Steaming Up the Kitchen (BBB October 2018)

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feed the hungrysummary: recipe for Steamed Bao Buns; remember about final colour when making substitutions; to go wild or not to go wild; following instructions; World Food Day; World Bread Day; information about Bread Baking Babes;

BBB: Let's Get BakingGet steamed up! Because it is possible to resolve things in order to satisfy everyone’s hunger….

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Steamed Bao Buns

From a poisonously hot summer, including most of September and even the early part of October, the temperatures have plunged. Of course they have. It is October, after all. The leaves are turning red and gold; the insanely hot chilis (unwanted by anyone but us) in our wonderful neighbour’s garden have ripened beautifully; standing over the stove is a joy because it’s warm and toasty inside.

BBB Steamed Buns

For the BBBabes’ October project, Karen (Karen’s Kitchen Stories) chose Steamed Bao Buns. She told us the recipe she was using is Taiwanese. But steamed buns appear to be made all over Asia. And Karen’s photo looked very much like Banh Mi we’ve had.

As far as weaknesses go, this is a big one for me. Asian steamed buns. They are light, slightly sweet conveyors of all types of fillings. Also known as Bao, these buns are a blank canvas for whatever you’d like to fill them with… Preferably something savory, sweet and spicy all at the same time.
– Lisa, Garlic and Zest | Asian Steamed Buns

Here’s how things went with the October project:

BBB Steamed Bao Buns diary:

12 September 2018, 12:13 How on earth can it be the middle of September already?
These are pretty easy to make and do not require planning in advance.
– Karen K, message to BBBabes

No planning ahead? THAT works for me! Time is really getting away from me this month.

Hmmmm! I wonder what filling we’ll choose. Maybe we’ll use the same lovely filling we had with 2009’s BBB Chinese Flower steam buns. Then again, we might have to have pork and peanut stew….

8 October 2018, 18:22 No planning ahead, eh? I should NEVER have been given that kind of permission!

I’m contemplating making these without commercial yeast….

I wanted to make these as sourdough buns, so developed the following recipe. I am very pleased how they turned out […]
400 g Flour
80 g Sourdough Starter
125 g Water
25 g Milk | How to Make Sourdough Steamed Buns (Gua Bao)
Over the weekend, I decided to experiment with my sourdough for a steam bun recipe. Having done a little research on “steam bun”, there were recipes which use “old dough”. So I decide to twist the recipe by incorporating firm sourdough starter. The result was really good. Just remember to use cake flour in the making of the firm sourdough starter and the final dough.
Freshloaf | Butler: Steam Bun using a sourdough starter

9 October 2108, 13:20 When we were drinking our morning coffee, sitting outside on the porch, shivering under shawls and blanket, we talked about these steamed buns this morning. T wisely said that I should probably use commercial yeast, instead of fighting with our wild yeast now that the weather has turned chilly again. (What if the experiment doesn’t work? There’s nothing worse than the crankiness that ensues when our bread doesn’t turn out!)

2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 teaspoon baking powder [2.3grams]
1/3 cup (70 grams) sugar
4 grams instant or active dry yeast
1/2 cup (120 grams) water, about 100 degrees
1 teaspoon neutral oil
BBB Bao Buns ingredients

I’m NOT going to use just all-purpose flour. Ew. How dull would that be?

And. I’ll add WAY less sugar!

Considering that so many of the recipes I’ve looked at call for “cake flour”, how about adding sorghum flour? Or buckwheat? And maybe I’ll put some sesame seeds on the outside. Because they’re pretty.

I wonder if the baking powder is really necessary….

