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Let’s start with some important steps in making steamed rolls:

 

Steamed roll dough can be hand kneaded or machine made but it must achieve the right consistency (not too stiff, not too soft) with a smooth surface and a slight sheen. If the dough will be pressed with a pasta machine then it doesn’t have to be kneaded  too carefully because pressing will produce a smooth dough with the right texture.

 

Weather condition affects the temperature of the water used in the dough and the rising time. When the weather is warm, use cold water to make the dough. Cover the dough properly and let it sit at room temperature (25 ~ 28°C) to rise followed by a second rise around 30 ~ 38°C (can be done outdoors). If the weather is cold, use 40°C warm water to make the dough. Let the dough rise in the steamer filled with hot water to increase the temperature in the steamer.

 

If a metal steamer is used for steaming, wrap the steamer lid with a steaming cloth. Steaming baskets should also be lined with steaming cloth to prevent water dripping down from the lid so the bottom of the roll won’t be raw during steaming. Steaming cloth covered lid also allows the steam to distribute evenly which is helpful in preventing the roll surface growing wrinkles even if at high heat.

 

蒸籠 

  

 

The level of heat and pressure in the steamer are very important. When the heat/pressure is too low, the rolls will be raw and taste sticky and gummy. If the heat/pressure is too high, the rolls over expend while hot but shrinks and wrinkles immediately when it is exposed to cold air.

 

The level of heat is adjusted based on how many rolls to be steamed. More rolls, higher the heat. Since we are not dealing with commercial production at home, the recipe usually states “low” heat. But each household has a different stove/range, you should experiment with the heat setting several times to determine what is the correct “low” heat setting to produce the best steamed rolls.

 

Pressure in the steamers must be just right so the steamed rolls will obtain the right size and not over expand. When the steam rises slowly from the side and the top of the steamer, it is an indication that  the steamer pressure is just right. If the steam rushes out of the steamer, the heat is too high  and the water boils like a volcano. But if the water is boiling and there is no steam coming out of the steamer, the baskets are fitted too tightly. You can add a piece of paper like a business card to loosen the fit between the baskets and also leave a slight gap from the lid.

 

If the heat is too low, the rolls are raw and the surface looks dull. Put the lid back on and keep steaming. If necessary, turn the heat up a little. Steaming is different than baking. Food will not dehydrate and burn from steaming, so it is perfectly fine to steam longer when necessary. 

 

 

Brown Sugar Steamed Rolls (see note 1)

Yield: 16

 

Ingredients

 

Water – 260 g

Dark brown sugar – 130 g (see note 2)

Instant dry yeast – 2 teaspoons

All purpose flour – 600 g

Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Vegetable oil – 40 g

 

Steps

 

1) Combine water and sugar together. Stir and let it sit until almost all the sugar granules are dissolved. 

2) Combine the sugar water with all ingredients except oil and knead into a dough. Once the dough has formed , add oil and keep kneading until the dough is smooth. 

3) Cover the bowl and let it rise in a warm place for an hour (this step can be skipped if desired). 

4) Cut the dough into 4 portions. Use the pasta machine (setting 1) and press the dough until it becomes smooth with a slight sheen. 

5) Keeping pressing the dough a few more times from setting 1 to setting 2. If the dough is sticky, add a little bit of flour (do not over use the flour here). Recipe #125 Polymorphic Thousand Layered Steamed Roll has detailed instruction on using the pasta machine to press dough. 

6) Each portion of pressed dough should be 50 cm in length, 15 cm in width. 

7) Stack two pieces together. Picture below shows brown sugar dough and white sugar dough (sweet steam roll recipe) stacked together.

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8) Roll the stacked dough from the long side into a log.

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9) If the ends are not at equal length, cut them off. Picture below shows one log with white sugar dough on the outside and one log with brown sugar dough on the outside.

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10)Cut the log into 8 pieces. Each piece is 6 cm weighing about 60 g.

11)Line the steaming baskets with steaming cloth. Put the steaming paper on the top. Place the rolls on top of the steam paper. Allow adequate room between each bun to prevent the buns from sticking to each other while steaming.

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12)Let the dough rise again in a warm place for 20 – 30 minutes. Higher the temperature, shorter the rise. The rolls are ready to steam when it feels soft while lightly pressed. (Fermenting dough expands in the direction that is perpendicular to how the dough pieces are cut. This is why the pieces are cut slightly long to get a square shape after fermentation).

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13)Fill the steamer with cold or hot water. Put the steaming baskets on and turn the heat to low.

14)Steam the rolls for 12 minutes after the water boils. If the rolls don’t have the sheen on the surface, they are not done. Put the lid back on and continue to steam.

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Sweet Steamed Rolls (see note 1)

Yield: 16

 

Ingredients

 

Water – 290 g

white sugar – 100 g

Instant dry yeast – 2 teaspoons

All purpose flour – 600 g

Salt – ¼ teaspoon

Vegetable oil – 40 g

 

Note 1:  

both of these recipes are sweet steamed rolls. The amount of sugar needed is quite high, so it must first dissolve in water to eliminate sugar granules in the dough. If the weather is humid, decrease the amount of water by 10 g, so the dough won’t be too wet and sticky. It is OK to decrease the amount of sugar by 20 g for dietary concerns. They are still sweet rolls.

 

Note 2:  

the brown sugar in this recipe is the dark brown sugar from Taiwan. Its color is much darker and more flavorful than brown sugar sold in American supermarket. It is not difficult to find Taiwanese dark brown sugar in Asian supermarkets these days. If Taiwanese dark brown sugar is not available, use the regular dark brown sugar from the grocery store.

 

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Experiments

 

Experiment 1 – Sugar and Water:

 

Brown sugar is not as sweet as white sugar and also has higher water content. Thus more water is used in making the white sugar sweet steamed rolls.

 

Experiment 2 – Fermentation:

 

First picture below shows the rolls steamed for 12 minutes with 5-minute second rise. The second picture below shows the rolls steamed for 12 minutes with 30-minute second rise.

 

It is obvious that the rolls are bigger, fluffier, and with a beautiful shinny surface given adequate fermentation. When the fermentation time is decreased, the rolls are small and the surface looks blotchy. It is especially evident in the brown sugar rolls.

 

比較二-1,三-1 比較二-2,三-4,四-1          

 

 Experiment 3 – Heat:

 

First picture below shows steaming with high heat for 12 minutes. The second picture shows the result with low heat steaming for 12 minutes. Both were fermented for 5 minutes during the second fermentation. The conclusion is high heat or low heat won’t wrinkle the roll when the dough is not fermented enough.

 

比較二-1,三-1 

 

比較三-2 

 

The next set of pictures show the difference of high/low heat for 12 minutes after 30 minutes of second fermentation. The dough is filled with CO2 when it is fermented properly. First picture below shows high heat causes the dough to over expend then shrinks down and wrinkles when exposed to cold air. On the contrary, low heat steaming doesn’t create such problem.

比較三-3 

比較二-2,三-4,四-1 

 

 Experiment 4 – Steaming:

 

First picture below shows 12-minute steaming vs. 30-minute steaming in the second picture. There is no wrinkling in both. It demonstrates that the rolls are not affected by the length of steaming but the amount of heat and pressure during the steaming process.

比較二-2,三-4,四-1 

比較四-2 

 

 

 

Final conclusion:

大集合有英文字

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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