How To Make Custard Buns?
we wanted to show you how to make a classic at Dim Sum, custard buns.
Now, there are two types of Dim Sum Baozi that are often translated into English as custard bun
– the most classic of course
being Naiwongbao, which’s a sweet bun stuffed with a Cantonese-style custard.
That said, over the last couple of decades a similar bun that uses salted egg yolks has gained popularity, and its characteristic
gooeyness certainly makes it easy on the camera.
Both types are awesome so we’ll show you these two styles but we personally prefer ours custardy, so let’s get started making
a Cantonese custard.
How To Make Custard Buns?
Now Cantonese custard is basically the same idea as a Western-style custard, the basic difference is that it uses whole eggs instead
of just yolks, melted butter and condensed or evaporated milk instead of cream, and it makes use of instant custard, which could be subbed with half custard powder and half milk powder.
So to a bowl or something, you can mix in first add two medium eggs, or about 100 grams, and whisk those thoroughly until no stray strands of egg white remain.
Then add in 75 grams of unsalted melted butter and mix well, making sure your butter’s not hot when you add it in, otherwise this’ll be a bizarre sort of scrambled egg.
Then go in with 120 grams condensed milk and continue to stir, this condensed milk’s obviously the sweet sort if it had to be said.
Now toss in a teaspoon of instant custard, a tablespoon of sugar, and a quarter teaspoon salt, mix, and finally, 50 grams of cornstarch.
Combine those thoroughly, then strain that all to make sure there are no clumps, and this can steam.
Now steaming this custard is totally an annoying bit, so forgive us for moving into our terribly lit kitchen.
So over a medium-high flame, toss in the bowl of custard and cover.
You could do this in a double boiler set-up too, but after five minutes, come back to the custard and give it a real thorough stir
for like 30 seconds or so.
Now turn your flame to the lowest heat your stove go, and steam this for 55 more minutes, coming back and stirring every five
After that time, the custard is way past the old coat the back of the spoon consistency and instead resemble a thick paste.
That’s fine, that’s what we’re looking for just toss in a container, let it come down to room temperature, and toss in the fridge
for at least three hours or alternatively an hour in the freezer.
Now for the gooey filling, this relies on four salted egg yolks.
Now, for the unaware, salted egg yolks or xian dan Huang are pretty much just what they say on the tin, the yolks from salt-cured
You should be able to get them at an Asian supermarket, or barring that even just make some yourself.
The yolks are super-rich and actually gotten kinda trendy to toss random in desserts nowadays, but it’s a great ingredient either
To prep, first, toss in a bowl together with a splash or about a half tablespoon of Cantonese rose wine, and you could swap that for mijiu or sake, and then just steam those on high for ten minutes.
After that time, take them out and transfer them over to a Silpat or some other smooth surface.
Then take a bench scraper or any kind of bench scraper-like object and crush those yolks.
We’re looking for this to resemble a smooth paste, so that’ll take a bit about three or four minutes, and just take out any firm
pieces that can’t be crushed and I dunno, eat them.
And then with that, the salted egg yolks are prepped.
For the rest of this filling, it’s a lot of the usual suspects just at altered ratios, but we’ll also be using some coconut milk, though sometimes the first sort can have that too, and also we’ll be adding in some milk powder together with the instant custard.
The biggest difference here is that we’re primarily thickening with gelatin in place of cornstarch.
So in a small bowl with 130 grams of water, add in 5 grams of gelatin and mix well.
It’s helpful to whisk these together in advance in order to prevent clumping.
Then in a separate bowl, mix together 40 grams coconut milk, 35 grams condensed milk, 40 grams sugar, 10 grams milk powder, 5 grams custard powder, and 5 grams of cornstarch make sure those’re good and combined, and set that aside.
Now toss a pot over a medium flame and add in gelatin water mixture.
Once the gelatin’s completely dissolved, after about one minute, go in with 40 grams of butter.
Then when the butter’s melted pour in that milk mixture.
Let that thicken for about three to four minutes, and then take it off the flame.
Now just add in your prepped salted egg yolk, combine well, toss in a bowl, and let it chill in the fridge for at least three hours or
alternatively an hour in the freezer.
Now, for our Baozi buns.
The kind of buns here are famian Baozi, or leavened Buns, but this kind of Baozi is the sort that’s used for sweet fillings.
Compared to a savory Baozi, there’s about double the sugar, and a bit of baking powder is also added to the mix, but probably the most important distinction is that this is an enriched dough.
We opted for lard as our fat here, you could also use shortening, and we’ll also be using milk in place of water.
So first toss in 220 grams of AP flour, 5 grams of baking powder, and two grams of yeast, and sift those together into a mixing bowl.
Then add 10 grams of sugar into 140 grams of milk, make a little well, and slowly pour the milk in stirring constantly.
Make sure it’s combined and crumbly and there’s no more dry flour remaining, then knead that for six minutes.
Then add the lard [nine grams], knead for another two minutes so, and then we’ll roll that out.
The signature of the Dim Sum style sweet buns is their smooth wrappers, and that’s accomplished by repeatedly rolling it out thin to remove any air bubbles.
We find that step to be much easier done in a pasta maker, so pass that through the widest setting, fold it up like a letter, and pass
it through again.
Then cut that in half, and then with each half do the same process five more times – and of course, feel free to do this with a rolling pin if you don’t have a pasta master.
Then lay out the dough and from the back tightly roll it up, shape it into a bit of a log, toss it in a bowl, and let the dough rest
for at least ten minutes.
So now while that’s resting, let’s portion out our filling.
We’ll be making twelve buns, so for us, we’ll be doing six of each type filling,15 grams of filling for each bun.
So just roll those into balls, and toss them in the freezer to firm up and form slightly, and we’ll roll out our wrappers.
Back to the dough, portion out those twelve wrappers, which should be about thirty grams each.
Now, the way you roll out a Baozi wrapper is press, then using the edge of the rolling pin gently roll in, then roll back out with
force rotates a touch and repeat.
This makes the center of the Baozi thicker than the edges, which helps the filling hold while also making the Baozi easier to pleat.
Then once you have all those, stuff them by grabbing a ball, press it down slightly, pinch at the end, then pleat around the Baozi while gently pushing in the filling.
Then twist, pinch it closed really well at the very top, roll it a touch seam side down to tighten things up, and you’ve yourself got
Now I know that this isn’t our clearest demonstration of Baozi wrapping so be sure to check out our introductory Baozi video
up here if you’re a bit confused, but the nice thing about these wrappers is that you don’t really need to go nuts pleating because these Baozi are steamed pleat side down.
So work through your Baozi, and toss those in a steamer over one and a half-inch squares of parchment paper.
Now we’ll proof those, in our super dark kitchen again, over 28 centigrade water.
So just toss the steamer in, and let those rise for 15 minutes.
Then after those that proofing time, transfer the steamer over some boiling water, and let those steam over medium-high flame for eight minutes.
Eight minutes later, shut off the flame.
Let those sit over the hot water for another three minutes, and then your Baozi is done.
Fluffy custard buns, whether you prefer the classic kind or the modern gooey sort.
So the traditional filling is called Nai Wong Bao (Nai Huang Bao), which’s what I grew up with the runny type came from Hong Kong
around the 90s is called Lau Sa Bao (Liu Sha Bao), which means “runny sand” – while the ‘sand’ refers to the salted egg yolk.
It’s probably more often that you’ll see that in Dim sum nowadays, but both are great both are my favorite.
I really hope you give this one a try.
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