15:11 After staring at various filling suggestions, how about T’s pork and peanuts? I think that might be perfect! Especially because I bet that I can manipulate T into making the filling. :-)

10 October 2018, 13:58 I know I said out loud the other day that I had agreed to use commercial yeast. But I was secretly going to use our wild yeast. Now I’m starting to rethink it. I can’t stand the idea of failure!! But I do think I’m going to play with the flour a little. I came across the following when looking at a recipe for steamed buns in SAVEUR:

Cornstarch adds a silkiness to bao dough, mimicking the bleached, low-protein flour commonly used in Chinese bakeries (but harder to find in supermarkets). Lard adds tenderness, richness, and a subtle porky finish.
– Kat Craddock, SAVEUR | Chinese Steamed Pork Buns
At its best, the bread is tender and yielding, fluffy as chiffon cake and filled with salty-sweet, fatty pork. But at its worst, it is a gummy, flavorless paste filled with cornstarch goop, gristly trimmings, and red food dye. […] We found that our bao achieved optimal fluffiness when made with a solid fat like lard or shortening; the former adds a complementary mellow porky flavor. We also settled on using a mix of yeast and baking powder. To cheat the low-protein flours used in Chinese bakeries, we cut all-purpose flour with a small percentage of cornstarch.
– Kat Craddock, SAVEUR | How to make Chinese Steamed Buns

Then, I thought I’d do something unprecedented and actually look in the cookbooks on our shelves in the kitchen.

It turns out there is a giant section on steamed buns in the “China Moon Cookbook” by Barbara Tropp! Her recipe for bao dough calls for all-purpose flour and, among other ingredients, 1/2 cup sugar(!!) She also calls for an egg wash and sesame seeds to finish the buns.

Here are some of the gems she wrote about making buns:
Great buns of any kind take time, as all of us gym-enthusiasts can attest! Count on at least 12 hours for the first rising of the dough, and then another hour or more for the finished buns to rise. […]
Buns of Steel Kneading dough, whether by hand or machine, develops the gluten, which the Chinese call “flour muscle.” Gluten needs time to relax. Cut the resting or rising time short and you’ll wind up with tough (not fluffy) buns! […]
Smooth Buns Take Time For the best crumb and loft in the final baking, as well as the easiest handling during shaping, be sure to let the dough relax in the refrigerator for a full 12 to 15 hours—or up to 24 hours, if you like—before shaping […]
The warm wonderful taste of these buns reminds me of one of my favorite cartoons, depicting a happy, bread-kneading character who is so seduced by the smell and feel of the rising dough that she is gradually consumed by her creation. If one could jump into a bun, this one would be it!
    Steamed buns are tricky in that the activity of the yeast and the humidity of the steamer ofen leave them looking shipwrecked. It is definitely worth a try, however, and even a new cook can produce a beautiful batch.
– Barbara Tropp, China Moon Cookbook, p364, 366, 368, 369

There is also quite a lot in “Chinese Cooking Techniques” by the California Culinary Academy. I love those paperbacks that came out sometime near the end of the last century. Their barbecue cookbook is also really good.

Basic Steamed Bread Dough This is the basic northern Chinese bread dough, used to make plain or stuffed buns in various fancy shapes. Although it is a yeast dough, it often gets an additional leavening from baking powder, which is kneaded in just before the rolls are formed. Allow a good four to six hours to make this dough; speeding up the process by adding more yeast will produce an inferior bread. Fortunately, you can slow down the process by refrigerating the dough overnight after kneading, with excellent results. […]
Plain Steamed Buns […] Prepare dough as directed [letting it rise until doubled in bulk, deflate and letting it rise again until doubled, deflate “Dough is now ready to be formed into buns or rolls”] […] Sprinkle baking powder on board, and knead into dough until thoroughly incoproated. Divide dough into 20 pieces. Roll each gently into a smooth ball […] Place rolls on a baking sheet (allow room for rising), and cover with a towel. Let rise until doubled in bulk. steam in a bamboo steamer with a lattice cover 15 minutes, turn off heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
California Culinary Academy, Chinese Cooking Techniques, p111

And, of course, there is a section on steamed buns in “Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook”. Remarkably, two of our larger Asian cookbooks have no mention at all of steamed buns. “A Taste of the Orient: the complete book of Eastern cooking” does not surprise me. In spite of the word “complete” in its title, that book rarely has anything in it – so rarely that I wonder why we keep it on the shelf. :lalala: But I am particularly surprised that Jackie Passmore’s “Asia – the Beautiful Cookbook” has nothing. Or at least I think it doesn’t. It’s possible that one has to know the answer to what they are called before looking in the index…. (I tried looking under “bao”, “bread”, “buns”, and “steamed”.)

