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Bao Buns

If I am making bao buns, I always use the same recipe as it has never failed me, I have tried others but they did not work as well and were more dense and not light and fluffy. This recipe is from Marian Grasby and it is a ripper of a recipe. It requires some patience as with any dough but it is very worth the wait.

Ingredients
360g plain flour
20g skim milk powder
4g baking powder
5g instant dry yeast
35g white sugar
35g veg oil plus extra for greasing the dough
200g warm water
14 squares of baking paper (approx 10 x 10cm)

Slow roasted pork belly
800g pork belly
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup white sugar
Oil

Pulled pork
1.5 to 2kg shoulder or leg joint of pork

Fillings
Finely sliced carrots
Spring onions, chopped diagonally
Hoisin sauce
Fresh coriander (optional)

To make the dough

In a large bowl add the flour, yeast, sugar, and skim milked powder. Mix to combine.
Mix the vegetable oil and water together , make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid in.
Start to bring together with a wooden spoon and when a dough ball starts to form use your hands to bring it together.
Lightly flour the work surface and knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes. You will know it is ready as it will be a lovely smooth and soft elastic consistency. If you press your finger lightly on the top it will bounce back.
Place it back in the bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm.place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Once it has doubled in size, knock all the air out, place back onto the light floured work surface and knead again for another 5 minutes.
Roll into a circle that is 1cm thick and oil the top of the dough auth vegetable oil, this helps the bun open easily after steaming.
Use a 7cm cookie cutter and cut out the buns, re roll any spare dough, should make 14 buns. Make them bigger if you like.
Gently flip each circle in half and using a rolling pin gently roll over the top so the bun is smooth.
Place on one of the baking paper squares onto a large baking tray making sure they do not touch. Repeat this until all the dough has been used. Cover with cling wrap and leave to rise again for at least 30 minutes.

Steam for 12 minutes (I have a stream function on my oven but if you don’t simply use a steaming basket on top of a pan of simmering water)
Add fillings and devour.

Pulled pork
This is the easiest thing to do, simply place in a slow cooker (croc pot) on high as it is, no oil or seasoning and leave it alone. Cook until when you touch the meat it falls apart? That’s it. Then remove from the slow cooker, remove the fat and any string and using 2 forks shred the pork whilst it is still hot, it will fall apart.

Slow cooked pork belly
Add the sugar and salt together, mix well.
In a deep baking tray add the pork belly (I had to buy it ready sliced as no whole pieces were available, but I still had 800g) pour over the sugar and salt mixture coating both sides. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.
This creates a brine so in the morning the salt/sugar mix will be liquid.
Rinse off the pork belly and pat dry with paper towel.
Cover with foil and bake on 160°C for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is cooked and cuts easily.
Increased the heat and bake on 210â€ĒC to brown the meat.

I like crunchy pork belly and this recipe does not achieve that so I simply added my cooked pork belly slices onto skewers with the rind at the top, drizzled with oil and added ground rock salt and cooked until.the fat became crackle. I love the crunch to my bao buns!
Let me know how you get on, you will not be disappointed 😋😋😋😋😋

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