Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Best Black Sesame Steamed Buns 最好的黑芝麻包

Call me a crazy woman!

I have been staring a few Chinese steamed buns recipes... And finally, I have found the best black sesame steamed bun recipe!!!

Why and how???

Remember in my previous post, I have made fluffy black sesame steamed buns with a high amount of baking powder but they have traces of bitter aftertaste. Next at this post, I have made black sesame flower steamed buns with the right amount of baking powder but slightly too much of ground sesame and they turned out to be spongy with cake-like and nutty texture. Henceforth, I have learnt to use the right amount of baking powder and ground sesame to use in order to yield fluffy and tasty black sesame steamed buns.

Now, staring at my personal favourite steamed bun recipe, I have realised that it is exactly the same as the soft and flossy milky flower steamed buns recipe at here!!! Is this an coincident or what??? The only only only difference is that my favourite recipe uses just water and the milky flower steamed buns recipe uses milk.

I wonder if the use of water or milk in my favourite steamed bun recipe will make any difference to make the best black sesame steamed buns and found an interesting conclusion!



best black sesame steamed buns homemade paste
I found it!!! This is the best black sesame steamed buns!
To investigate, I have made two kinds of dough. One with water and other with milk.
Next, I wrapped the flatten dough with homemade black sesame paste (Recipe at here).
... and shaped them accordingly.
Noticed that I have placed the water buns on square papers and the milk ones on round papers
I can see the slight difference now and can't wait to taste the difference.
I thought that I would see some difference but strangely, both look the same after steaming...
However, I can see and taste the difference after I sliced them.
And, I found that the water buns are fluffier!!!
Look closer... This milky bun is delicious with milky taste and chewy texture but slightly denser ...
... than this very fluffy and bouncy water bun.

Seeing these photos of mouth watering fluffy steamed buns, I hope that you are fully convinced that I have found the best black sesame streamed buns recipe. If you have seen a better recipe than this, I won't mind if you tell me but I must say that this is definitely my personal best that I have tried so far.

This is the combined recipe that is adapted from here, here and here

To make smooth and velvety black sesame seed paste:

Makes about 2 cups or 30-35 small steamed bun portions
160g (1 cup) black sesame seeds
150g caster sugar
1 cup boiling hot water
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Place sesame seeds in a saucepan. Using medium heat, toast sesame seeds with occasion stirring for about 5 mins or until the seeds are fragrant and start to have a few popping sound. Be careful not to over-toast the seeds as they can be bitter if they are burnt. Allow it to cool completely in the room temperature.

Transfer the cooled sesame seeds into a processor or a container of a hand held processor. Add water and process into a smooth paste as much as possible. You may add more water to process mixture into smoother texture but adding more water means that you will need a longer time to cook it off later.

For a smoother texture, ground processed mixture in batches into smoother paste using a mortar and pestle and transfer the ground paste into a clean saucepan.

Add oil into the ground paste and cook with medium heat and stirring until mixture is pasty and fragrant. Then, add sugar. You will notice that the mixture will become wet and darker after the addition of sugar. Continue to cook with medium heat with constant stirring until the liquid dry up to form a firm paste.

To make either the milk or water black sesame steamed buns:

Makes 12 small buns

250g Hong Kong flour or any low protein (7-9%) bleached flour
1/2 tsp baking powder, preferably double acting baking powder
2/3 tsp instant yeast
25g caster sugar (you can use 50g if you like sweeter buns but this amount works very well for me)
140ml water or milk (I have found that water makes the buns fluffier)*
1 tbsp (15ml) vegetable oil, preferably something light like canola oil** or softened butter (but I have found oil works the best for this recipe!)
10g black sesame seeds, lightly roasted and finely ground by mortar and pestle

*I have noticed that the dough made with milk is slightly stickier than the dough made with water but both are equally easy to handle. Due to the difference, the buns made with water are puffier than the buns made with milk after resting in the warm mist.

**Due its lightness, canola oil or corn oil is most appropriate to use to make steamed bun dough.

Place water (or milk), oil (or butter), sugar, flour, baking powder and yeast according to this order into a breadmaker and use dough setting to knead and prove the dough for 1 hr.

If breadmaker is not available, kneading by hand is possible. Combine flour, baking powder, yeast, sugar in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture, add water and oil mix to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead to form an elastic and smooth dough (at least 20 mins) and then let it rise for 1 hr.

When the dough is ready, divide into 12 portions. Roll 12 tablespoonful of black sesame paste into 12 balls of paste. Flatten each dough pieces with your hands or roll it slightly with a rolling pin. Place a portion of the sesame filling in the middle of each flatten dough. Wrap and seal the sides to completely enclose the filling. Place each bun on a small piece of baking paper with its seam sides down. Rest the bun in warm mist for 20 mins. While waiting, if you are using the stove for steaming, set water to boil for the steaming later. Steam bun for about 12-20 mins until done. The steam timing varies if you have multiple layers of baos to steam. The layer that is closest to the direct steam will take 15 mins to cook. When ready remove the buns immediately from the steamer and serve warm.

Leftovers can be kept in fridge or freezer with cling wrap and cover. To freeze, allow buns to cool completely at room temperature. Wrap each bun in each small freezing bag and place them in the freezer. To consume, no thawing of frozen buns is required. Just re-steam the kept buns until hot before serve.

Happy Steaming
Please support me and like me at Facebook...

