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  • Dumplings are humble and homey. They make people smile. I have loved them since childhood, and this site focuses on cooking and finding the tastiest morsels. It's also the companion to my cookbook, Asian Dumplings.

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« Instant Non-Fat Dry Milk for Perfect Gulab Jamun | Main | Japanese Braised Pork Belly Buns Recipe »

11/22/2009

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Comments

Mike Miller

Do you punch down the dough before you cut it into pieces?

Andrea Nguyen

Mike -- you sure do, just like all yeast dough. Punch it down, cut it into pieces, etc. Good question.

Kimberlea

I'm going to attempt to make these buns for our Thanksgiving turkey...any other hints an inexperienced dough-maker should know??? Considering my last attempt at making dough was not really successful... :) Many thanks in advance...

Kimberlea

Ok, so dumb question: I just looked up the dough recipe, and it says to let it rise for 30-45 minutes, and then in the recipe above, it says to let rise for 20-30 minutes. So do I skip letting the dough ball rise, and let it rise after I've cut it into pieces? Or do I need both rises?

Andrea Nguyen

Kimberlea -- Not a dumb question. It's just a matter of training yourself to read a recipe. What you want to do is make the dough recipe all the way through -- letting it rise until roughly doubled. That's standard procedure for yeast dough. Rise 1 time, then shape.

The recipe above assumes that you've gone through all the steps to make the dough, including the 1st rise.

After the initial rise, you can use the dough for filled bao or for rolls. Note that after shaping the roll, there's a 2nd rise before steaming. So, 2 rises total. Have fun!

Kimberlea

Thanks Andrea! I love how you always answer people's questions so promptly. I will do a trial run tonight to see how it goes... Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Mike Miller

The proportions were great! The dougn did not stick to my fingers when I removed it from the food processor. Nor did it stick to my fingers or the board when I rolled it out. Just finished the second rise and am about to steam them. They do not look as white as the picture in the Japanese Braised Pork Belly Buns Recipe?

Andrea Nguyen

Mike -- it just depends on whether or not you used bleached or unbleached flour for the dough. Bleached is whiter but not as flavorful as unbleached. Some folks think that the whiter the bun, the better. Thanks for the report back.

Kimberlea

I just wanted to mention that I made the bao over Thanksgiving weekend, and they were a success! A bit misshapen, but delicious nevertheless. Thanks for the recipe!

Andrea Nguyen

Congratulations, Kimberlea! Hurray!!! Thanks for reporting back.

ttb

Could you please comment on the addition of vinegar in the water of the steamer before steaming the buns or in the dough itself. Does it really make the buns whiter?
Thanks, Andrea!

Andrea Nguyen

Hi TTB -- I've tried that vinegar trick in the water in the dough and no -- it doesn't work for me. Vinegar in dough is used to develop gluten. I can see that need when Asian bun makers use super bleached (read: low protein) flour. They need the resiliency so the vinegar does the trick. In the United States, regular all-purpose flour, with moderate gluten of 10.5% like Gold Medal, has terrific flavor.

The Asian obsession with white buns is really all about aesthetics. The whiteness in white flour is actually a sign of a lack of flour. Many people perceive whiter flour to be finer, higher-status flour. My experience has been that the whiter the Asian dough product, the less flavor and soul it has.

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