Steamed Buns for Siopao Recipe

I’m a sucker for fresh bread – and steamed bread is no exception! This is a simple recipe for basic steamed white buns, which can be filled with savoury or sweet fillings or used as buns, as I do for our version of siopao.


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup shortening


  1. Mix the warm water and yeast. Let it sit and bubble for 5 minutes.
  2. Put the sugar, flour, baking powder and shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture. Knead using the dough hook for 7-8 minutes.
  3. Cover with a damp towel or cling film and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and line some bamboo steamers with parchment paper or banana leaves.
  5. Punch the dough down. Roll into a long cylinder and cut into 16-20 portions. Form as needed (stuff or leave as is). Place them in the steamers, leaving at least 1 inch between the pieces as they will rise while cooking.
  6. Steam for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat but leave covered until read to serve.


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