Well, in a previous thread, I mentioned steamed buns/mantou in a pizza dough, and I was asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd put down some thoughts on the topic.
Originally, this was the recipe, but recently I've been modifying it, so it comes to...
2 1/2 C. Bread Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 C. Warm Water
3 Tbsp. Sugar
Originally, there were 3 C. of flour, but everytime I've made them there was always this dryness of dough, and most recently, lessening it to 2 3/4 C. was still a bit dry, so 2 1/2 C. should work.
Dissolve the sugar in the water and activate the yeast in the water by mixing it in and letting it proof for 10 minutes or so.
Then, mix this with the bread flour, and knead for several minutes. When the surface is smooth and elastic, oil a bowl and let it rise for 2 hours or so.
Then, remove the dough and stretch it out long and round. It should be long enough that at least 12 pieces can be cut from it. But those produce really big buns, so you might want to divide the dough into 16 or 24 pieces (24 makes really small buns, like the size of a golf ball). Divide the dough then stick a small square of wax paper or parchment paper on the bottom of the dough to keep it from sticking to the steaming rack (or put down a lot of lettuce). You can shape it if you want, but its not necessary (I prefer not to, as the shop where I'd buy these for breakfast or lunch doesn't but thats just a preference)
Using a steaming rack that goes on top of your stove, heat the water, with the lid on until it boils and steams.
Then place the dough into the steamer and steam for 15 to 20 minutes. Small pieces (dough divided 24x) should only take 15 minutes to steam, while the larger ones (12x) will probably take 20 minutes at least.
Another alternative would be to use baking powder, which I'm told is the proper way, but I've yet to test this, nor do I know how much baking powder to use. Well actually I have tested this with a large piece of dough, same recipe, but I subbed 1 teaspoon of baking powder for the yeast, and it came out pretty well, but I don't know what would happen with buns, were I to make them. I think I'll experiment and post later.
Now if you were to make some chausiubao (which as you can see is my name sake) what you would do is take this dough, divide it, and flatten the balls into disks. Then you'd take a mixture of sugar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, flour, chausiu, and green onions (though some recipes call for rice wine), fry them together and wrap it in yeast dough.
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
3 Tsp. Flour
3 Green Onions
10 Slices Barbecue Pork
Begin by sauteing the green onions, then mix in the sugar, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce.
You'll have the pork diced by now, and you'll add it in to the frying pan. Stir it together, and then add the flour as needed. The mixture should be able to stand free, without flattening out into a puddle.
You'll take this mixture and go to the flattened disks of dough, if dividing the dough into 24 pieces, I take about a teaspoon of the mixture per piece. First fold up the 4 edges of the dough, then fold up the residual folds of dough, pinch closed, and set it onto a piece of wax paper. Repeat for the others. Then steam as before.
Bread can sing. o.O