Friday, February 27, 2015

DB: Siopao (Asian Filled Buns)

The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

I love learning about other cultures, especially the foods of those countries.  It's neat to learn about their foods and compare them to what we enjoy here in our country.  In our Daring Bakers' challenges sometimes, the hosts sometimes share recipes with us they grew up enjoying and then challenge us to try these recipes for ourselves.  The hosts almost always give us a little creative freedom to choose flavorings and such.  

I enjoy all of our challenges, but I especially love learning about other cultures.  The members of the Daring Bakers' aren't just comprised of people from the U.S., it's a group comprised of people from several countries.  I guess that's part of what makes us daring, we are challenged to try different recipes, sometimes recipes that we are familiar (and sometimes not comfortable) with.  


This month was one of those times that I look forward to.  Discovering recipes that are a norm in another country, learning a little history about it and the fact that this is one of those recipes that's just a little different in each home.  This month we made siopao, which is simple a yeasted, no-knead bread that is stuffed with either a sweet or savory filling.  

They are very popular in Asian countries, but are known by different names in each region.  In Thailand they call them salapo, China (where they originated) calls them several things such as bao, humbow, mantou, and pau. People in the Philippines, this is also where Julie's parents are from, call them siopao.  These little stuffed buns are commonly served as street food, since they can be enjoyed while walking around and there are no utensils needed. 

I thoroughly enjoyed learned about the stuffed buns, their origination and most importantly how to make them.  They were surprisingly simple; just a matter of making dough, allowing it to rise, filling it and then baking it.  

This go around I didn't stray from the recipes provided.  I made a savory bun filled with a pork filling.  They were so good!  The dough was fluffy and light and made the perfect package for the filling to be wrapped in.  I can't wait to try other sweet and savory variations!  Thanks again, Julie, for an amazing challenge!     

Siopao 

Ingredients:

For the buns-
1 Packet active dry yeast
1 1/2 Cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 Tsp salt
4-5 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Egg

For the filling-
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Lb ground pork
1 Small onion, diced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 Cup cold water

Directions:

For the buns-
Combine yeast, water, melted butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Slowly mix in the flour until it's fully incorporated.  The dough should be very tacky, but not wet and sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and turn out on a floured surface.  Fold over several times then sape into a smooth ball, then divide into 12 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into about a 6 inch disc.  Place a heaping tablespoonful of filling into the center of each disc.  Wrap the dough around the filling and firmly pinch the dough together to seal.

Place the filled buns on a baking sheet and loosely cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.  Let them rest for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Place egg in a bowl and beat, add a splash of water and mix once more.  Gently brush the tops of each bun.

Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.  Allow to cool about 5 minutes, then serve while still warm.

For the filling-

Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds.  Add the pork and cook until browned.  Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, and salt and pepper and mix to combine.  Continue cooking until pork is cooked through.  Taste, adjust seasonings if needed.

Place cornstarch and water in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour the cornstarch mixture in the meat mixture, stir to combine and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool before filling the dough.

Recipe source: Jinkzz's Kitchen
                         Food.com

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