Steamed buns were the staple food in the north of China, but in Szechwan they were eaten for snacks. My mother made them for banquets, to go with Fragrant, Crispy Duck or a Fresh Ham. She twisted her steamed buns into fancy shapes, so they were much more elegant than the ones the street vendors sold. This recipe is for the rolls she made to go with a fresh ham; they are twisted to look like flowers. In elegant restaurants you can get steamed buns in the form of ducks and all manner of flowers, fans, and spirals.
– Mrs. Chiang, Flower Rolls, “Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook” by Ellen Schrecker, p331 (there is no baking powder in Mrs. Chiang’s steamed bun recipe)

12 October 2018, 18:36 As I re-read (I know! Imagine that. Not only reading, but re-reading!) the section on steamed flower buns in Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook, I’m working more on my waywardness with the BBB recipe….

As soon as the dough has risen enough, […] [roll] into a large rectangle, roughly 10 by 12 inches. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the dough and press it in with your hands. Spread the lard over the dough, as if you were buttering a piece of bread […] then roll the dough up, jelly-roll fashion inot a long cylinder.
-Ellen Schrecker, Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook, p. 332-333
Deflate the dough and divide it into 10 equal pieces (about 50 grams each). Give each piece a quick knead.
    On a floured surface roll the dough out into a 3 inch by 6 inch rectangle with rounded edges. Fold the dough in half lengthwise, and place on a parchment square.
-BBB October 2018 recipe

Rather than adding oil to the dough itself, I’m thinking of following Mrs. Chiang’s lead by slathering on a bit of lard onto the rectangles before folding them – like we did with the butter for the Pocketbook Rolls we made in 2012.

Alton Brown puts a small piece of butter on the inside and then folds each round in half AND brushes the rolls on the outside with butter – see 14:12 on this YouTube video
-me, blog from OUR kitchen | Pocketbook Rolls

And I’m seriously considering omitting the baking powder. After all, what’s it doing there? It seems useless. After all, isn’t baking powder for quick breads?

1.6% yeast… seems on the high side, but okay….

13 October 2018, 12:22 Well, so much for planning ahead so that the dough gets refrigerated overnight. We’re planning to have the buns tonight – I just now mixed the dough.

Is there really no salt in the dough?!

I’ve looked at all the recipes and am amazed to see zero mention of salt!! Does this make sense? If so, it’s no wonder that many people say these buns are on the bland side.

I’ve set the timer for 30 minutes and will scour any recipes I find. I can always add the salt a little later.

13:05 Here’s what I’ve found so far:
No salt is added in the traditional recipe (Cauvain and Huang 1986)
In some steam bun formulations, salt and/or sugar is added to the formula. Small amounts of salt are known to stiffen doughs and make them less sticky as well as altering their rheological properties (Bloksma and Bushuk 1988).
Steamed buns produced with sodium chloride levels from 0.5 to 1.5% were found to have depressions and brown spots that become more pronounced with increased salt. Increasing fermentation time to 4 h appeared to alleviate the problem of brown spots somewhat but bun volume decreased. Accordingly, to assess the effect of salt in steam bun production, variables such as initial mixing time, fermentation time, remixing time and proofing time were investigated; details of this study will be reported in a subsequent paper. Sugar did not appear to alter steamed bun properties to any extent.
– J. E. Kruger, B. Morgan, K. R. Preston, and R. R. Matsuo, Evaluation of some characteristics of Chinese steamed buns prepared from Canadian wheat flours

