Baking in Style
17 Apr, 2016
Creative in the kitchen and with style. Meet @lucianaadewi and discover her secret recipe for Balinese style Panda cakes. Food and jewellery... Go on then...
For the buns
• 140 grams warm water (100°F), about 2/3 cup
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 10 ml heavy cream
• 300 grams Asian bread flour
• Panda faces: 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds, crushed or roasted seaweed sheets
For the filling
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1/3 cup finely diced shallots
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoons dark soy sauce
• 1/2 cup chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons flour
• 1 1/2 cups small dice Chinese barbecue pork
In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together the warm water with the sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. After this there should be tiny bubbles on the surface.
Add the heavy cream and flour and knead on medium speed until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, knead with your hands. The dough will start out quite dry, but continue to knead until all the ingredients are incorporated. The dough should be stiff but not sticky. If sticking to the sides of the bowl, add an extra tablespoon of flour. If it doesn’t come together as a dough, add an extra teaspoon of cream.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it sit until doubled in size, about 1 and half to 2 hours, depending on room temperature.
Cut out 9-10 parchment paper squares and set aside.
While the dough is proofing, make your filling.
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, but not browned. Turn the heat to medium low and add the oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauces. sugar, soy oyster sauce, sesame oil. Stir together until sugar dissolves and mix comes to a simmer. Add the chicken stock and stir in the flour, whisking until slightly thick. Remove from the heat and fold in the barbecue pork. Chill until completely cool, covering as necessary.
Once the dough is doubled, place the dough on the countertop. There shouldn’t be a need to flour your countertop; the dough shouldn’t be sticky. Punch the dough down. Divide into ten equal parts. Working with 1 portion at a time, gather 4 corners to center to create 4 folds. Turn seam side down and mold gently into a ball. Note: If making panda faces with black sesame features. Take one portion and knead the black sesame into the dough until evenly distributed. Let dough rest, covered lightly with plastic wrap, while shaping.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls into 4 1/4 inch shaped disks. The edges should be slightly thinner than the centre. Scoop in 1 to 1 1/2tablespoons of the cooled filling and pleat and pinch to close. Place finished buns on the prepared parchment paper squares, seam side down.
For panda faces: cut off pieces from the black sesame dough and roll into small balls accordingly for each face. You’ll need 4 larges pieces (eyes and ears) and one tiny piece (nose) for each panda. For the ears: gently push 2 of the balls into the top of the face (using a bit of water to help with sticking if necessary). For the eyes: flatten 2 of the balls and use a clean straw to cut out eye holes. Place on the panda face, along with the nose. If using seaweed, use a seaweed punch, or cut out shapes with scissors. Use water to apply seaweed shapes to buns.
Arrange the completed buns in a steamer with 1 1/2 inches of space in between. Cover the steamer with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 hour. The buns will be puffy but not quite doubled. Steam the buns: add water to a pot or wok and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and place the steamer (with the lid on) on top. Steam on medium for 10 minutes. Open the lid at 3 minutes to let some steam out – you don’t want the temperature to get too high as this leads to inflating and deflating buns. Once steamed, the buns should be puffy. Remove from the steamer, let cool slightly and enjoy warm!