STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS WITH PICTURES
Dissolve 1 tbsp of sugar and 3/4 tsp of instant yeast into 180 grams of water. You will see some people use warm water while other recipes ask for cold or room temperature water. Which one is correct? It actually depends on your room temperature. If your house is hot, use cold water. If it is cold, use warm water. The purpose of this is to provide a stable environment for the yeast so they work happily for you.
Slowly pour the mixture into 350 grams of all-purpose flour. Stir it with a pair of chopsticks at the same time. Just in case you want to know, this is the brand of flour that I am using. The results may vary slightly in color and texture depending on the brand that you are using.
Go in with your hands and gather all the flour together until a rough dough forms. Don’t forget to scrape the bottom and the edge of the bowl so you don’t waste anything. Alright, now we are going to add 2 tsps. of vegetable oil and knead it into the dough. This is important, the oil prevents the starch from retrograde, so the steamed bun will be soft and fluffy even if you let it sit for a while until it gets cold.
Once all the oil is absorbed, the dough should be nice and smooth. Cover it and let it proof for 1.5 hours. While waiting, we can make the filling.
Place the peanut and sesame seeds in a baking pan and bake them in a 350°F oven for 12 minutes. Let them cool a little bit. Rub the peanut to remove the skin. If your peanut and sesame seeds are pre-roasted, you can skip this step.
Put the sesame seeds and the peanuts into a blender and blend this well. It doesn’t need to be super fine. Coarsely Like this is perfect.
Now we will combine this with 140 grams of white sugar and 4 tsps. of all-purpose flour. The sugar will melt after steaming. The flour is going to prevent it from leaking out. Mix well and your filling is done.
Let’s check the dough. It has almost doubled in size. Poke a hole in the middle, the whole stays. That means we are good to go.
Punch to deflate the dough. Because the air bubbles that are formed during the first proofing are always irregular. We want to get rid of that.
Continue to knead it for 6 minutes to break up all the air pockets, redistribute the yeast, flour, and moisture, allowing the yeast to produce finer, regular, and fluffier bubbles. That is the key to a perfect steamed bun.
Poke a hole in the middle to create a ring. Enlarge the ring. Cut it open you will have a long log. Roll it even. Divide it into 10 even pieces. Each one should be 50-55 grams. But it doesn’t need to be perfect. Roll each one into balls.
Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This relaxes the gluten and makes the dough easier to roll out later.
Start with the first ball that we shaped. Dust it with some flour to prevent stickiness. Use a rolling pin to roll it flat. Once you get it into 4 inches in diameter, lift the sheet and roll the edge to make it thinner. That way, you can have a wrapper with a thicker middle and a thinner edge. The size of the wrapper should be about 5 inches in diameter.
Curve the wrapper into a bowl on your hand. Put 2 tbsps. of the sugar nut filling. The right-hand lifts and pinch the edge of the wrapper. The left hand helps to push to fold the pleat....... Just do that all the way around. When you get to the end, twist and pinch to close it.
Place the bun in the steamer. Use parchment paper to prevent stickiness. Leave some space between them because they will continue to grow in size. Cover the lid and let them proof for 30 minutes.
Fill the pot with some room-temperature water. Turn the heat to high and place the steamer on the top. When you see steam coming out. Switch the heat to medium-low and start counting the time. Let it steam for 10 more minutes. Then you can turn off the heat but do not open it immediately; let it sit there for at least 5 minutes, or else the skin will shrink when the cold air hits the hot buns and you will lose the fluffiness.
I just love when you open the lid, the steam blows into my face. Whenever my mom made this, my sisters and I just couldn’t wait. We wanted to eat them as soon as it came out of the steamer. But they were so hot that we had to juggle them in between our hands. Take a bite, nice and sweet, with a perfect touch of nuttiness. Life is so good.
Steamed buns are freezer-friendly, so you can freeze them after they are steamed and they will last about 3 months. Whenever you want to eat them again, you don't need to defrost them, just re-steam them for 15 minutes.