These buns were then inspired by another (truly dear) friend of mine, Chinese indeed and from the Northern part of China where Mantou are a staple. There is a lot of history, of personal history, behind these buns. And if I close my eyes I can recollect some of the thousand times I have seen my friend having the steamed buns with her lunch. She has always been very fond of them. And I could never understand how. In their proper version Mantou are tasteless: no salt nor sugar are added. On top of it, they have no crust and their crumb is rather dense.
– Barbara Elisi, Bread and Companatico | Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) with Fenugreek
Knead together by hand, first rise is optional. The dough [that is made with now salt should feel fairly dry. Roll dough out to a rectangular sheet, then roll up tightly into a cylinder. Cut into 8 pieces and proof for about 45 minutes. Steam with medium heat for about 15 min. My daughter said, “Daddy, next time can you make them with taste?”
– P.D.Larry, The Fresh Loaf | Chinese steamed buns (mantou)

13:37 I asked Karen if there really is no salt in the dough. She assured me that this is correct.

So. I guess I had better add the baking powder that I omitted. That has to add some salt. (Doesn’t it?) Perhaps I’ll add it when I’m shaping the bread.

18:07 We were out all afternoon (we bicycled to ChinaTown to get dried fermented black beans for tonight’s Brussels sprouts; last year, this task would have taken maybe an hour, if we dawdled. But the great Chinese supermarket we used to go to has been demolished. :stomp: Which meant we had to go to an admittedly quite decent supermarket across the street. We got beautiful coriander leaf, green onions, and carrots there for the garnish for tonight’s steamed buns. Our main problem is that we do not know the Chinese characters for “dried fermented black beans” and anyone who works at the supermarket doesn’t really speak English. We traipsed from market to market and FINALLY found the dried beans about 4 blocks away from the original no-longer-there store) so we were QUITE relieved to see that the dough had doubled. I deflated it a little and am just about to go down to the kitchen to shape the buns.

Wish me luck!

18:51 I just rolled out four buns. Suddenly half a recipe doesn’t look like enough. Here’s hoping this will be enough for two hogs’ dinners….

shaping buns

The dough rolled out beautifully. Just before folding each one in half, I thought about how Mrs. Chiang suggested slathering on some lard first. I still considered getting out the lard (we have beautiful lard from our Portuguese butcher). But then the chili/blackbean/ginger sludge that T had all ready to go onto the Brussels sprouts called to me. All that beautiful oil! I brushed some on.

BBB Steamed Buns

Maybe, just maybe, we will have wonderful steamed buns tonight.

I don’t know why I’m so pessimistic about this. Maybe it’s because the weather has suddenly turned and it’s really quite chilly in the kitchen. (Don’t ask the temperature. I’d have to take my mittens and scarf off to be able to look properly at the little thermometer hanging on the cookbook shelf in the kitchen…. :lalala: )

18:44 I completely forgot to add sesame seeds to the outsides! Maybe next time. Maybe….

BBB steamed buns

20:37 Oh oh. The buns are VERY brown coloured. And they didn’t puff up as much as I had hoped. They’re not particularly appetizing to look at… here’s hoping the garnishes will be enough distraction.

BBB Steamed Buns
Steamed Buns Condiments

Using to ground flaxseed and buckwheat to lower the gluten level of all-purpose flour was clearly a big mistake!! (DON’T tell anyone that I also added a bit of whole wheat flour!) The buns look pretty awful – ie: not at all “white and fluffy” as T had been expecting. Let’s just say there were words….

T altered some left-over beautiful Pork with Madeira Sauce by adding just a hint of Hoisin sauce. Then we garnished with green onions, julienned carrots, hot hot hot red pepper coins, chopped roasted cashews, coriander leaf, and Thai basil.

BBB Steamed Buns
BBB Steamed Buns

These steamed then stir-fried Brussels sprouts with fermented black beans were the perfect side dish. But not quite enough to distract our attention from the brown buns.

Brussels Sprouts

There were still words… even the buns chimed in.

BBB Steamed Buns
– I’m NOT too brown
– Yes, you are!
– No, I’m not!
– Are so!
– I know you are, but what am I?!
:stomp: :stomp: [and so on and so on…] :stomp: :stomp:

Thank goodness for candlelight!! Once all the steam had cleared, the buns were delicious!

