion milk. My 300g of flour came to about a cup, so for that, add half a cup of milk. Then, like how Jamie did it, blitz it in the food processor for 30 seconds. That’s it, your dough is ready.
All that is left is to dig out the dough, roll it out,
cut it into chunks, and… and I forgot to mention about my filling.
I decided that I wanted to have an unconventional filling. I believe we have all eaten char siew bao, red bean bao, kaya (coconut jam) bao… but have you ever eaten pumpkin bao? Because that’s what I’m going to make.
Basically I made my pumpkin puree the same way that I did when I was making my pumpkin pie, I cut a quarter of a pumpkin into pieces, baked them in the oven for half an hour, then scrape them off the skin, add some honey to the pumpkin and mashed them all up. That’s my pumpkin filling for the buns.
All that is left to do is to roll out the dough chunks, add some pumpkin filling in the center, then fold the doughs up into, well, bun shapes. Place the buns in the steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
While the buns are steaming and I tried to clean up, I discovered that using the blender is not the smartest move in the world. It is the most stupid move in the world!
You see, the bottom part was filled with sticky dough, and there are a few pieces of sharp blades tucked beneath the dough so I cannot really risk putting my hand in and dig. I had to add some water, blitz the dough off, then add some water and blitz again. Repeat a few rounds until the thing is fairly cleared up, then use my hand to dig out the remaining sticky bits. It was much worse compared to washing my hands and the big mixing bowl had I knead the dough by hand.
Anyway, by the time I was done cleaning up, the buns were also ready.
I suppose this one is in small part a success but a bigger part failure. I guess I must have been overly ambitious. I rolled the dough too thin and placed too much filling into each bun, so the bun part was too thin and could not expand enough. The outer skin was slightly tough and chewy, and there was not enough fluffy part to the bun. And the buns looked horribly ugly. Seriously.
Apart from those minor details, the buns are delicious though. I mean, of course they are. The sweet pumpkin filling would be delicious however you use them anyway.
I’ll take note of my mistakes, but I’m finally out of self raising flour, so I probably won’t be attempting an improved version anytime soon. In fact, I don’t really fancy making doughs anymore, they’re too tedious, so I might not attempt anymore buns in the future. 🙄
And mom, you see, 我没有做 cake 来吃. I did not bake and eat cake…