I was very surprised and happy that my Miss Picky Eater, ate 2 char siew paus, filling and all. Usually she would just eat the pau and leave the filling. She must be getting older and eating alot more, variety that is, like green leafy vegetables and fish. I will go to any lengths to make or cook the food she likes to eat and looking at her devout that 2 paus made me go looking for this recipe which has been with me for more than 30 years. I had been lazy and depended on the premixed cos pau flour is not readily available here and i have even asked the dim sum restaurants to sell me some of their stock but the reply is that they are always short. Anyway, the bleached all-purpose flour and wheat starch made pretty good paus - perhaps not as fluffy or perhaps it is not the flour, it is that i do not have the expertise to make them as fluffy. Even the folding of the paus, has an important part to play when it comes to making them smile. I noticed that more dough should be on top of the pau and don't be like me, leaving the knob behind. I must remember to break that knob away.
300 g pau flour/260 g bleached all-purpose flour and 40 g wheat starch
1 tsp instant yeast
150 ml water
To make pau dough:
150 g pau flour/130 g bleached all-purpose and 20 g wheat starch
3/4 tbsp double action baking powder
130 g sugar
1/2 tbsp lard/shortening
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp ammonium bicarbonate
2 tiny drops kan sui
300 g char siew(recipe is here
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp soya sauce
2 3/4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp dark thick soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp waterchestnut powder diluted with 2 tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp roast sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil
To make YEAST DOUGH
Mix flour yeast, yeast and water together. Knead well and leave for at least 15 hours.
To make FILLING
Cut char siew into tiny dices.
Heat wok with a little oil and add in the minced garlic. Saute until fragrant and add the diced char siew and the water and sauces. Mix well and thicken with waterchestnut solution. Cook until sauce comes back to the boil.
Add in chopped cilantro and roasted sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil.
Leave to cool.
To make pau dough after 15 hours:
Sieve the baking powder with the flour.
Mix ammonium bicarbonate, kan sui and water and mix until ammonium bicarbonate is dissolved.
Tear up the yeasted dough into small pieces and place in an electric stand mixer bowl,, add in the sugar, lard and the ammonium bicarbonate solution. Using the dough hook, knead until well mixed, Add in flour and knead the dough until it is smooth.
Remove dough and spread dough out into a rough rectangle. Mix 1/2 tsp of baking powder with a little water and spread it over the rectangle. Roll it up and knead until smooth and not sticking to your hands.
Divide dough into portions (i like to weigh them 35 gms each). Line the divided dough up. Start from the first portion, cup the dough portion with your palm and round it. Repeat with the rest of the portions, lining them up in order.
While making the paus, fill steamer pot with water and bring to the boil.
Roll the first rolled portion dough out into a circle and fill with a tablespoon of cooled filling. Pleat the circle up and seal well.(i roll the circle bigger, so that i can have more dough on top of pau. I find that more dough is good for the pau to smile. Remove the last pinch from the top). Put a piece of paper at the base of pau and leave in a steamer rack, covered with a damp cloth while you prepare another 6 more paus.
Make sure water is in a rolling boil before putting the steamer rack with the prepared paus to steam for 10 minutes(if you are making bigger paus, then steaming time will be longer).
Continue to wrap paus with the char siew filling and steam.
These paus cannot be consumed yet as they stink from the ammonium bicarbonate. A second steaming of 10 minutes is required to allow the ammonium to dissipate.
Enjoy the paus warm.