And. This morning, T said we had to have steamed buns again, because they were “actually pretty good” – note that those are his words. However, I’m NOT allowed to add buckwheat or flax seed, or anything else that’s brown…. Any ideas for a white or very lightly coloured gluten-free flour to add? Oooooh, how about a little rice flour? Duhhhh! Too bad I hadn’t thought of that earlier. Ha. It turns out that hindsight vision really is 20/20! :lalala:

Here is the BBB recipe for steamed boa buns that we were given. And here is what I did when I halved the recipe to make them:

Steamed Bao Buns
based on recipes for Bao buns with REd Braised Pork Belly at Food52, and Flower Rolls (huajuan) in “Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook” by Ellen Schrecker

makes 4-5 buns

  • 2g active dry yeast
  • 60g body temperature water
  • flour (the full BBB recipe calls for “2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough”
       » 100g unbleached all-purpose flour
       » 10g 100% whole wheat flour
       » 10g buckwheat flour
       » 5g flax seed, finely ground
  • 0g baking powder (the full BBB recipe calls for “1/2 teaspoon baking powder [2.3grams]”)
  • 5g sugar (the full BBB recipe calls for “1/3 cup (70 grams) sugar”)
  • 5g corn starch (the BBB recipe calls for zero grams cornstarch)
  • 0g baking powder (the full BBB recipe calls for “1/2 teaspoon baking powder [2.3grams]”)
  • 2g sunflower oil
  • Chili Oil (or toasted sesame oil), for shaping
  1. mixing After whisking the yeast into the water, put all the dough ingredients into a largish bowl and stir together with a wooden spoon. Note that there really is NO salt. The dough will be quite stiff so if there is still flour in the bowl, use your hands to mix it in.
  2. kneading Place the lump of dough onto an UNfloured board. Wash and dry the mixing bowl. Then knead the dough well for about 5 minutes until it is quite smooth. The 2009 BBB recipe for steamed buns suggests using a rolling pin to roll/fold/roll the dough as you would for making fresh pasta. (Ha. If only I had remembered that!)
  3. Put the kneaded dough into the clean bowl (no need to oil the bowl), cover with a plate and leave it in a non-drafty area of the kitchen (or in the oven with only the light turned on if your kitchen is cold) to allow it ferment until it has doubled.
  4. Shaping When the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a very lightly floured board (do as I say and not as I did: scatter a mere dusting). Using a dough scraper, divide the dough evenly into 4 pieces. Shape the pieces into a spheres. Then, using a rolling pin, roll each ball out into a rectangler oval that is about 1/8 inch deep.
  5. Mrs. Chiang suggests sprinkling salt evenly and lightly over the surface before folding. The BBB recipe omits salt altogether – so did I. Use a pastry brush to evenly cover each oval with a small amount of chili oil (or toasted sesame oil). Fold each one in half to create a half moon shape. Place them on their own squares of parchment paper. (Apparently, you can also use lettuce leaves.)
  6. Cover the shaped buns with an upside-down bowl or clean tea towel and allow to rest until they have doubled (in our kitchen, this took about an hour).
  7. Steaming Pour water into the bottom of the wok (or a large pot that will fit the bamboo steamer). Remove the bamboo steamer lid and place the buns, along with their pieces of parchment paper, into the steamer. Make sure they are 3-4 cm apart. They will expand. Replace the steamer lid and steam for 15 minutes. Leaving the lid on, remove the wok from the heat and let the buns continue to rest in the steam for 5 minutes more.

Serve immediately. Mrs. Chiang suggests serving them with ham; the BBB recipe suggests Chinese Barbecued Pork. We had them with Madeira/Hoisin pork, garnished with julienned carrots, green onion and hot pepper coins, and chopped roasted salted cashews.


1. Flour: Both the BBB recipe and Mrs. Chiang simply call for all-purpose flour. But several steamed bun recipes call for using low gluten flour like cake flour. I added cornstarch, buckwheat and ground flaxseed. I also decided to add just a touch of whole wheat. I just can’t help myself…. (Shhhhh!!! DON’T tell T!) Next time, I’ll use something like potato or rice flour so that the finished buns are white instead of the rather unappetizing shiny beige they turned.

