First time making these buns, I was quite successful to shape them, wasn’t I! The photo was taken by my phone, the quality was off.
To be honest, I have never been a big fan of dumplings even when I was in Vietnam. Let’s say if I am involved in a lot of beautiful love stories with street food in Hanoi then dumpling was always a mere fling. The smell of steamed flour together with the tempting fragrance of pork and dried mushroom blend in, bringing me back to a street where I had the most dumplings in my high school time. I took a literature extra class there in late afternoon every two day.
Such a youthful and nostalgic fragrance!
Earlier last Christmas I bought a ready-mix dumpling flour in Paris but I decided to mix flour on my own as mixing flour is fun and not that difficult.
I have tried different recipes for the dough and this one below is the best, which gives you a soft moist texture and the signature smell of the buns sold in Vietnam. I learned the recipe from someone to whom I owe an apology for not having taken note her name. As I tend to read lots of recipe before I cook something and took note in different notebooks (well I’m not very well organized) I could not find the piece of paper that I noted down this recipe for the first time.
So this is my adapted version:
Yield 10-12 buns
250g AP flour or bread flour
50g cake or AP flour
1tbsp vegetable oil
1tbsp lemon juice
a pinch of salt
75g powdered sugar
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1/2 tbsp baking powder
For the fillings you can use a wide range of ingredients that you want.
250g minced pork
12,5g dried mushroom, soaked in boiling hot water for at least 30minutes, finely chopped
1 scallion finely chopped
1/8 a dried onion or 1small golden onion finely chopped
(1/2 can or 70g water chestnut) finely chopped
Chinese sausages thinly sliced
1tbsp oyster sauce
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp honey
3 hard boiled eggs (cut in quarters)
To make the fillings, just simply mix them together.
Sieve flour and powdered sugar.
Pour flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast, lemon juice in a food processor, pulse a few times to blend. Using plastic blade.
Keep the machine at speed 2, gradually pour in milk for 30-40second or until the dough form a ball.
Knead by hand 2,3 times. Let it proof in warm place (24-29C) for an hour until it doubles its size.
When done proofing. Sieve 50g flour with baking powder and mix with this proofed flour dough. Let it sit for a second time for 1 or 2 hours.
Knead it in a long tube, cut into 10 or 12 small even pieces. Flatten the pieces with a rolling pin. Stuff in the fillings and let it proof 30 minutes before steaming for about 12-15 minutes on high bubbling water. Don’t let your lid open during steaming.
Tips: To whiten the dough, pour some vinegar into the water.