Golden lava (liu sha) bao is a new dim sum item invented in Hong Kong a few years ago. What is unique about this dim sum is the creamy and runny egg custard filling made from milk and salted egg yolks flowing out of the hot steamy bao when it is opened.
I usually made the golden lava bao with the pasta machine. But for readers who do not own a pasta machine, I decided to make the dough by hand today. Well, I miscalculated a bit. I am able to make nice looking steamed rolls and baozi without the pasta machine but it is not such a good idea with golden lava bao. The swirl dough pattern is created by showing the sliced edge of the dough. When the dough is not pressed with the pasta machine, all the little air pockets are visible on the surface like peek holes.
These golden lava baos may not have the smooth surface but the taste cannot be beat. (I usually tell my students that whatever they make must be delicious AND beautify to look at, so I contradict myself!)
If you decide to use the paste machine to roll out the dough, add less water. Please refer to recipe #164 – Polymorphic Thousand Layered Steamed Rolls. Please refer to previous recipes for kneading, fermentation, forming the bao, and steaming questions.
Golden Lava (Liu Sha) Bao
Creamy salted egg and milk custard filling:
Salted egg yolks – 100 g
Condensed milk – 120 g
Cake flour – 20 g
Evaporated milk – 400 g
Butter – 60 g
Instant dry yeast – 1½ teaspoons
Milk – 240 g
Sugar – 45 g
Salt – ¼ teaspoon
All purpose flour – 450 g
Butter – 45 g
Yellow food coloring – few drops
Hand powder – extra all purpose flour to prevent dough from sticking
1) Prepare the salted egg yolk: if the salted egg yolks are raw, roast them in the oven until they become fragrant but not oily. If the salted egg yolks are already cooked, they are ready to use.
2) Smash them with the knife blade.
3) Whisk the condensed milk and cake flour into a paste.
4) Cook the evaporated milk in a pot until it boils then pour it into the condensed milk/cake flour paste. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
5) Pour the mixture back into the pot, add butter and keep cooking until it boils. Turn the heat off. The mixture needs to be stirred constantly so the bottom of the pot won’t burn.
6) Add the smashed salted egg yolks into the mixture and stir until everything is incorporated. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate the mixture until it is ready to use (see note 1).
7) Make the dough: start with the first ingredient then add the second one to it. Mix well. Add the third ingredient, mix. Add the remaining ingredients in that sequence and mix in between each addition. All the ingredients should pull together and form a dough.
8) Divide the dough into 2 portions. Knead one half until the surface becomes smooth. Add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring to the other half. Knead until the dough becomes a uniform yellow color. (The whole dough can be divided unevenly to get more white dough than yellow).
9) Cover the doughs. Place them in a warm place and let them rise for 1 hour.
10)After rising, roll the doughs into long sticks. Then roll them out into rectangles, 10cm x 100cm (~4 inches x 40 inches).
11)Put the yellow dough on top of the white dough. The length of both doughs should be 100cm or ~40 inches.
12)Roll the combined doughs up from the short end into a dough log.
13)Carefully slice the log into 12 pieces, each weighing around 65 g.
14)Use the rolling pin to thin out the edge of the sliced dough pieces. It will help seal the doughs together.
15)Put one scope of the egg custard filling (~ 50 g) in the center of the dough slice. Push the edge of the dough toward the center to seal the opening tightly.
16)Place the golden lave baos seam side down in the steaming baskets lined with steaming lining paper to prevent the baos from sticking to the bottom of the steaming basket). Allow adequate room between each bao to prevent the baos from sticking to each other while steaming. Put the steaming baskets in a warm place to let the baos rise one more time for 30 minutes.
17)The fermentation is done when the baos seem to spread out a little and feel soft when pressed lightly.
18)Let the water in the steamer boil first then put the steaming baskets on to steam for 12 minutes. Make sure the heat is not too high and the baskets should not fit too tightly with each other so the steam cannot escape between them.
19)If the golden lava baos are opened immediately after they are done, the creamy runny custard will flow right out just like lava. Don’t burn yourself! It is very hot. The dough will be more chewy if eaten after the bao is cooled slightly.
The thickness of the salted egg custard can be changed by adjusting the amount of flour used in the filling.