2. Chili oil: Some steamed bun recipes call for adding toasted sesame oil after shaping. We do have toasted sesame oil, but all that toasted chili oil just seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

3. Salt: It turns out that Tuscans are not the only ones to make saltless bread. All of the recipes I looked at (there were many – all slight variations on the same theme) and none of them put salt into the dough. Mrs. Chiang’s recipe was the only one I saw that featured a sprinkling of salt after shaping. Karen K confirmed that there really was no salt and then she added: You could probably add a little salt to them if you like. I normally hate unsalted bread, but these worked for me, especially with the flavorful pork and pickled veggies.
– Karen K, message to BBBabes

4. Cooking: We were very careful to follow Marion Grasby’s instruction to let the buns rest after being steamed:
Fill a wok one-third full with water and place over high heat. When the water is boiling, place the bamboo steamer over the wok and steam buns for 12 minutes. Then turn off the heat (don’t lift the lid) and allow the buns to rest over the hot water for 5 minutes. Buns can be made up to a day in advance and steamed to re-heat before serving.
– Marion Grasby, Marion’s Kitchen | Slow-Roasted Pork Belly Bao


Many thanks for choosing Bao Buns, Karen!

Bread Baking Babes BBB: Let's Get Baking

Steamed Bao Buns

Karen K is the host of October 2018’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

October 16 is World Bread Day, so I have chosen Steamed Buns. They are easy to make and are wonderful filled with Chinese Barbecue Pork, or any filling of your choice. […] You can also make them tiny, Momofuki-style, for appetizers. This recipe would make about 25 tiny versions.
– Karen K, in message to BBBabes

We know you’ll want to make Steamed Bao Buns too! To receive a Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the bread in the next couple of weeks and post about it (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 October 2018. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to email the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ October 2018 Bao Buns.


World Bread Day Zorra (Kochtopf) has been celebrating World Bread Day for more than a decade now. She wrote:

World Bread Day, October 16, 2018 There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread in the kitchen! Do you think so too? Well then I cordially invite you to join World Bread Day 2018, on October 16. Since 2006, for the 13th time (!!) thus, I invite to bake bread on this special day.

For more information about how you can participate in World Bread Day, please see

World Food Day
WFD 2018
Our Actions are our Future. A #ZeroHunger world by 2030 is possible. –

All of us aren’t getting steamed up enough. Are we? Let’s fix that:

821M people in the world still suffer from hunger even though the world produces enough food to feed everyone. 60% of them are women.
1.9B people are overweight. 672 million of these are obese. Adult obesity is rising everywhere at an accelerated pace. 3.4M people die each year due to overweight and obesity.
1/3 of all food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. The global costs of food waste are approximately USD 2.6 trillion per year.
– FAO of the UN, World Food Day 2018
What can I do to help achieve #ZeroHunger?

  1. DON’T WASTE FOOD If you have leftovers, freeze them for later, or use them as an ingredient in another meal. […]
  2. ADOPT A MORE HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE DIET Life is fast-paced and trying to fit in preparing nutritious meals can be a challenge […] Nutritious meals don’t have to be elaborate. In reality, they can be cooked in a quick and easy way while using only a few ingredients. […]
  3. ADVOCATE FOR #ZEROHUNGER! Everyone has a role to play in achieving #ZeroHunger […] Raise the topic with your local and national authorities, promote related educational programs in your community and amplify the #ZeroHunger message through your network.

