Coconut Bao Buns
I developed this recipe when I thought there would be a amazing crossover between Jamaican Cocobread and Bao Buns!
I originally I made it for a dessert ice cream sandwich but this recipe is so versatile and can be used for breakfast tacos? and be filled with anything you fancy or have left over in the fridge.
The recipe is insanely easy! You just need a stand mixer and a scale, everything goes in one bowl - no need to sieve the flour, 6 minutes of kneading and them you're do is ready to prove. You can also make this without a stand mixer, would just mean a lot of kneading by hand to get the same result.
560g Plain White Flour
11 grams instant dry yeast or one packet of dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 grams fine sugar
30 gram vegetable oil/neutral oil
340 grams Canned Coconut Milk (try to stir so completely smooth is separated from the water)
Take a the large bowl on a scale and measure out your yeast, flour, salt, baking powder. Now mix with a whisk till completely combined.
Now take a smaller bowl and measure out your wet ingredients.
Now transfer the dry mixture to your stand mixer bowl, making sure that the dough hook is correctly applied. Add your wet mixture and start on a low speed stopping to scrape down the sides, when the dough comes together loosely for a minute or so, put on a medium/high speed and allow to mix for 6 minutes.
By hand method:
If doing this by hand without a stand mixer - start by incorporating the dry and wet ingredients using a silicone spatula - then begin to bring the dough together with your hands, slowly kneading in the bowl for a minute or so. Then transfer the dough to a floured surface, kneading for 10 minutes - till you can the dough springs back when you touch it.
Form the dough into a ball and lightly oil. Transfer the dough into a large bowl and cover with cling film. Place in the warmest part of your kitchen and allow to rise/double in size for 1 & 1/2 hours or 2 hours. In-between this time take some parchment paper and cut 20 squares each roughly 3.5 inches (9 cm) wide.
Once the dough has doubled take and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knock out the air and form into a log shape to begin the forming process. Take a square of the parchment paper and place on your scale, making sure it's at 0, cut a piece from the ball of dough and measure 50g. Form into a neat ball and then place it back on the parchment paper onto your work surface. Repeat this method until the you've formed all of the balls. Cover the formed balls with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise again on your work surface for another 30 minutes.
Once risen, it's time to steam your buns! If you have a bamboo steam basket that would be ideal. Or you can make a make shift basket by using a metal colander, covering with a kitchen towel and a lid that fits.
Fill a wide saucepan with ~1 inch (3 cm) of water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Carefully place your buns into your bamboo basket, or make-shift steamer. I have a double tier steamer so I was able to fit 6 in at once, but if you don't you'll probably only likely to do 3/4 at a time - so put the remaining risen buns on a baking tray in the fridge to stop them over-proofing as the first batch steams. Lower basket once filled into the saucepan, covering it with its own lid/ or kitchen towel and a lid that fits. Turn the heat down so the water is simmering and let the buns steam for 8 minutes. When finished steaming place on a tray and repeat till they're all steamed. Enjoy with fillings of your choice and have make a fun build your own bao buffet with friends.
Once cooked and cooled these freeze very well for months. Be sure to keep the parchment paper on the steamed buns. To reheat simply just re-steam in the same method for around 5-6 minutes.