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The BEST Bao Buns

  • Author: Seonkyoung Longest
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 8 mins
  • Yield: 14 to 16 1x


  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 4 tbsp sugar, divided half
  • 2 tbsp avocado, vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (use blenched flour if you want complete white buns)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Combine warm water, milk, active yeast, sugar and oil. Whisk to let yeast and sugar to dissolve then let it sit until years activate, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a stand mixer. You could make with your hand too if you prefer.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients to dry ingredients mixture. Start on a low speed to slowly incorporate all the ingredients together then on medium speed until it becomes a dough shape. Keep kneed for 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be elastic and really soft but not stick to your fingers or on the mixing bowl.
  4. Take the dough out form the hook and form as a ball. Place back to the mixing bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it becomes triple size, about 2 hours. Let it sit longer if needed.
  5. Place the raised dough on a working surface. Roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle four is not necessary but if you do, use as minimum as possible.Cut the dough 3 1/2-inch circle with a ring mold or glass (I used a wine glass). This recipe will make 14 o 16 baos.
  6. Lightly brush or spray oil on one surface of the baos and fold in half as a half moon shape. Gently press each bao with a roller and place on a parchment paper or coffee filter lined steamer. Cover with a lid and let it rest for additional 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring water to boil on a wok or steamer pot. Carefully place the steamer with the baos on top of boiling water wok/pot. Make sure water is not touching the baos. Cover and steam for 8 to 12 minutes. When they are done cooking, tilt the lid tiny bit for a slow air circulation about 2 to 3 minutes before open the lid. Spray some water on coffee filter to prevent the dough from sticking. You can serve this bao as a side or make sandwich! Enjoy!

Keywords: Bao, Bao Buns, Steamed Buns