– FAO of the UN, Zero Hunger Actions
Every day too many men and women across the globe struggle to feed their children a nutritious meal. In a world where we produce enough food to feed everyone, 821 million people – one in nine – still go to bed on an empty stomach each night. Even more – one in three – suffer from some form of malnutrition. […] In 2015 the global community adopted the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development to improve people’s lives by 2030. Goal 2 – Zero Hunger – pledges to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, and is the priority of the World Food Programme. […] There are 216 million fewer hungry people than in 1990-92, despite a 1.9 billion increase in the world’s population. But there is still a long way to go, and no one organization can achieve Zero Hunger if it works alone. If we want to see a world free of hunger by 2030.
–WFP: Zero Hunger
While malnutrition remains a problem in China, particularly in rural areas, the country has made much progress in recent decades. […] China reduced the level of undernourishment in the country from 23.9 percent in 1990-92 to 9.3 percent in 2014-16. […] [O]verweight and obesity are becoming prominent in [Chinese] cities, and gradually appearing in rural areas: 23 percent of boys and 14 percent of girls under 20 were now found to be overweight or obese.
–WFP: 10 Facts about Nutrition in China
Obesity is at epidemic levels around the world in both children and adults. Although adult obesity in Canada has been relatively steady since 2004, the percentage of adults who are obese today is twice as high as it was in 1978-1979, from 13.8% to 28.2%.
–Government of Canada | Obesity in Canadian Adults: It’s About More Than Just Weight
The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet, about 800 million people suffer from hunger. That is one in nine people. 60% of them are women. […] 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight. One third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.
– FAO of the UN


Bloggers Against Hunger Bloggers Against Hunger
Working together with the World Food Programme to fight hunger.


(As always, if you have something to add or say about ending world hunger, please remember to post your thoughts and ideas on your own blog, FB, Twitter, at work, etc. etc.)


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6 responses to “Steaming Up the Kitchen (BBB October 2018)

  1. Karen

    I used KAF AP flour and mine were super fluffy, so perhaps that’s what the baking powder brings to the table? I love the idea of using lard.

    edit: Or how about duck fat, Karen? -Elizabeth

  2. Jones Tanna

    Just forget it! I love the brown color! Makes me totally sorry I use white and light colored flours. I see now the bread flour was totally wrong, I should have used one of my other whole grains with low gluten. I don’t have any all purpose in the house now and I’m trying to use up what I have.
    And I toyed with the idea of butter in the fold … oh if only I’d thought about the beautiful strained bacon fat in the fridge. I guess there must be another bake ;-)

    edit: But it’s so, well, brown. And seems even browner because it’s shiny.
    I came very very close to putting butter in the fold. But then the chili oil called so very loudly that it drowned out the call of the butter.
    Of course, the call of bacon fat would drown out all the others. Do let us know how it goes when you try it.

  3. Kelly

    I like sweet sorghum as a light GF flour, and how about oat flour? I used KA all purpose which is fairly strong. I did let them rest more than just once between shapings and rollings. I did go with adding in the baking powder after the first rise, to keep its pep. Not sure if it mattered at all but I did get plenty of puff so I’d like to think so. It was a BBC recipe I halved and followed.

    1. ejm Post author

      Thank you, Kelly. I was going to use sorghum but we didn’t have any and I was too lazy to go in search of it. Oat flour is a good idea too – but do they grow oats in China?

      That’s good to know that your KA all-p flour worked so well. The all-purpose flour we have is quite strong as well. I saw the BBC recipe on my travels and noticed the addition of rice vinegar. I wonder if that had anything to do with how much puff you got. (Vinegar and baking powder really go crazy when combined.)

  4. Elle

    A delightful write-up as usual Elizabeth. Nothing wrong with brown if you like the taste. The fillings look fabulous, too. If you try the rice flour next time, let us know how it goes, OK?

    edit: Thank you, Elle! You are too kind. Yes, the fillings made the brownness much more tolerable. And of course, I will report back if we make the buns with rice flour. Or perhaps potato flour. -Elizabeth

  5. Katie Zeller

    Do you have the 1000 Recipe Chinese Cookbook? I’d hate to think you’re missing one….
    And I like brown.
    Perhaps there is sufficient salt in the usual fillings?

    edit: I don’t! Oh oh. :lalala: (Does the 1000 Recipe Chinese Cookbook have a recipe for steamed buns?) I like brown in baked bread, but I’m not so wild about brown in steamed bread. Even if it does taste just fine. -Elizabeth


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