Foodie

Monday, December 6, 2010

Super Soft Pau

As the pau episodes continue, new ways to improve and better the texture have been tried, although this recipe is good enough, there is still room for improvement. 


Lena wrote to me and told me that her friend has used the Tangzhong Starter instead of making a sponge starter. 

I was very excited about this idea and went to make a batch of paus.  It is exceptionaly easy as this time, since the tangzhong starter has been used for bread, i am going to treat my pau as bread and used the breadmachine to knead the pau dough - Set it and forget it - until it beeps. 

You can used whatever filling you like and pleat the paus to however you wish or comfortable with. This videos are worth watching Pau Pleating ,Pau Pleating II, Pau Pleating III and Pau Pleating IV

Ingredients:

For the Tangzhong starter:

2 1/2 tbsp/25 g pau flour
125 ml water

For the pau


All the Tangzhong starter
240 ml water(do not use all, leave 2 tbsp for adjustment - you might have to use more than this amount)
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp shortening
1 ¼ tsp double action baking powder
3 1/2 cups/480 - 500 gms pau flour
1 ½ tsp instant yeast.



FILLING:

Your Choice


Method:

For the Tangzhong Starter:

Measure 125 ml tap water in a glass measuring pyrex jug and whisk in 2 1/2 tbsp pau flour until there is no lumps.

Microwave on high for 30 seconds ( 20 seconds - if you are having a higher wattage microwave).  Stir well and  continue to microwave on high for another 30 seconds - stirring after every 10 seconds to get the roux to a temperature of about 65 c/150f.
For pau:

Put all the ingredients into the breadmachine bowl starting with the list above accordingly, starting with the starter and ending with the yeast on top of the flour. 
Choose the dough function on the bread machine and press start.

In the initial stage of kneading, check if the dough is binding, add the remaining 2 tbsps of water or add more if necessary.  Do not add too much as if the dough is too soft, the pau will not have a nice shape.

Prepare the filling while the breadmachine is having all the fun.

When the fun is over in about 1 1/2 hour, the breadmachine will beep and you can start shaping the paus.

Cut into equal portions and roll all the portions into a very thin circle before wrapping in filling.

Wrap the first circle and so forth.

Let it rise for 20 minutes.

Heat up the steamer and when water is rolling hot, steam small buns for 7 - 8 minutes and big ones for 12 - 15 minutes.

87 comments:

Claire said...

Wow! Looks super soft Lily!

Anonymous said...

hi Lily,
Is 3 1/2 gm pau flour the right amount ? it seem so little. please advise. thanks !
diane

Anonymous said...

Wow, your paus look amazing. I can't find pau flour here, so I guess I'll just have to use plain flour. It won't be as white though.

Anonymous said...

Is there a mistake in the amount of pau flour? Is said 3 1/2 gm of it.

Anonymous said...

wonderful looking steamed buns! Thank you for sharing this recipe... I've tried the flour and water(starter) - works wonders on asian buns!

Happy baking!
LeeYong

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Your blog gives me so much inspiration to cook m'sian food - Thanks very much!
One question regarding your wonderful pau is that how do I make this pau without using a breadmaker? Is it difficult?
Many thanks for your time!
Jen

Food For Tots said...

Love how you plead your paus! So neat! I must bookmark this recipe as I like tangzhong method too.

Anonymous said...

is the measurement for pau flour correct?

Esther said...

This is very nice! I never saw paus pleated like dumplings before. They look soo good, just like store bought. Thanks for sharing! Btw, if I used all purpose flour the texture won't be as soft right? Thanks in advance.

tracieMoo said...

Hi Lily,
I am interested in making this soft pau. May I know how much is 3 1/2gm pau flour?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, typo? on amount of pau flour? should it be 300g?

y.y loo said...

your paus look good.I like to make but I can't get pau flour here, so could u suggest which flour can i use ? What is Tangzhong flour ? is it like yeast ?

07 Dec 2010

Honey Bee Sweets said...

These paus look deliciously soft and fluffy! First time heard about tangzhong bao dough! Will try it out with my vegetarian filling tomorrow, thanks so much for sharing this lily!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Sorry lily, in your recipe, the pau flour is only 3.5gm? Is it a typo? Pls advice, thanks!

muffin lover said...

Hello Lily why is it ur pau flour is only three and half gram

busygran said...

Your recipe calls for 3 1/2 gm pau flour? Is there a typo error?
Want to try this but not sure how much flour to use.

DuaVillas said...

is there a typo in the amount of pau flour? 3 1/2g seems too little.

Rebecca said...

