Lop Cheung Bao (Chinese Sausage Bun) Recipe

Ingredients for Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g) Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Salt
  • 1 packet (7g) Instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Warm water (about 110°F or 45°C)
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) Milk
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) Vegetable oil
  • 1 large Egg

Ingredients for Filling

  • 4 Lop cheung (Chinese sausages), sliced or chopped

Instructions

  1. Prepare Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add warm water, milk, oil, and egg. Mix until a dough forms.
    • Flour: Provides structure through gluten.
    • Sugar: Feeds yeast and sweetens the dough.
    • Salt: Enhances flavor and controls yeast activity.
    • Yeast: Ferments sugars to produce CO₂, causing the dough to rise.
    • Warm Water and Milk: Hydrates the dough and activates yeast.
    • Oil: Adds richness and tenderizes the dough.
    • Egg: Enriches the dough and adds color.
  2. Knead Dough: Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
    • Kneading: Develops gluten, which provides elasticity and helps trap gases from yeast fermentation.
  3. First Rise: Place dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
    • Rising: The yeast ferments, producing CO₂ that expands the dough.
  4. Prepare Filling: Cook lop cheung slices in a skillet until lightly browned.
    • Cooking Lop Cheung: Enhances flavor through caramelization.
  5. Shape Buns: Punch down the dough and divide into equal pieces. Flatten each piece, place lop cheung in the center, and gather the dough around the filling. Place seam-side down on a baking sheet.
    • Shaping: Encases the filling and provides a uniform shape for even baking.
  6. Second Rise: Let the buns rise again until puffy, about 30 minutes.
    • Proofing: Further fermentation makes the dough lighter and increases volume.
  7. Bake: Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
    • Baking: The heat causes the dough to rise rapidly (oven spring). Proteins coagulate and starches gelatinize, setting the bun’s structure. The Maillard reaction and caramelization create a golden crust.
  8. Serve: Let the buns cool slightly before serving. Enjoy warm.

Scientific Explanations

  • Yeast Fermentation: Yeast fermentation is crucial for leavening the dough. Yeast consumes sugars, producing carbon dioxide, which gets trapped in the gluten network, causing the dough to rise and creating a light, airy texture.
  • Gluten Development: Gluten, formed by kneading, provides the necessary structure and elasticity to trap the gases released by the yeast, leading to the expansion and rising of the dough.
  • Proofing and Rising: These processes allow the dough to develop more flavor and a lighter texture as the yeast continues to ferment.
  • Oven Spring: The initial high heat in the oven activates the yeast for a final burst of CO₂ production (oven spring) before the yeast dies. This contributes to the final rise and fluffiness of the buns.
  • Maillard Reaction: During baking, the Maillard reaction occurs on the surface of the dough, creating a golden-brown crust with rich flavors.

Lop Cheung Bao combines the soft, fluffy texture of traditional Chinese bread with the sweet and savory taste of lop cheung, creating a delicious and unique culinary experience. The scientific principles behind bread-making, such as yeast fermentation and gluten development, are fundamental to achieving the perfect texture and flavor in these buns.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 103

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