34 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your experiment with milk and water. I bet I will personally favor the milk version which should be richer in flavor? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah... but in this case, I found that the milk makes the dough "gluey" thus make the rising less efficient!

      Delete
  2. Zoe,
    Also, I am linked to the black sesame paste filling. Do you think it can be used in glutinous rice dumplings too?
    By the way, the new banner on the blog is so nice :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andre! It should be ok... It should be firm enough for making dumplings too. I like making my own black sesame paste as it is made with the oil that I like to use :D

      Zoe

      Delete
  3. These buns look so delicious! What a nice experiment with water and milk, I wouldn't have guessed the outcome that water actually makes them fluffier :) I haven't used black sesame yet, I should definitely try it in the future :D Thank you for sharing this perfect recipe with us!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh wow Zoe, these look so delicious! I wish I had you in my family to make even just one new delicious treat a week or every fortnight! I personally LOVE sesame seed and other nut desserts like walnut/sesame/peanut cream! This looks absolutely yummy and I love how you pay so much detail to the differences in recipe and that you really explore the effects on ingredients on the outcome!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Zoe, Your black sesame buns look awesome!Thank you for sharing my favourite buns with the homemade healthy black sesame filling.
    Thanks again for the linked to BREE!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Zoe, I've been a silent reader all these while.. silently absorbing all the invaluable knowledge you've unselfishly shared with everyone. I really want to THANK YOU!!! I'm a complete idiot in cooking and baking but I've picked up baking as a result of wonderful bloggers like you. I've tried some of your recipes, mostly a success. I LOVE anything sesame and I definitely want to try this during the Sep school holiday in SG. I'll report out how it goes..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope that you have fun making these buns :)

      Zoe

      Delete
  7. I had tau sar pau yesterday, your black sesame buns reminds me of the tau sar pau, but of course, yours nicer la, homemade, somemore can put more "liew" inside.. The one that I had, very little red bean, and very hard inside, not nice..

    ReplyDelete
  8. Zoe, you are really good in bao! Looking all your good looking bao. I have tried doing a few bao, but I had oversteamed them and became 'flat' bao :(

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a new type of bun for me...... Looks delicious and yummy..... :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Zoe, I love this type of Chinese bun so much, yours steamed buns look incredibly fluffy and nice.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Zoe, very typical of you to be curious and experiment! So now I know that using water is better :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Zoe,ue buns look so fluffy,and makes me drooling la...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Zoe, you're no crazy woman. Diligent, yes! This looks like a lovely bun recipe for me to try in future. :D

    ReplyDelete
  14. So many variations on the theme, once you get one recipe down it's easy to adapt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Zoe,
    这个黑芝麻包子太赞了,食谱我抄下来了,有时间一定会做的哦。
    你真的好用心,每次的post都写得很清楚与完整。您的分析真的让我受益不浅,感谢您哦!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Interesting buns, Zoe. I ate some buns of similar colour but they're made with black pepper instead. Would love to try yours too :D

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just posted black sweet black sesame dumpling recipe. I love black sesame paste! I must try this recipe!
    Looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I tried.. but my steamed buns tasted sour.. why? I used instant dry yeast without baking soda.. Isn't it because of no baking soda??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I'm sorry to hear that but I'm not sure why your buns tasted sour. They shouldn't taste sour and doesn't contain baking soda in them. Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
    2. Sour bun is usually an indication of over fermentation. It might be warmer where you are so only requires less proofing time.

      Delete
  19. May I know what brand of dry instant yeast you are currently using now? Mind to share?
    How long u leave the dough to raise? I left it about 1 hour then after the buns were made and let them raise another 15 minutes before steaming. Isn't it correct? Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the yeast that I'm using is Lowan Brand from Woolworths or Coles. Depending on the temperature of the place that you leave the dough to prove, the timing for them to raise might be slightly different. I generally leave my dough to prove for 1 hour before shaping and another 30-45 mins before steaming but you might need a slightly shorter or longer time as long as the dough has doubled in size or look puffy.

      Zoe

      Delete
  20. Hi Zoe, just in idea if you're making more of the milk buns (it never occur to me to use milk for steam buns!) is to proof it longer? Fat tends to slow down yeast growth. Love to see the result of your experimentation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jules,

      Thank you for your comment. I'm pretty sure that allowing the buns with milk to prove longer wouldn't make the buns taste like the ones that are made with water. Cheers!

      Zoe

      Delete
  21. Hi Zoe, just wondering, have you ever done experiments using oil vs no oil in your dough? What is the oil for/what difference does it make? Normally I make my bao zi without oil and they still turn out fluffy, but I was very curious...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I have not tried making steamed buns without oil because I prefer my steamed buns to have a little bit of smoothness from this very very very small amount of added oil. Besides, I also believe that the buns will stay moister and keep better with the addition of oil. For this reason, I'm sorry that I won't do any experiment to compare buns with or without oil. Cheers!

      Delete
  22. If you want to combine milky yumminess and water fluffiness, use buttermilk. If you can find it, it's a dough treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for your suggestion but buttermilk won't work for this recipe.

      Delete
  23. Hi, is it possible to substitute black sesame powder for black sesame seeds in this recipe? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this fuss free idea. I'm sure you can substitute black sesame seeds with the powder but you have to make sure the powder has no other ingredients such as sugar, thickener and etc.

      Delete