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Bao

They take all day to make, but the effort is always worth it. My son can roll the dough for these Chinese sandwhiches and make the indentations. This is important for us as to embrace and share our heritage and tradition. (You should see the kitchen afterwards...on second thought, don't--you'll track flour.)

Ingredients:

Buns:
1 pkg dried yeast or 1 cake of fresh yeast
4 1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tbls Crisco or vegetable oil
1/2 c. boiling water
2 Tbls sesame seed oil

Bao filling:
2 Tbls oil
1 scallion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/2 lb barbecued pork cut into small cubes
2 Tbls light soy sauce
2 Tbls oyster sauce
1 Tbls sugar
1 Tbls cornstarch, dissolved in 2 Tbls water or chicken stock

Instructions:

Buns:
1. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add 1 cup flour. Mix thoroughly. Cover with cloth. Let rise 1 hour, until bubbles appear.
2. Dissolve sugar and vegetable oil in 1/2 cup boiling water. Stir well. Cool until lukewarm. Pour into yeast mixture. Add 3 1/2 cups flour.
3. Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth. Put into extra large, greased bowl in a warm place. Cover with damp cloth. Let rise until double bulk, about 2 hours.
4. Divide into 2 portions. Remove first portion and knead 2 minutes. Repeat with second. Roll each into roll 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Cut into 12 pieces (24 total).
5. Flatten each piece with palm of hand. Roll with rolling pin into 3 inch circles. Brush with sesame seed oil. Indent middle of cricle with chopstick. Fold circle in half so that it becomes a half moon. Crimp edges tightly with fork.
6. Place each roll on separate square pieces of foil on steamer tray. Cover tray with towel. Let buns rise to double in bulk, about 30 minutes. Remove towel.
7. Steam, tightly covered, over briskly boiling water for 10 minutes. Serve with Peking Duck, Crispy Duck, or with any filling you desire.

Bao:
1. Follow Bun recipe through step 3.
2. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry scallion and garlic 30 seconds. Add pork. Stir fry 1 minute. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
3. Pour in dissolved cornstarch. Stir fry quickly until pork is glazed. Remove to bowl and allow to cool.
4. On a floured board, knead dough 1 minute and roll into one long, sausage-like roll 2 inches in diameter.
5. Slice the roll crosswise into 1 inch pieces.
6. Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand and roll with rolling pin into 3 inch rounds.
7. Place 2 tablespoons of filling in center of each round.
8. Gather dough up around the filling by pleating along the edges. Bring the pleats up and twist securely and firmly.
9. Place each bun on 2 inch square of aluminum foil on steamer tray. Cover with a towel. Let rise 1 hour, until dough springs back when touched with finger. Remove towel.
10. Steam over briskly boiling water 10 minutes.