Baked Pork Buns (Banh Bao Nuong) - sweet bread dough filled with Chinese barbecue pork | recipe from runawyrice.com
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Baked Pork Buns / Banh Bao Nuong

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 12 buns
Calories: 210 kcal
Author: Trang
Make delicious Baked Pork Buns (Banh Bao Nuong) at home with this easy recipe. Fluffy sweet buns are filled with savory pork and baked until golden. These Baked Pork Buns are even better than the bakery version and so amazing when freshly made at home. This easy recipe with video takes you through the steps for making a basic sweet dough, the savory meat filling and baking the buns to golden perfection. The recipe is super versatile. Make the buns with any filling of your choice, meat or vegetarian. These delicious Baked Pork Buns are a guaranteed winner!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil divided
  • 1/4 cup hot water , 100 F (38 C)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk , at room temperature
  • 1 large egg , at room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter , at room temperature

Filling

Egg Wash

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter , melted
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

Make the Dough

  1. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable oil into a large bowl. Brush the oil coating the inside of the bowl completely.
  2. In a small bowl, add the hot water, active dry yeast and 1 tsp sugar. Combine together. Let rest for 10 minutes or until the yeast mixture is foamy.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Using the dough hook, mix on Low speed for 15 seconds.
  4. Add the yeast mixture and milk. Lightly beat the egg and add. Add the butter.
  5. Mix on Low speed. During the first minute, scrape around the bowl using a spatula and push the dry ingredients toward the center. (The dough should start to form after 2 minutes.) Continue mixing for a total of 8 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into a rough ball and place into the oiled bowl. Coat the dough with the remaining 1/2 tsp vegetable oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  7. Place the bowl into the oven and let rest until the dough doubles in size, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Make the Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the barbecue seasoning mix and soy sauce. Stir until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
  2. Cut the pork butt into small pieces.
  3. Add the pork butt to the marinade and combine together.
  4. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
  5. In a measuring cup, combine the corn starch and water. Stir until smooth.
  6. Heat a medium wok over Medium High heat. When hot add the vegetable oil, minced shallots and garlic. Stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  7. Add the marinated pork and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add the corn starch and water mixture and combine together. Reduce the heat to Low and continue cooking until the sauce thickens, approximately 3 minutes.
  9. Turn off the heat. Add the sesame oil and ground black pepper and combine together.
  10. Transfer the filling to a medium bowl and let cool.

Make the Buns

  1. Lightly flour the work surface. Transfer the dough and then sprinkle a bit more flour on top. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Shape the dough into a log about 12 inches long. Using a pizza wheel or knife, cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.
  3. Shape each piece into a rough ball.
  4. Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap to keep from drying.
  5. Take a dough ball and flatten it slightly with your fingers.
  6. Use a rolling pin, flatten into a 3 inch circle. Flatten the edge so it's thinner than the center.
  7. Using a medium cookie scoop, transfer 1 1/2 Tbsp meat filling and place in the center of the dough.
  8. Gather up the dough enclosing the filling ball. At the top of the ball, pinch the dough together and then twist.
  9. Place the twisted-end facing down on the work surface. To smooth and shape the bun, cup your hand around the ball and rotate in a circular motion for about 10 seconds. Pat and rotate the ball between your palms to round out the bun.
  10. Transfer the bun to a large baking sheet.
  11. Continue with the same steps making the remaining buns.
  12. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Make the Egg Wash

  1. In a small bowl combine the melted butter and egg yolk.

Bake the Buns

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C).
  2. Using a pastry brush, coat the buns evenly with the egg wash.
  3. Place the buns in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Rotate the pan halfway through for evening browning.
  4. Remove the buns from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  5. Enjoy the Baked Pork Buns warm or at room temperature.
  6. Refrigerate any remaining buns and enjoy within the week. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes, Tips & Tricks

Substitute the pork with any meat or vegetarian filling of your choice.

I like the convenience of the Noh Chinese Barbecue Seasoning Mix but if you're not a fan of the red food coloring, try my recipe for homemade Roast Pork (Xa Xiu) marinade or use any marinade you like.

The corn starch and water mixture is a binder and helps the filling stick together. Avoid cooking off all the liquid. The starch continues to absorb the liquid as it cools.

The dough should be soft and moderately sticky. During mixing, if the dough is too wet or too dry, add more flour or water, 1 Tbsp at a time and mix together. It is common for the dough to stick to the bottom of the mixing bowl. As long as the dough holds its shape and doesn’t ooze, then it’s not too wet. At the same time, avoid adding too much flour which results in a dry and heavy bun.

The dough resting times may varying depending on the air temperature. It typically takes about 1 1/2 hours for the dough to double in size when the air temperature is approximately 72 F (22 C). To speed up the process, use a warm oven. Turn on the oven light or warm the oven and then turn off heat.

Avoid using too much flour when working with the dough and rolling into buns, just a light dusting is needed. The dough should be moderately sticky. Don’t over-shape the buns. Work quickly and make rough buns. During the second resting period, the buns will rise evenly into nice, round buns.

Place a pan of hot water on the bottom oven rack. This generates steams and keeps the buns moist during baking. This trick is great for getting a soft, moist texture for any baked goods.

Store the Baked Pork Buns at room temperature for 1 day. After this time, refrigerate and enjoy within the week. To reheat, warm in the toaster oven or microwave on Low power for 20-30 seconds. Freeze the Baked Pork Buns for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Pork Buns / Banh Bao Nuong
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 322mg 13%
Potassium 154mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Sugars 6g
Protein 9g 18%
Vitamin A 2.9%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 2.3%
Iron 9.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.