Hi Lily, I wanted to make the Super soft Pau and found out you wrote the weight of the Pau flour wrongly, could it be 3 1/2 Lb or KG ?? It shouldn't be only 3 1/2 gm !! Ha !!
Thanks. Pau flour also call Hong Kong flour ?

lilyng said...

dear friends

thank you for letting me know about my typo. I have editted it, it should be 3 1/2 cups pau flour. sorry.

lilyng said...

yyloo

tangzhong is the method to make the starter. Use the same pau flour. Refer to Tien Tsin Pau recipe where i explained that i too could not get pau flour and how to replace some of the bleached all purpose flour with wheat starch(tung mein fun).

lilyng said...

anonymous

yes you are right, the paus won't be as white. If you are in malaysia and singapore, you will have no problem in getting pau flour, if still not available use superfine flour or cake flour. In the united states, bleached all-purpose can be used. Take out 1 tbsp and replace with wheat starch(tung mein fun). Cornstarch can be sub for wheat starch but again the pau will have a slight yellowish tinge.

lilyng said...

jen,

no breadmachine/maker - no problem. use the traditional way, knead by hand until the dough is soft and smooth and leave it in a oiled ziplog bag or a straight-sided container or any big bowl to proof until double it's size. Make sure it is properly covered.

lilyng said...

esther

if you use all-purpose flour, just remove 1 tbsp and replace with wheat starch or cornstarch. I would suggest using bleached all-purpose as the gluten content is lower than unbleached.

Christine said...

Hi Lily

Your Paus look so professional and soft = )

I can't get double action baking powder here... what can I use ?

Hope to make these paus soon.

Chris

lilyng said...

chris

use the single action baking powder but put it before you shape the paus. Dilute baking powder with a little water and rub it on to the dough and knead until well combined.

lena said...

didnt know that the tangzhong method can also be used for paos..thanks for sharing this.would love to try this one day!

PY said...

Hi! Lily,
I'm so impress with your super soft pau and I would like to try. BTW, I don't hv mircowave to make the TangZhong, what should I do?
Thanks.

lilyng said...

py

no microwave, no problem, cook over the stovetop. i have linked the conventional way to cook the tangzhong starter, click on the link and it will lead you to it.

neil said...

I just made a batch and they're absolutely yummy! Thanks so much for posting the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunty Lily,

I do not have a microwave at home. Can the tang zhong starter be prepared without using the microwave oven and how to do it?

Thanks
SK

lilyng said...

sk

yes, cook it over the stovetop. it is quite difficult to cook so little. cook double the amount, leave the other half in the fridge for another batch of pau or buns.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunty Lily,

Just out of curiosity, what filling are you using in this pau? Mind to share with me.

Tkks
SK

lilyng said...

sk

this filling is nothing special, i just tore up some cooked pork and make a sauce with oyster and soya sauce.

Anonymous said...

Aunty Lily,

I have tried this recipe and my family loves it. I am out of filling and have made some into " mantou". But unfortunately, when the mantou is out of the steamer, the surface of the mantou is not as smooth as expected. Do you have any tips to have a smoother surface mantou.

Thanks, SK

leanne said...

Hi Lily, if I use cake flour, should I take out 1 tbsp and substitute with wheat flour just like your instructions for AP flour?

Thanks! Hoping to try this recipe tomorrow!

lilyng said...

sk

use medium heat to steam mantau, too high heat will crack the surface

lilyng said...

leanne

if you use cake flour, there is no need to sub. cake flour and pau flour is the same

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
can i use vegetable oil instead of shortening?

lilyng said...

anonymous

yes, vegetable oil can be used instead of shortening but the paus will not be as white

Anne said...

HI Lily, my baos turned out very nice looking except it tastes a bit dry. Any idea why this might be? What did I do wrong? The dough was quite sticky to work with so i put some flour when shaping, could this be the cause of dry baos? Thank you...really love ur blog!

lilyng said...

anne

i don't think that you have done any wrong. Overnight baos are usually dried out and need to be steamed again to be soft. Most baos taste much better when hotly steamed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, My dough out of the breakmaker is very very sticky and hard to pleat because of that. Is it normal for the dough to be this sticky or did i use too much water? Thank you.

lilyng said...

anonymous

yes, if too much liquid has been added, it result in a dough that is sticky and will not hold its shape. When adding liquid to flour, i will usually hold back 2 tbsps or more and use it to adjust as flour absorbs liquid differently even the same brand can be different.

MosesOng said...

Lily, I have question about the pau flour. Do you use the Red Rose brand Hong Kong flour, or those boxed pau flour from Thailand? I'm in Kansas so these are the only choice. The reason I ask because your pau turned out very white! Thanks!

lilyng said...

mosesong

i managed to get american roses brand from hong kong flour mill in 50 lbs bag.

