Friday, October 10, 2014

MTR #3 - Butternut Squash Char Siew Bao

In order to get rid of a gigantic butternut squash that I bought from the supermart, I made a batch of steamed char siew bao yesterday. Guess how heavy that butternut weighed? A total of 1.8 kg and it cost only 1.50 euro! After removing the skin, there was still 1.2 kg left. I thought it was very cheap for such a big fruit, but why was I so greedy, now I need lots of pumpkin / butternut squash related recipes to get rid of this giant!

I have already cut the butternut squash into cubes and placed half of it into ziploc bags to be stored in the freezer. For the other half (600g) still sitting in my fridge, I used 250g to make this butternut squash char siew bao.

The recipe was adapted from my previous post on steamed sweet potato kaya bao that i posted for my Aspiring Bakers #31 eventI am reposting here with modifications that I made. If you add the right amount of water and flour, the dough skin would be very easy to handle, it would be very easy to wrap in the filling, and the resulting bao skin would look very smooth too. The dough did not stick to my hands and I did not use any extra flour for flouring. What I especially like about this recipe is that it doesn't use any crisco shortening (which I am still searching for but no luck so far) and it doesn't use any double action baking powder which is quite impossible to get in Europe unless you buy it from Singapore or Malaysia. So this is a recipe which uses ingredients that are easily available.

Dough recipe adapted from my old recipe here: 

250g steamed pumpkin or butternut squash
250g 90 to 110g lukewarm water (depending on moisture of pumpkin/squash)
500g cake flour (original recipe used pau flour) 
1 tsp baking powder
100g sugar
50g 30g corn oil (original recipe used shortening)
1/4 tsp salt
11g instant yeast (I used Bruggeman, 1 packet is 11g)

1. Steam the butternut squash  over high heat for 15 min and mash them using a fork. Set aside to cool. (You need to drain the steamed pumpkin or butternut squash of excess water, otherwise the recipe for the liquid amount would not be accurate.)

2. Mix about 80g lukewarm water with the instant yeast and set aside. (Keep the remaining water to be added later.)

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything including the oil, and mix to form a rough dough. (Do not add all the water at one go, add the remaining water a little at a time.)

4. Continue to knead until you get a smooth, non-stick dough. (I used the dough mode of my breadmachine to mix for approximately 12 minutes. You could use hand-kneading also. I added about 110g water and 30g oil, then I realised the dough was too wet, so I added an extra tbsp of cake flour and the dough was perfect. )

5. Cover the dough with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let it proof in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

6. After 1 hour, punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 min.

7. Divide dough into 50g portions and shape them into small dough balls. (The dough was nearly 1 kg or 970g to be exact so you would get about 19-20 portions). 

8. If you are making buns with fillings, flatten the dough into a small circle, add in 1 heaped tsp of the desired filling, seal the dough and shape it round, then place each bun with the sealed side down on a paper cupcake liner or square piece of baking paper.  (I used a cake decorator knife to make a pattern on the surface of the buns.)

9. Cover the buns with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let them proof in a warm place for another 30-40 min until doubled in size. Do not overproof.

10. Steam in a pre-heated steamer on HIGH heat for 12 min. After 12 min, open the steamer lid so that there is just a small gap, to allow the steam to escape, and let the buns adjust to room temp. This will prevent the surface of the buns to become wrinkly.

For the Char Siew Filling recipe, you may wish to refer to my old recipe here:

The char siew I used was a batch of frozen char siew which I made a few weeks ago and stored in the freezer. You can refer to my homemade rice cooker char siew here:

Autumn has really begun. It is always so dark and rainy and there is hardly any sunlight these few days. When I thought I could catch the last ray of sunlight before the sun went into hiding, this was what happened. Somebody wasn't patient enough to wait for my photos to be ready and decided that he was so famished that he had to grab one and stuff it into his mouth! Now you know why it was so difficult for me to take pictures for my blog. :)

Flash back to May 2013, his little sister who was 15 months when that photo was taken (and who is now 2 years 8 months old) was also very impatient and couldn't wait to taste my steamed chicken buns.  So what can I say about my buns. =D

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Also linking this to Best Recipes for Everyone #3 Oct 14 - Bun in My Hot Steamer hosted by XuanHom Mum's Kitchen Diary.

And last but not least, also linked to YeastSpotting.


  1. Miss B, wow ! you're making yummy-licious 大包 。。 I like savoury bao ...thanks for sharing.

  2. Miss B,the pumpkin selling in Malaysia also very cheap,a big whole pumpkin only cost me RM2++,so what a healthy and cheap ingredient
    You are so clever using pumpkin for making the skin on the pau,it make the pau so soft,right?hehe
    Thanks for sharing with BREE,such a pleasure to have you^^

  3. Hi Ms B, I super like char siew filling, yummy yummy.

    Thanks for your great support to LTU, appreciate it.

  4. Wow Miss B, am bookmarking this pumpkin char siew pau too! You know, just the pumpkin pau itself without the filling is also making me lau nuai!!! Have a nice day and warmest regards :)

  5. Butternut squash char siew bao....that is very unique and creative and without question, seasonal!


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