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pearly white pork buns

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've have tried numerous ways of making the chinese dim sum "Steam barbecued pork bun" (cha siu bao). I can't seem to get the fine product to come out pearly white like those in the restaurant. below is one of the receipe I use. I also tried using ammonia bicarbonat, alkaline water...nothing works...any suggestions would be greatly appriciated?

Steamed Barbecued Pork Buns
(Cha Siu Bow)

- Dough Recipe

1 cake of fresh compressed yeast
1 ¾ cup warm water
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
6 ½ cups unsifted all purpose flour

To make dough: Dissolved ½ yeast cake with sugar in warm water. Immediately add baking powder and then the flour. The dough will be fairly firm and a bit on the dry side. Knead on board for 20 minutes (you should not need to flour the board) until dough becomes elastic and smooth. Place it in a big mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a dry, warm place (away from drafts) until dough doubles in bulk. Punch down dough and knead again for 5 more minutes…fill dough with stuffing…Steam for 15 minutes
post #2 of 8
So what color are your buns?:lol:
Seriously, are they that unattractive that you actually have to worry about the color?
I mean, to me, when food comes in an unusual pure shade, I tend to think, "artificial". Off-white seems preferable because it seems more "natural".

Anyway, have you tried using bleached flour instead of unbleached? That flour is definitely whiter than its unbleached counterpart. What about using instant yeast instead of cake yeast? When you use instant yeast, you use less, and it may color the dough less. Although I can't really say that yeast affects dough color all that much.

I've also noticed some recipes for steamed bun dough that include vinegar. Perhaps you should try one of those recipes instead. When I googled "steamed pork buns" I came across a recipe that included a picture, and those buns looked pretty darn white to me.

Hope this helps.....Cheers...!
post #3 of 8
dougie, try using Hong Kong flour or bleached flour if you want to get the pearly white buns.
post #4 of 8
Is "Hong Kong" flour like an uber-bleached kind of flour?
Where would you get it? Uwajimaya?
post #5 of 8
Hong Kong flour is a highly bleached flour used in making steamed pau/bao (Chinese buns). It makes the pau very white. It's available in Asian supermarkets or specialty cake shops. I take it that Uwajimaya is an Asian supermarket in which case you might be able to find it there, otherwise try any bleached flour like Pillsbury etc. It might not be extra white but at least whiter than all purpose unbleached flour.
post #6 of 8
Thanks so much firiki! Yeah, Uwajimaya is an Asian specialty food store up here near Seattle. I'll go there when I have a need for uber-white flour! I think your reply probably solved Dougie's problem after all this time too!
Thanks for chiming in!:roll:
post #7 of 8
chefpeon, you are most welcome!
post #8 of 8

The Key to Pearly White Steam Buns

I learned this from my mother so you may want to try this. The key to pearly white steam buns is to add vinager to the water that you use to steam the buns.
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