Steamed or baked buns appear in many different Asian cuisines. Here is one version of a basic bun.

  • Yields: 24 buns
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 4 1/2 hours
  • Active: 30 minutes

Ingredients (12)

Yeast Mix

  • 2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water

Dough Mix

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Yeast Mix: Mix all yeast mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Dough Mix: Mix other ingredients except baking powder into the bowl in the following order – warm water flour salt sugar vegetable oil
  3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Lightly oil the entire surface and let stand until triple in size (2 1/2 to 3 hours). Turn dough out on a floured board and punch down. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, then knead for about 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts. Place one piece into bowl and cover. Divide the first section into 12 parts. At this point you may add any desired filling or continue with unfilled buns.
  4. [To add filling – Flatten each section in the palm of your hand. Place one tablespoon of filling in the center and form dough into a ball around the filling.] Lightly roll each part into a ball. Put each ball on a wax or parchment paper square. Cover and let stand until doubled (about 30 minutes). Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  5. Steaming Place water in a steamer and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat to medium. Place a single layer of dough balls (with wax/parchment squares) into steamer tray about 1 inch apart. Cover and steam for roughly 15 minutes. Remove cover before turning off heat and transfer buns to a serving plate/tray. Repeat until all buns are cooked. Serve warm.
  6. Baked Preheat oven to 350º. Place buns on a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake at 350º for 15 to 18 minutes (until golden brown). Serve warm.