Baozi dough

Custard filled buns

Baozi dough

Across China, Baozi (包子), aka steamed buns, can be found in towers of bamboo steamers lining the streets early from dawn to dusk, stuffed with anything from meat to custard.

This recipe is the real deal for a solid Chinese diet staple (tastes exactly like those off a street vendor on a cold morning in Beijing). I can highly recommend DIM SUM – THE ART OF CHINESE TEA LUNCH by Ellen Leong Blonder for this along with many other great Chinese recipes.

This recipe takes about 2 ½ hours (2 hours of proving) and makes 24 buns.



  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 240ml tepid water
  • 110g sugar
  • 180g strong white flour



  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • tbsp rice vinegar
  • 240g strong white flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vegetable
  • oil for greasing


  • 3 bowls
  • cling film


  • For the starter: Combine yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and let rest for 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir until blended in well. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the starter in a warm and draft free place for 1 hour, or until well puffed up.
  • For the dough: Add salt and vinegar to the starter. In another bowl mix together baking soda, baking powder and flour then add the mixture to the starter and stir in well. Once combined, add the oil, turn it out onto a working surface and knead the dough through the initial wet stage until it becomes smooth, which should take about 5 minutes. Eventually you might need to add more flour if you find the dough still sticky. Grease a bowl, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to the bowl. Cover with cling film and let it prove in a warm and draft free place for 1 hour before you use for any steamed or fried bun recipe.

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