Well, this song from Louis Armstrong has nothing to do with this steamed pau(cake). But I thought, what the heck..! After all, the paus are named as Smiling Pau because when a steamed pau cracks at the top, its said to be smiling. And when it cracks at the top, it doesn't mean you fail in your baking, but in fact, it means you succeeded.
I am sharing an old recipe I posted online in my forum. My online friends knew that I was struggling to make this pau smiled at me for the longest time. Finally, after 10 tries and many trashed paus, I finally got it to smile at me.
Sharing with all my trials and efforts..
Recipe came from a Chinese cookbook which my mom had for years. Called the Chinese Dim Sum.
Note that I changed the flour used in the original recipe. It was Cake flour. I used Hong Kong Flour.
Ingredients for starter dough
180g Hong Kong Flour
30g instant yeast(2 tbsp level)
Method for Starter Dough
1. Mix all the ingredients together and knead into a smooth dough.
2. Leave it in a deep bowl and covered with a damp cloth.
3. Leave it in a warm place to proof for at least 3 hours.
4. After one hour, it should look like this:
starter dough proofing stage(after 1 hour)
5. After 3 hours, it should be double the size. It should be smelly.
Ingredients for 2nd Dough
180g Hong Kong Flour
100g castor sugar
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp Shortening
1 tbsp white rice vinegar
1 tsp Double action baking powder
1/2 tsp ammonia powder
Method to combine together
1. Mix 2nd dough ingredients with Starter dough.
2. Knead to form into a dough.
Mixed dough with Starter Dough
3. Divide the dough into 40g balls.
4. Flatten each dough ball and add 2 tbsp of Char Siew Fillings.
5. Wrap to seal and leave aside to proof for another 15 mins.
6. Steam in rapid water steamer for 15 mins.
Original recipe includes 1 egg in the 2nd dough ingredients. Thus making the pau looks yellowish(even in the photo in the book). So I omitted the egg and added 0.5 tsp Shortening.
Best of all, it survived the cooling stage. Still fluffy and nice. Of course, its best to eat when its piping hot..then the char siew sauce is moist.
Ingredients for Char Siew fillings:
300 g Char Siew pork, chopped finely(you can buy this ready roasted one from shops)
3 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
4 shallots(diced finely)
120 ml water
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp plain flour
Method for fillings:
1. Mixed the seasonings together in a bowl
2. Stir Fry onions in the wok
3. Diced char siew pork
4. Add seasoning into the wok to stir fry
5. Stir fry till its sticky and thick
6. Add diced char siew pork to stir fry
7. Add sesame seeds to stir fry
8. Turn off heat, remove to cool completely before using.