Another famous and great dim sum steamed bun recipe—Custard bun also named as milk yolk buns. Those little buns are also named as Lai Wong Bao.
This is the version with butter and egg for sweet teeth. Just a remanding, there is a sister bun of this milk yolk bun named as Liu Sa Bao which uses salted duck egg and thus providing a savory and salty filling. Those two versions are quite similar but different in tastes.
I do not like sweet food for the first 18 years in my life because my teeth was get used to spicy and savory foods. Sweet desserts were here but less appealing to me compared with real Sichuan style hot food. However after living in Guangdong province for around 5 years, I fall in love with sweet dessert slowly especially some of the Hong Kong style desserts, baked buns and cookies. The cities might looks similar from the appearance, but the foods are so different from the history background and geographic position.
Before start making those yummy buns at home, there are some key ingredients.
- Custard powder
To make the perfect custard filling, custard powder is necessary. It is firstly imported by some bakery stores in Hong Kong and now becomes a popular baking ingredient in Mainland China too. It can increase the milk aroma and add slightly yellow color to the filling.
- Wheat starch
Wheat starch is the main ingredient for another famous dim sum dessert-Har Gow. The reason why it is used to replace flour is because it is almost transparent, which further give the filling a perfect yellow color.
Start with the dough firstly. If you are not familiar with how to make a dough for Chinese buns, check Chinese steamed bun for some detailed guide.
And then the custard filling.
In a small pot, combine custard powder, wheat starch and sugar together.Heat over low heat and then add milk. Keep stirring until well mixed.Stir in beaten egg slowly and keep stirring during the process. Add butter in. Heat until well mixed. You can taste the filling for some adjustment if necessary at this step.
Remove off heat and turn the filling over and over again until it can form a smooth ball and everything is well incorporated. The left picture is before turning with a spatula and the right picture is after. There should be no particles in the filling dough.
To assemble the custard bun
1. It is quite necessary to shape the filling into balls before assembling the bun. This is make the process much easier especially for starters.
2. To get a uniform wrapper after sealed completely, the edges of the wrapper should be slightly thinner than the center.
3. After seal the buns, turn them over gently and then shape again for a better round shape.
How to set up the steamer: I use a bamboo steamer for all my buns, you can get it from Amazon Joyce Chen 26-0013, 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set
Here we are Now!
Custard Bun-Milk Yolk Buns
- 1.5 tbsp. custard powder
- ½ cup wheat starch
- 2 tbsp. cake flour
- 100 ml milk
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg+ another yolk , slightly beaten (around 100g)
For the bun wrapper
- 2 cups cake flour , or low-gluten flour
- 100 ml milk , or 20ml more if you are using all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup warm water , around 35℃
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
Custard filling recipe
- In a small pot, combine custard powder, wheat starch and sugar together.
- Heat over low heat and then add milk. Keep stirring until well mixed.
- Stir in beaten egg slowly and keep stirring during the process. Add butter in. Heat until well mixed. Remove off heat and turn the filling over and over again until it can form a smooth ball and everything is well incorporated.
- Set aside to cool down and then place the custard filling in fridge for at least 1 hour (depending on the temperature)or until hardened. So you can shape the fillings easily.
For the dough
- Add sugar and yeast to the warm water. Wait for around 10 minutes until the yeast is well activated.
- Mix other ingredients for the dough with the warm yeast water prepared in the previous step. Grasp everything together and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Brush some oil on a large bowl and transfer the dough for the proofing. Wait for 2-3 hours until the dough is doubled in size.
Assemble the custard buns
- When the dough is doubled in size, transfer to a slightly floured board and pinch the air out. Please knead forcefully for a smooth surface. And then roll into a long log; cut the log into 12 equal portions. At the same time, divide the custard filling into 12 equal portions and shape each one to a ball (make the assembling process much easier)
- Take one portion out, press down slightly and then roll to a around wrappers around 8 to 10 cm in diameter. Make the edges thinner than the center.
- Place on portion of the filling on the round wrapper and then seal completely. Repeat the process to finish all the buns.
- Set up the steamer and let the buns reset for around 10 to 15 minutes with lid covered.
- Steam on high heat for around 15 minute to 20 minutes. Turn off the fire, wait for 5 minutes before uncovering and enjoying.
a c y h o z
oh my god.. that's so beautiful <3
And super yummy too Acyhoz especially for the filling part. It does not need too much time and taste really great.
Hello - can you also let me know how you use the bamboo steamer?
i got a set like that and has been wondering as how to use it with what pan?
looks like you have some kind of cloth in the pan too?
You should choose a wok or deep pan with similar size of your steam. Add water in the wok. And then use a long wet cloth or gauze to cover the bottom of the steamer, just like the picture shows. This can avoid air leakage and shorten the steaming process.
Hannah @ Eating with Alice
Ooooh! Yum, yum!
I love dim sum. I am a big yum cha fan, but have never seen these delicious looking buns on any of the carts.
xx Hannah (www.eatingwithalice.com)
are they freezer friendly? I love these pau and the recipe looks easy enough to follow. pictures look GREAT!
Yes, you can store them for sure after steaming and cooling down. Place in refrigerator for up to one week with plastic wrapper covered. And then re-steaming before the next serving.
Never seen such buns before today, simply awesome!
Thanks Sylvie for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment. This custard bun has a strong milky flavor and is one of my favorite dim sum buns.
I don't have any wheat starch on hand. Can i substitute wheat starch with cornstarch?
Hi there, yes you can use cornstarch to replace wheat starch. However the filling may not be so crystal and colorful.
is there supposed to be oil in the dough? it was very dry and tough until i addded it
It is a very basic Chinese steamed bun dough and oil is not required. If the dough is too dry, you can slightly add more water. I have never tried with oil in the dough. But can you tell me how it turns out?
I agree with the original poster - the dough was a bit dry. The second time I made the dough, I added about 10 ml grape seed oil and that made an enormous difference in the pliancy and tenderness of the baozi. Also, I added a pinch of salt and 2.5 ml vanilla extract into the custard filling to enhance the flavor of the custard. It came out wonderfully. Thank you for the recipe!
Thanks so much for the feedback.
Hello, I was wondering if there's any substitute for the custard powder?
There is no perfect for custard powder but you can skip it.
In the US Jello instant vanilla pudding powder is a similar product. Not identical, but I have substituted it in the past for other British and Canadian custard desserts with no bad results (will taste a little sweeter and more vanilla). hope this can help the original poster.
I'm from Hong Kong and I love this dessert! I never make it at home but you make it look so easy. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Thank you Audrey! Happy cooking ahead.
I love these bum. Can you teach me how to make the baked version also?
I never tried a baked custard bun, but we have a baked char siu bao. Go head this link https://www.chinasichuanfood.com/char-siu-bao-baked-buns-recipe/ for the direction.
Not sure if you would be able to see my comment, but you can make the bake version. Find your favourite dinner roll recipe and just add the filling into each dinner roll then you get your baked version of it.