This time, I made them myself. And, what can I say, they were not that bad, if I say so myself.
Not sure whether a Chinese mother-in-law would accept them just yet, but they’re getting better (even if my 包子包法definitely needs further perfecting…)
So, here goes:
For the dough you need:
Prepare yeast dough by hand or in a stand mixer, first letting the yeast and the warm water proof for a few minutes. Then sift in the other ingredients and start kneading. If neccessary, add more water to make the dough smooth. After at least 5 minutes of kneading and when dough is elastic and ready, place in well-oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and store for at least two hours in a dark, warm place- it should at least double in size.
For the 馅儿(filling)
Mix the meat and all other ingredients except water in large bowl. Then add one spoonful of cold water at a time and beat in carefully。 This is called 打水and is supposed to avoid the meat turning into a hard lump whilst steaming.
When the dough has risen, cut it into 20-25 pieces. Sprinkle worktop with flour, roll each piece into a ball and then press it into a flat round shape, approx.10-12cm in diameter. The centre should be thicker than the edges, as to avoid the dough being too thick at the top.
Place a tsp of filling onto the round pieces of dough, then pull the edges up and fold nicely. A demonstration can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWOnm2nyxRk. I find it rather hard to fold them properly, it is important to avoid having a big knob of dough at the top but still ensure they’re properly sealed.
Place the baozi on previously cut squares of lightly oiled wax or parchment paper. Let buns sit for about half an hour.
To cook, place buns into steamer baskets or steamer racks, make sure there is enough space between the buns as they will increase in size. Cover with lid and steam for about 15 mins, then switch the fire off and let them sit for another 5 minutes. Remove lid and serve immediately, either on their own or with a dip of soy sauce and vinegar.