Bao-zi – Dumplings!!! (ENGLISH)

No, I have still not had time to bake bread. Maybe I can try this weekend… We all know very well that, at times, you can’t just do all that you want. These days are just very busy (I don’t really know why, they just are) so I am always onto quick bakes. I would have liked to try and make croissants again but, same as bread, you need to have time and love and care to spare for that. I will keep you posted 🙂
Now… Do we consider bao-zi to be bread? I do! So we could almost think that I baked bread yesterday… And following my mentor’s recipe. Ibán Yarza, my life would be so boring without you 😀
Yesterday was Experiment Night. Both me and Sergeant Lunch love dumplings and I happened to have a recipe there from Ibán’s book that turned out to be a winner. This will be a recurrent feature at dinner from now on, I reckon 😉


Bao-Zi with meat filling


Ingredients

    Filling
  • 500 g minced meat (pork and beef mix)
  • 1 big onion (or 2 small ones)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • A splash of sunflower oil
  • A splash of vinegar
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Pepper
  • 2 ground cloves
  • Dough
  • 400 g of flour
  • 200 g of water
  • 20 g of sugar
  • 4 g of salt
  • 10 g of fresh yeast (or 3 g of dry yeast)

Preparation

  1. We start preparing the dough. We mix all the ingredients and we knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. It is a fairly dry dough, very different from the pizza one, for example, so don’t worry if it’s not fluffy and soft. We leave it to proof 30 to 45 minutes. It’s not necessary that it doubles its size, you just need to see that it’s started to ferment correctly and it’s bigger and fluffier.
  2. Meanwhile, we prepare our filling. We put the onion in the pan with the oil, and we fry it for a while, until golden. We add the meat, and we fry it for a moment on high heat; we add the rest of the ingredients, we lower the heat and we leave it there for 15-20 minutes. We put aside to rest once we are done.
  3. Once the dough is ready, we start preparing the dumplings. It’s actually easier than it looks like… Or so I thought 🙂
  4. We weight the dough, dividing it into little balls of 30-35 grams each. Of course, you can make them bigger. I am giving you the standard recipe that we also followed for the first time. With a rolling pin, we stretch each ball to a disc of about 10-12 cm, trying to leave the edge of the disc thinner than the central part. We put a tablespoon (be generous, I though I was already putting too much but I ended up having not enough filling) on the centre of the disc and we start folding its hems on top of the filling, pressing hard after each fold. Since it’s more complicated to describe than to do, I will leave you a video at the end of the recipe.
  5. Once the dumplings are ready, we leave them to proof another 30 to 45 minutes. Again, they don’t need to double the size, just to get a bit “spongier”. We can leave them proof in the steamer. You can use either baking parchment or salad/cabbage leaves so that they won’t stick to the bamboo.
  6. We are now ready to bake them. We place the steamer on top of simmering water, close the lid, hope for the best and leave them there for around 10 minutes. Once they are cooked (try and not peek too much into the steamer), we remove the bamboo container from the water and we will leave it to rest for a minute or two. We don’t want all the steam to escape at once, with the effect of leaving crumpled buns behind. We open the lid carefully and… Voila’, we are ready to eat!

As promised, look at this beautifully easy to follow video:

Of course, the filling can vary. I will report any new flavours added to our collection 🙂

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