These chick-shaped baos are so adorable and perfect as Easter treats, you won’t want to give this recipe a miss. Let the kids help to measure and mix the ingredients, too. This recipe makes 6 baos.
Chick Pull-apart Bao
Bao dough recipe
85 bao flour/Hong Kong flour (add more as needed)
2g instant dry yeast
45ml warm milk or soymilk (no more than 40 deg C, if it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast)
1/2 tbsp salad oil
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp purple sweet potato powder (optional)
1/4 tsp matcha powder (optional)
Tip: To colour the dough, you can portion out dough and add ingredients or desired colouring
1. Sift and divide flour into two portions.
2. Combine one portion of flour with sugar and dry yeast in a mixing bowl.
3. Add milk or soymilk. Mix well with a wooden spatula.
4. Add salad oil and salt. Add remaining portion of flour and mix well into a dough. Dough should not be smooth yet. Scrape and transfer remaining ingredients from bowl to floured surface.
5. Knead for a few minutes until dough is even. Shape dough into a ball. The dough should be smooth and soft, and does not stick to your hands.
6. Cover with cling wrap and allow dough to rest for about 30 minutes for first fermentation to take place. The size of the dough should increase about 1.5 times.
7. Punch dough down gently 3 to 4 times to remove the air.
8. Divide and shape the dough as desired. Place the bao on parchment paper and steam for about 15 minutes. Steaming time required may differ depending on the size of your baos and the choice of fillings.
Bao dough (recipe above)
A drop of orange colouring
A few drops of yellow colouring
Edible food marker pens
1. Prepare bao dough (recipe above).
2. Portion 5g dough and add orange colouring. Knead well to colour the dough evenly.
3. Portion the remaining dough into 2 equal parts. Add yellow colouring to one portion. Knead well to colour the dough evenly.
4. Shape into balls. Cover with cling wrap for fermentation.
5. After the first fermentation, punch dough down 3 to 4 times to remove the air. Reshape plain, orange and yellow dough.
6. On a lightly floured surface, portion plain dough into 3 balls. Portion yellow dough into 3 balls.
7. Position the dough slightly apart and in a circle on the parchment paper.
8. Divide and shape orange dough into 6 small balls. Using a scraper, create an indent to form the beak of the chick.
9. Assemble beaks onto yellow and white balls using a skewer.
10. Place bao in a large steamer and steam for 15 to 17 minutes.
11. Using edible food marker pens, draw eyes and feet to complete the chick character.
12. Serve warm.
This recipe is from Kawaii Sweet Treats, by Shirley Wong, also known as Little Miss Bento.
(Photo: Calvin Tan)