Chinese steamed wheat buns relatively are healthier than traditional white buns and thus they are quite popular in China now. Back to the tough times, white flour is considered to be a rarer and valuable than the common whole wheat flour. But nowadays, we just need more raw foods. Chinese steamed buns have many types and shapes. I will introduce them a little bit. Firstly of all, there are knife cut white buns (the most common buns available) and then there are round buns some with the inner filling while others are not. Besides, there are also flavored buns named as HuaJuan (花卷), which usually have more shapes and different tastes. Top left: white knife cut buns–Chinese steamed buns
Top Right: Chinese pork steamed buns with char siu as filling--Chinese BBQ Pork Buns
Bottom left: Sweet red bean paste buns–Homemade sweet red bean buns
Bottom right: purple sweet potato buns–Purple sweet potato buns.
The steamed wheat buns introduced today can be made to other shapes if you like. I have decided to make it as a lotus leaf. We name this as lotus leaf burger bread. Surely it can be made with all-purpose flour exclude the whole wheat flour.
And for the tool, I am using a bamboo steamer which can be healthier and more suitable for making traditional Chinese steamed buns. If you love to make steamed buns at home or have a plan to, this is a must for you: Joyce Chen 26-0013, 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set from Amazon. Or try to find some if you can in local stores.
- All-purpose flour required for kneading
- oil for brushing if you are using wood mat for your steamer
- 200 g All-purpose flour around 2 cups
- 60 g whole wheat flour around 1 and 1/4 cup
- 154g water around 154 ml
- 3g instant yeast
- Mix all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and yeast. And then stir the water in slowly. During the process, mix the flour with a chopstick.
- Grasp all the flocculent flour chunks together and then knead to a smoothie ball. Cover with wet cloth or plastic wrap for fermentation. In hot summer days, only 40 minutes is needed for the fermentation process.
- Take the dough out when it doubles in size or have rich honeycomb texture. Keep kneading to punch the air out.
- Roll the dough into a long log and then cut into eight small sections. Roll each section to an oval piece. Pile it up and shape into a lotus leaf or whatever shape you like. Then make some decoration with a fork.
- Brush some oil on the bottom and place the buns on your steamer and begin to steam for around 15 minutes. Please do leave some space between each one because during the process, they will become intumescent.
- After stopping the fire, wait for around 5 minutes and then go and get then out.
You can match them with any filling you like. Savory and spicy fillings are highly recommended.