Chocolate Bao

Total Time:
4 hr 25 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
3 hr 20 min
Cook:
25 min

Yield:
12 bao
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • Bao Starter:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • Chocolate Sauce:
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Chocolate Bao:
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray, for greasing
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • For the bao starter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, water, sugar and yeast. Let stand until puffed up and has bubbles on the surface, about 20 minutes.

  • For the chocolate sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together the chips, butter and vanilla. Place the bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

  • For the chocolate bao: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture and oil to the starter and stir together while gradually adding 1/2 cup room temperature water. Stop adding water once the dough has come together enough to knead by hand. Dump the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until you have a smooth, satiny dough, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 3 hours.

  • Spray a stainless-steel steamer with vegetable oil cooking spray. Use your hands to roll the dough into a long log, about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Cut the log into 12 equal pieces. Place a few chocolate chips in the center of each dough piece and stretch the dough around the chips, pinching one end to form a ball. Place the ball seam-side down onto a wax paper square. Continue with the remaining pieces of dough.

  • Gently lower the bao in batches into a prepared steamer. Steam for 10 minutes, then carefully remove and let cool under a kitchen towel.

  • Serve warm with chocolate sauce for dipping.


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