August 15, 2009

Making Steamed Buns With the Pro

HONG KONG - This country may be the best place to eat dim sum, so I made a personal request to include steamed buns on my training in the Lesaffre baking center, Hong Kong. For people who enjoy eating 'man tao' or steamed buns, this one's for you.

Fa Juan

Fa Juan is a traditional Hong Kong steamed bun. Spring onions are placed inside the bun to infuse an aroma within the bread. Sometimes, chopped ham is also added to add a salty twist.

The sliced ham and spring onions are generously sprinkled on the sheeted dough

The dough is then folded and cut

There are two ways to shape the Fa Juan, first one is called the "Saddle Roll". The shape is made by simply applying pressure using a chopstick in the middle of the cut Fa Juan dough and putting both ends together.

Saddle Roll (after proofing)

After Steaming

The second shape I learned is called the "Orchid Roll". This shape requires stretching and twisting the dough to form a flower-like figure.

Orchid Roll

Another way to present the Fa Juan - In a small Hong Kong bakery which specializes in steamed buns, I saw a different way of presenting the Fa Juan, fried!

This Fa Juan is shaped round and flat like a pizza. The shop has a special equipment just for frying it.

It is fried only skin deep, which gives the bread a good crunch on the outside. Fried Fa Juan sells very cheap. Sometimes, it can even go as low as one Hong Kong dollar a piece.

Clam Shape Pastry

The clam shape pastry has no filling whatsoever, it is usually made as a garnish.

Mr. Dick Cheung shows how to make the clam shape pastry.

Porcupine Bun

My favorite! Not only does the porcupine bun have a unique appearance, its coconut custard filling gave it a delightful added taste.

Step one in making the porcupine bun, putting the filling and sealing

Step two, designing the bun

Porcupine Bun

Filipinos are used to having BBQ Pork or Bola-bola inside their siopao, I say we open our minds and mouths to the sweet crunchy filling of these types of steamed buns!

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