Homemade bao bread, how to make it at home step by step easy

We can find countless recipes steamed bun, Homemade bao bread, bao buns or gua bao with a wide variety of ingredients, from the simplest bao buns —like the ones we will make in this recipe— to versions with added ingredients such as milk, butter and even squid ink to give it a dark tone, or with other flours to make bread integral bath. The kneading and rising process is similar to that of any other bread with the only difference being that, in the case of steamed bao bread instead of in the oven.

So that our bao breads are as uniform as possible, we will weigh the dough, we will stretch it with a rolling pin, leaving it with a thickness of about 4 mm and an oval shape. When folding them, we try to leave the upper part a little further back, in this way, we will have a few breads with a perfect shape and very showy.

With the quantities indicated in this recipe we will obtain 9 bao breads of 50 grams each, although we can divide the dough into smaller portions to make more smaller loaves. If we make them smaller, they are ideal for canapés, a buffet or a snack dinner. If you haven’t tried them yet, take note of this basic and simple recipe for homemade bao bread, and get down to work, you’ll love them!

Homemade bao bread ready to use in sandwiches@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

recipe information

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • cooking time: 15 minutes
    • total time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
    • rations: 9 units
    • Category: loaves
    • type of cuisine: asian
    • Calories per serving (kcal):125

Ingredients for homemade bao bread for 9 loaves

    • 250 g of bread wheat flour
    • 6 g fresh yeast
    • 160 ml of water
    • 30 ml of sunflower oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

Homemade Bao Bread Ingredients@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

How to make homemade bao bread

We weigh and prepare all the ingredients and, once we have them all ready, we start with the dough for the bao breads. In a bowl we put 250 g of bread wheat flour, add 6 g of fresh yeast, 150 ml of water and 30 ml of sunflower oil. If we do not have a very high room temperature, we will use warm water, but if the day is hot we will use seasonal water.

Preparing the dough for homemade bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

With our hands, we mix all the ingredients and let them rest for about 10 minutes. After resting, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the remaining 10 ml of water and work the dough again with your hands. If we observe that we have a dough that is too dense, we will have to add a little more water, since not all flours absorb the same amount of water and, normally, the amount of liquid must be adjusted to adapt it to the flours we use.

Kneading homemade bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

After working the bao dough for a few minutes, it will be smooth and elastic. We cover it and let it rise until it doubles its volume, which may take about 2 hours, although it will depend on the heat and humidity of the environment.

Bao bread dough risen and ready to form the loaves@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

When the dough has doubled in volume, we form the rolls. To do this, we divide the dough into equal portions of about 50 g —or another weight depending on the desired size of the loaves— we round them and let them rest for about 15 minutes covered with a damp cloth. In turn, we cut baking paper into squares about 6 cm on each side to place them in the bao breads when folding them and to prevent them from sticking. Another option is to brush the dough with a little water when folding them. In this way they will be sealed a bit, but when it is time to use them we open them with a knife and that’s it.

Portions of dough ready to make homemade bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

With a rolling pin, we stretch each of the dough portions with a uniform thickness of about 4 mm, giving them an oval shape. Place a piece of paper in the middle and fold the dough over on itself. We try to leave the upper part a little further back so that we have the very showy shape of the bao breads.

Forming the homemade bao breads@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

Once the portions of dough have been folded, we are placing them in a steamer or steamer basket with a small piece of baking paper underneath so that they do not stick to the steamer.

Homemade bao breads formed and rising@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

We let the loaves rise in this way for half an hour, or more if we see that they need it, and once they have doubled in size, we steam them for between 10 and 15 minutes depending on their size and type of steamer. In our case we have used a bamboo steamer with a wok: we have poured water into the wok, we have put the steamer on top and we have steamed the bao buns for 15 minutes.

Steamed bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

After 15 minutes, we uncover the steamer and leave the loaves to steam for a couple more minutes so they don’t go down. After this time, we remove the loaves from the steamer and leave them on a wire rack to cool.

Bao bread cooling on a rack@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

Once cold, we will have the bao breads ready to fill as we like. They keep perfectly for a couple of days in an airtight bag and are perfect for freezing. We can double the amount indicated and store them already made in the freezer to always have them available.

Overhead view of homemade bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikapregoClose up of homemade bao bread@pandebroa.by.monikaprego

Easy preparation summary

    1. We weigh the ingredients, put the flour in a bowl and add the water, oil, yeast and mix everything
    1. Let the dough rest for a few minutes. Add the salt and the remaining water and work the dough adding more water if necessary
    1. When the dough is smooth and elastic, cover it and let it rise until it doubles in volume.
    1. Divide the dough into 9 portions, or more to taste, round them and let them rest for 15 minutes. While we cut pieces of baking paper to put between the breads
    1. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, giving it an oval shape, fold it in half with a piece of baking paper in the middle.
    1. Place the bao buns in the steamer and allow them to double in volume again
    1. Steam the bao buns for about 15 minutes and two more minutes uncovered
    1. We remove the already cooked breads to a wire rack and let them cool.
    1. We can fill the bao breads as we like or freeze them to use at any other time