Chua said...

Gosh those videos were really helpful! I'd love to try out your recipe for pau skin soon :)

Cheers,
Chua

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

The ingredients seems a lot, roughly how many paus can this recipe yield? Roughly how much dough should I allocate for one pau? Thank you.

lilyng said...

anonymous

weigh 35 gm for one pau and you should be able to get 24 - 26 depending on how exact your weighing is.

Zin said...

Hello, Lily I would like to try this recipe but i am difficult to find the shortening. Can you pls tell me which section of the grocery usually put it. Thank advance.

lilyng said...

zin

i don't know where you are residing. If you are in the United States, then it will be in the aisle where all the oils are.

Zin said...

Thank you lilyng.
i will find it at that aisle next time. i am trying look it at bakery aisle like flour, baking powder stuff.

Candy said...

Hi Lily,

Can I use this skin dough on lau sa pao?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

May I know can this use on lau sa pau?

Thanks!

lilyng said...

anonymous and candy

yes, use this super soft pau recipe for lau sar pau

Anonymous said...

Hello lily, i've tried the super soft dough recipe using a kenwood chef instead of a bread machine. How many minutes should the dough be kneaded? I've used 200 ml water for 500g flour(300g pau flour&200g Wheatt starch). I've kneaded the dough about 12-15 mins.The dough comes out sticky. What have i done wrong? The tangzhong starter can be used immediately to make the dough? Or is it compulsory to let it cools down before? Mary

lilyng said...

mary

if your dough is sticky, then there is too much liquid to the dry ingredients. The best rule of thumb is to hold back some of the liquid used to be added in to adjust dough to the right consistency.

yes, the tangzhung has to be cooled before using.

geminilee said...

Hi Lily, I have researched many recipes online and I think yours is the best. I love your recipes, thanks for sharing. I have tried this super soft pau and also the smile pau, they both turned out well. However, for the super soft pau, the skin is rough and yellowish and the texture is too rubbery. Can you advise what has gone wrong? As for the smile pau, the texture is soft and fluffy, fantastic! The only small problem is that upon biting, it sticks to the roof of the mouth. Is this the normal? I am so eager to try again for both recipe but really hope that you can share more tips before I embark :P

lilyng said...

geminilee

for the super pau, i use pau flour which is low gluten/protein flour which is good for paus. Since your pau turned out rough and yellowish, i presumed you must have used unbleached all purpose flour which has a higher gluten/protein content. Try and use bleached flour, remove 2 tbsp and replace with wheat starch aka tung mein fun.

for the smiley pau, i will have to make them again to see if it gets stuck to the roof of the mouth. According to Asian Pro bread bakers, they do not use too high gluten/protein flour to make their soft bread cos it will 'chee nga' - get stuck to your teeth.

using the correct flour is important in pau and soft bread

Anonymous said...

hi lily,

thk for the recipe, i once made pau with ready made pau flour but it turn out tough after steaming. I believe it was a vietnamese brand flour i found in asian grocer in adelaide. Could you pls tell me what is cake flour? the flours i seein the supermarket here are plain, flour, self raising flour ( they have in whole meal version too) & flour for pizza , pasta & bread mix? I have not seen any cake flour other than ready made cake mix. Hope you can help thanks...cos I love eating pau ( esp char siu pau when I go back to Malaysia)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I dont have a machine so i intend to knead dough using hand..so how do i mix the ingredients? do i have to dissolve the yeast first?
thanks

Anonymous said...

hello!

I tried this supersoft pau today! I used bleached and enriched all purpose flour. I weighed 500 grams of flour and took away 2 tbsp of it and substituted with 2 tbsp wheat starch. The pau did not came up white.

I added 240 ml water and reserve 2 tbsp. When I mixed the water with flour, the mixture is sticky until i kneaded it by adding some flour to get the consistency.
Why is it my dough is a little bit sticky that is difficult to pleat?

Does the softness of your pau will last long? overnight?

Thank you

lilyng said...

anonymous

Flour absorption of water/liquid differs from brand and where you are. If where you are has high humidity, then the flour need less water. A fresh bag and one that has been on the shelf longer, absorbs liquid differently. You would have to adjust the water or add flour as you go along.

All paus will hardened even for a few hours, that is why Dim Sum restaurant keep them on the steamer all the time.

Anonymous said...

Tried the recepi ...very nice n soft ....tq for sharing!!

WAHM said...

