Making homemade bao buns isn't hard at all. We've stuffed each pillowy bite with a rich, chocolate custard.
Dry Ingredients For The Dough:
300g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Instant Active Yeast
1 Tsp Baking Powder
½ Tsp Salt Wet Ingredients
For The Dough:
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Tbsp Honey
1 Egg White (Reserve Yolk For Chocolate Custard)
For The Chocolate Custard:
200g Dark Chocolate (65%-70% Is Ideal)
250ml Double Cream
½ Tsp Salt
1 Egg Yolk (From Egg White)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
To make the dough, in a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Then add all the wet ingredients, reserving the egg yolk for the chocolate custard later. Use a spoon to bring the dough together until big clumps have formed, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
Knead the dough for 8 mins, punching it away from you then sliding it back, until a smooth bouncy dough forms. Place dough into a clean oiled bowl, rubbing a little oil on the surface of the dough too. Wrap the bowl with a few hand towels to stay warm and leave for 1 hour to rise.
For the Chocolate Custard finely chop the chocolate bar into small pieces and put into a medium sized bowl.
Warm the cream in the microwave or on the stove top, just until the cream starts steaming, not boiling. Pour cream all over the chocolate and quickly use a plate to cover the bowl for 3 mins, don’t touch. Use a whisk and start mixing from the centre, until silky smooth chocolate appears.
Add your reserved egg yolk, pinch of salt, vanilla extract and mix well. Pour onto a small tray or shallow pasta bowl and leave in the refrigerator until needed.
Flour the dough and punch the centre of the dough, then divide into 10 pieces or (56g) if you want to be exact. Sprinkle more flour to prevent stickage, now shape into balls then flatten into discs and leave for 5 mins covered with a tea towel - this lets the dough relax and make it easier for shaping.
In the meantime, cut out 10 pieces of baking paper, roughly the size of your palm.
Roll out each disc into a large circle slightly bigger than your palm, repeat until all discs are rolled.
Dollop a tbsp of chocolate filling into the centre of the circle, do not touch the edges of the dough, or it will be harder to seal. Now bring the opposite edges together and pinch very tightly to seal the chocolate inside - you can’t over pinch, seal it well! Turn the bao seam down and adjust into a ball shape if needed. Place on a piece of parchment then into a steamer basket. Repeat until there is no baos left.
Leave to rise in the steamer basket for 15 mins.
Grab a pot that fits the steamer basket snug, then fill it a third of the way with water. Turn the fire to high heat. After a few mins steam will escape, turn the fire to low heat and set a timer for 12 mins. Then turn the heat off and leave for 5 mins, no touching.
Finally, reveal and carefully tear open gooey hot chocolate in a fluffy bao bun.