- 2 t active dry yeast
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 310 g flour
- 32 g corn flour
- 3 T sugar
- 1⁄4 t baking powder
- 40 g duck fat or butter
Knead the ingredients in a mixer using the dough hook attachment for 8–10 minutes, or knead by hand for 20 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Place in a warm place to rise until 11⁄2 times its original size, about 1 hour.
Once the dough has risen, punch down and divide in half, then divide each half into 5 ping-pong-sized balls. Cover lightly with clingwrap and allow to prove for 30 minutes.
Flatten the balls with your hand and roll into ovals. Fill with your desired filling. Line a steamer with cabbage leaves to prevent the buns from sticking. Place the buns in the steamer to allow space for them to expand, then cover with clingwrap and allow to prove for 30 minutes. Steam for 15 minutes and serve hot with a dipping sauce.
Cook’s note: Steamed buns (baozi) can be filled with a variety of ingredients. Minced or pulled pork is popular, as are vegetables. You can also make gua bao (cut buns) and fill them with cubes of sticky pork belly.