Hi lily,

I tried your bao recipe today. The bao turned out soft and nice but I just like to know... Why did the bao spread to a roundy shape (after steaming) and it doesn't stand tall like yours :p I don't have a breadmaker so I knead with my mixer. I suppose I should till it's not so sticky? The only prob is I'm not sure if my baking powder is double action or single... It was not stated on the packaging.

lily ng said...

wahm

different types of flour have different absorption levels so when you add liquid, hold back 2 tbsp and add in as needed. The pau spreads cos the dough is has too much liquid and the dough is too soft. As for the baking powder if the box does not say double, then it is single. Single baking powder should be added at the end of proofing before you are ready to wrap the filling. Try get double action powder.

WAHM said...

Thanks Lily. I just got the double action powder today! I did hold back few tbsp of water, maybe the kneading wasn't suffice! Going to try again

lily ng said...

wahm

yes, please do try again it is so rewarding

WAHM said...

HI Lily,

Just want to let you know that I had tried the bao so many times and they are so yummy. I'm wondering if I can use this same recipe for San Cheen Pau?

lily ng said...

wahm

absolutely, it will be perfect

WAHM said...

Thanks! I presume the cooking method for the san cheen pau will be the same for this dough? It shouldn't be too soft, right?

lily ng said...

wahm

try not to have too much dough and roll it thinner

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,

Thanks for sharing this fantastic recipe. I have tried three different recipes and your recipe turned out the best. The outcome was satisfactory but has not perfect yet. I kneaded using hands. May i know how long to knead by hands ? The surface not smooth but no crack, and lumpy. May i know what is the cause ? Is hong kong flour same as pau flour?

lily ng said...

anonymous

yes, hong kong flour is pau flour. if you knead by hand and using pau flour, you will never over knead. To get a smooth texture, give the dough a thorough kneading until it is very soft and smooth

lily ng said...

anonymous

yes, hong kong flour is pau flour. if you knead by hand and using pau flour, you will never over knead. To get a smooth texture, give the dough a thorough kneading until it is very soft and smooth

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,

I would like to know if i can use the super soft pau recipe to make baked buns? If yes, how long should it be baked?

Thanks
Mary

lily ng said...

mary,

i am sure you can but if you need to do a baked one, try this recipe http://lilyng2000.blogspot.com/2009/02/cocktail-buns.html

Anonymous said...

Tried this recipe today after many failed attempts (other recipes). And finally I've succeeded!!! The paus were soft and white. Many many thanks lily for this great recipe. ~Penny~

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily

thank you for your receipt. I really happy to have it. The bao is really good and I also use the same flour brand as yours. However, there is a problem with the dough. the bao is a little bit stiky on the teeth when eating it. how can i improve the dough that it is not going to be stiky again?
Soon, I have to make a lot of baos and put them into the freezer. My question after defrosting and steam them by second time, how long do I have to steam them, so that the dough is still white. And will be the bao still soft, moister and fresh?

Thank you for you kind help and i am looking forward to receiving your answer.

Best regards

Thao

Eling said...

Hi Lily,

Made the bao today using your recipe. It tasted good but my bao is kind of doughy type, not fluffy. Did I do wrongly any steps?

Tks in advance,
Eileen

lily ng said...

eileen

doughy, it sounds like the paus are not cooked through or the dough did not have enough of liquid. The liquid required in the recipe is only a guide, flour absorbs liquid differently - types of flour, age of the flour, time of the year etc, so liquid has to be adjusted so that the dough can be kneaded to smooth and soft.

michi said...

Hi Lily, for a first timer I reckon the pau-skin I made per your recipe turned out pretty good; was soft enough for me. Thank you! How long can I keep the excess pau dough though? And if I wanted to make some paus for friends, how should I store the paus? unsteamed & frozen? Or steamed and frozen? Or steamed and refrigerated? Thank you once more :)

lily ng said...

michi

these paus can be stored frozen. once the dough is ready, it has to be filled and steamed. Cool them, then wrap tightly with cling/plastic wrap and leave in the freezer. When you want to eat them, just steam them in the frozen state until steamed through

michi said...

Thank you Lily!
-michi

Hana said...

Hi Lily, I love your soft buns very much. Could you please help me to shape longevity buns and show me a technique to put colour on them. Thank you Lily. (Hana)

lily ng said...

hana

see if this help http://lilysbest.blogspot.com/2011/03/longevity-peach-buns.html

Hana said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for the link of longevity peach paus.

Please refer to the attached link and teach me how to put colour on paus like that also how to make that bright pink colour.

http://s15.postimg.org/t7a6vjfnf/20130718_142425.jpg

Thanks for your time.
Hana.

lily ng said...

hana

if the whole pau is pink then it could be that pink food coloring is added to the pau dough or before steaming, the pau is painted with diluted food coloring

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