I made my first foolproof steamed buns or paos 3 years ago. I’m glad I have gone through that pao-making journey the conventional way first before delving into the “mind” of an automated kitchen gadget early this year. This reminds me of learning to drive a manually-manoeuvred car first before going into an automatic-geared one.
For the record, I am still a believer of manually operated cars. Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t that what we have to go through life first? Always learn and tackle the hard way first and everything else will be easy peasy? 😜
Three vs One
3 years ago, I went through the hurdles of getting the dough proofed 3 times before I could taste the fruit of my success. It was a long and winding process and the key word was ‘Patience’. My Kenwood did a fantastic job in kneading the dough to perfection…BUT it was the waiting time that consumed my day.
Here’s why …
With lots of patience, the paos turned out top notch in my books in terms of size and texture.
Then came the Thermomix. My waiting time was reduced by two thirds as the buns required to be proofed only once for 30 mins. That’s it!
And here’re the results…
Following my conventional pao recipe, I converted the method to that of the Thermomix way of cooking. Instead of vegetable shortening, I used corn oil.
Ingredients A –
- 120 g water
- 20 g corn oil
- 20 g sugar
- 1 tsp instant dry yeast
Ingredients B –
- 250 g Pao flour (note using plain flour is a healthier option but will not yield the white, soft and fluffy texture of a classic Chinese steamed buns)
- A pinch of sea salt
Ingredient C –
- 600 g water
How to prepare ?
- Place A in TM bowl: 30 sec/ 37 deg C/ sp 3
- Add B. Mix for 30 sec / sp 0 -> 6
- Knead for 2 mins
- Tip the dough on a work top and knead lightly to form a log shape. Cut 6 to 8 pieces from the dough.
- Flatten each ball into disc-shape and add char siew filling into each flattened disc.
- Proof the buns for 30 mins
- While waiting for the buns to rise, boil 600 g water @ 30 mins/ V/ spoon
- Place the proofed buns in the Varoma set (dish and tray). Steam for 25 mins/ V/ R/ sp 3. Rest for 5 mins before serving
Verdict: The stark difference with using the TM was that, a huge proportion of my time has been saved as opposed to the conventional way. There appeared to be no difference in the texture of the pao immediately after it came out of the steamer (Varoma set), however, TM paos if left to cool too long would harden, unlike the traditional paos, which would remain soft and fluffy. The only way to work around the TM paos was to freeze them as soon as they have cooled and steamed them when needed. Size-wise, TM paos were only slightly smaller (due to less proofing duration). Both methods had no influence on the taste. They were equally yummy. Finally, use your imagination for the filling. It’s your pao, your call😜
I’m linking this post to Cook Blog Share Week 17 hosted by Sneaky Veg