THIS is what real women want on Valentine’s Day. At least if they’re my woman:
Yep. Classic dim sum restaurant style Chinese egg custard buns, steamed AND baked. NewWifey(tm) practically creams her jeans every time we go out for them on the odd weekend, so I thought it was about time I gave ’em a shot at home.
I got up early Sunday morning to start the dough, and pulled them hot out of the oven/steamer just as she was getting up. (Thankfully she’s a lazy slob and rarely staggers out of bed before noon. Women!) She LOVED them. Creamed more than her jeans, too. Another argument for dining at home.
For those of you who like/understand culinary geekery: this very typical filling is basically just a riff on classic crème pâtissière, with more yolk and some pure starch rather than all flour, which lets it set up very stiff and hold its shape while cooking. Basic Chinese sweet milk yeast dough is the go-to for this dish. It’s a milk based dough that has room temperature – not melted – butter kneaded in. It only gets one rise.
The combination produces a dough that can be rolled out very thin while still staying intact (as the steamed buns were), or kept fairly thick for baking whole or with stuffing. The baked version produces an airy, even crumb that is extraordinarily soft considering I used high protein flour. I use it for many applications that require structural strength without making a heavy, leaden product.
Here’s a pretty good example of that. I made this to bring to a friend’s Christmas party two Christmases ago (I think). I more made it to shut their kids up so they wouldn’t bother us, and it worked. It’s that dough, rolled out and filled with Nutella, then shaped and baked off. Took a lot less time than any Western dough I would have used, and worked better with the chocolate spread also. Give it a shot sometime if you are ever inclined to bake:
Later, kids. Gotta go check on NewWifey(tm)’s buns. And maybe even cook.