Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I thought I could s'nail' this since arts and crafts has always been my forte but these flower or snail buns were quite a challenge. And chignons I have never made. Unlike Terri. So perhaps that explains why I was struggling. I almost didn't post these. Some of them looked ridiculously laughable. These were the best of the worst. N looked at me with a question mark on her face.

But I think they taste good. I'll know by sunset. I will have to re-heat them though. These are best eaten warm.

I have always loved Chinese steamed buns but especially buns with a spicy curry meat filling. Yes.... you cannot take the Malay out of me but there's always room for Chinese. And chocolate. And ice cream.

These would be good soaking up a curry I made last night. Oh. My. Yum. 

Terri was spot on with the recipe. I used exactly 200 ml of water and  I didn't need to add a drop more. I kneaded the pau dough in the machine until it didn't stick. I had no sticky problems. The dough was as good as a good dough could get. I too chose to use ordinary plain flour and not the fine, white special Hongkong pau flour. I find that buns made from plain four have more substance and flavour with a  lovely cream-ish hue. The white ones seem bland in comparison.

This is a recipe I'll have written out and blu-tacked onto the kitchen wall in front of my work table. Yes I will.

The recipe ~ from Terri of A Daily Obsession 

350 gm  plain flour or special Pau flour
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp baking powder
50 gm sugar
200-250 ml water
1 T vegetable oil or shortening

Sift flour and put into a bowl. Add all other dry ingredients including the yeast. Stir to mix. Add wet ingredients and knead on the machine until the dough is no linger sticky and can be pulled away easily from the dough hook.

If kneading by hand knead until smooth and not sticky. Place dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth.

Let rest for about 30 minutes (my dough needed about an hour).

Take dough out from bowl and divide into 50 gm balls or smaller, the size of golf balls). I made 40 gm balls of dough.

Take each ball and roll out into a small longish oval. Terri says about the length of your hand and 3-4 cm in width. Using a pastry scraper cut the dough lengthwise into thin strips about 1/2 cm thick or slightly thinner all the way. Brush the surface with vegetable oil lightly.

Pick up the strips of dough with both your hands (don't worry they won't fall apart unless you deliberately seperate them).

Twirl one end around your left thumb (if you are right handed) while pressing the end of the dough with your thumb and forefinger to anchor it. Continue twirling and covering the tips of your two first fingers and back around to your thumb again all the while gently stretching the dough with your other hand as you twirl. By now the dough would be twirled around most of your thumb and the top half of your first two fingers and looking like a cone or snail shell........hopefully.

Please do go over to Terri's blog to see her wonderful photographs. I had no one to ask to take photos while I was at it :(

When you reach the end of the strip tuck it in and under the base of the 'snail'. 

Place on 5 cm squares of baking paper straight into a steamer rack but do not place the rack on the steamer bottom yet. Let rest for 10 minutes while you bring the pot of steamer water to a rolling boil. Then place the steamer rack of buns onto to the steamer pot of boiling water and steam for about 4-5 minutes.

I used a bamboo steamer. So indispensable. Why? Go here.

Serve hot.


Amelia said...

Cute little bun, yum yum

terri@adailyobsession said...

why, zurin, two posts running using my recipes! I AM honored! and as usual, you have outdone me:) you are right, the buns look like snails haha. but there's another way to shape them too. check the post again. i'm going to update the photo now:)

n yes, agree with you about those refined flours. yuks.

La Table De Nana said...

Zurin..they are so beautiful!

rooth said...

Ooo these are my favourite type of buns - something about picking them apart makes them much more fun than the regular ones!

Simones Kitchen said...

I have no idea how these are supposed to look but I think they look gorgeous and maybe not like a flower but certainly like a snail! Interesting recipe!

Anonymous said...

They look really yummy! I love their shape too!

Unknown said...

The bread looks wonderful.

Rasa Malaysia said...

Zurin, you are killing me, you are too talented. Love the flower bun art!!

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

wonderful post. I followed over to your friends post and it all makes sense. Gonna give these a try (and i like the looks of yours)

Through My Kitchen Window said...

I love your honesty. If you didn't confess to misshaping them, I never would have been the wiser!

Gloria Baker said...

yumm and beauty! gloria

chow and chatter said...

oh these are cute so sorry its been ages :-)

Sara said...

So pretty! These are gorgeous, love them! :)

Anonymous said...

Is it me or are these just so elegant? :)

Purabi Naha said...

these flower buns look delish!! These are so perfect! Loved your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love these Chinese steamed buns and you can have it fried too. Goes very well with crabs in spicy chilli sauce.

Three-Cookies said...

They look awesome. I love mantou and these are a nice twist (literally as well!). New to your site and you have wonderful recipes.

Linda said...

OMG...I can just imagine how wonderful they taste....they look so light!
Beautiful Zurin!


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