So, I went on to pick up a few essentials from NTUC. Hong Kong Pao Flour - checked! Sugar, instant yeast, baking powder - checked, checked, checked! And the star ingredient - red bean paste : Double Checked!
I must say I am very pleased with the results. Now, homemade paos made available at the snap of my fingers. The recipe works and I can just make any fillings for these Paos in future - peanut paos (my all time favourite). lotus paste and even savoury ones like chicken!
The Recipe :
300 g Hong Kong Pao Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp corn oil
Store bought red bean paste
- Sieve the flour and baking powder into a stand mixer bowl. Add in instant yeast and sugar and give it a stir to mix it up.
- Using the dough hook, turn on mixer and add in water gradually. Once the dough come together, add in oil and continue to knead till smooth and elastic ( dough does not tear easily when strectched).
- Transfer to a clean surface and shape to a round ball. Place in a clean bowl (slightly oiled) and cover with a damp cloth to proof. Takes about an hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lotus paste. I shaped them into equal balls of about 20g. The dough can yield up to 18 buns. Next, cut out baking paper in squares ( about 18 pieces) for the buns to place on when steaming.
- Once the dough is ready ( by now it should have doubled in size), transfer to a clean surface and knead it slightly to release air. Shape it into a long log shape. Use a dough cutter and divide the log into 5 equal parts. Then divide each part further to about 3-4 equal parts depending how big portion the dough is. Some estimation is required here. Basically, the buns will expand when put in the steamer so you don't want to end up with a gigantic looking bun.
- Shape each parts into a round ball. Then, flatten the dough into a round shape and wrap the red bean filling in it. Close the dough up and pinch to seal. Place it on the prepared baking paper with seams facing down. Repeat till all the dough is used up.
- Next, leave to proof for a further 20 minutes. Cover loosely with cling wrap.
- Steam over medium high heat for about 12 minutes. Once ready, open the lid of the steamer slowly to avoid water from dripping back onto the buns.
- Serve warm.
I had fun making these. Furthermore, everyone at home likes them. It's worth the time and definitely worth the effort when you see how they bring smiles to the folks at home.