Steamed Bao Buns


Bao- Chinese steamed buns

Often people wonder how I manage to finish up the massive amounts of baked goodies I make. Besides my kids, husband and their friends, my lovely neighbours have now become my official tasters.

It is really nice when you find people who are enthusiastic to taste something completely new. Sometime back Vijaya, my neighbour, happened to tell me about these Chinese steamed buns or Bao that they tasted in a restaurant and asked me to try it. So here it is. I just hope I have a couple of them left for her to taste when she gets back from work.

These pillow soft, steamed bread rolls are simply delicious. These taste and remind me of those yummy bread kulchas served with chole on Indian streets and in chaat corners. I served these today with some pav-bhaji. But these would pretty much go with any spicy side dish. Or you can fill them up with your favourite veggies and make stuffed Bao too.

Did I tell you how simple this recipe is? Have a look.


Prep Time            15 minutes

Cook Time          10 minutes

Passive Time     120 minutes

Servings              8 no.s


1 and 1/2 cups or 200 grams all purpose flour

1 tsp Instant dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup + 2 tbsps warm water

Oil for greasing and brushing

Flour for dusting


  1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and yeast together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 a cup of warm water and mix well.
  3. Add the remaining water, a little at a time, to bring the dough together.
  4. Mix in the oil and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or with a cling film and set aside for 2 hours.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead for about a minute.
  7. Place the dough on a lightly dusted surface and roll it into a log.
  8. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll each portion into a smooth ball.
  9. Roll out each ball of dough into a flat disc of about 4 cm in diameter.
  10. Brush the surface of the dough with some oil and fold the disc into a semi circle.
  11. Cut out 5cm by 5cm squares of parchment.
  12. Place one semi circular bao on each parchment square.
  13. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  14. Fill your steamer with enough water and set on high. [I used the regular idly cooker to make these Bao]
  15. Once the water starts to boil, place the shaped rolls along with the parchment in the steamer.
  16. Close the lid and steam cook for 10 minutes.
  17. Remove from the steamer and serve warm.
  18. Or you can allow them to cool on a wire rack before storing them in an air tight container. They taste nice at room temperature too.


  • I used a regular idly cooker to steam the Bao. I simply placed the shaped buns along with the parchment on the curved idly mould. We can make a batch of 4 baos in one go by doing this.
  • Do make sure that the bread rolls have enough space to expand and fluff up from all sides.
  • If you can only make 4 baos in a batch, do not roll out the remaining 4 portions of the dough at the same time. The rolled out discs must be rested for just about 5 minutes and not more.
  • You may use a little flour while rolling out the dough if needed.
  • These baos taste best when consumed on the same day.
Super soft steamed Chinese Bao Buns !

Posted originally on AUGUST 17, 2016


Popular posts from this blog

Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Loaf Cake

Mom’s Eggless Cake-Whole Wheat Version

Mom’s Eggless Cake