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Chinese Baked Buns

5 from 2 votes
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 32 buns


Chinese Sweet Bun Dough

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup powdered dry milk
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 eggs + 2 tablespoons water for the egg wash

Coconut Filling

  • 6 ounces softened butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup desiccated unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup powdered dry milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

Ground Beef Filling

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


Make your bun dough:

  • Add the water, sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. Turn on the mixer on low speed and add in the powdered dry milk, softened butter, eggs, and salt. Let mix for 2 minutes. Add in about half of the flour. Add the rest of the flour as needed to form a slightly sticky dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a long log, and divide dough into 32 equal portions, about 1 ounce each. Form each piece into a tight round ball, tucking the edges under and pinching the seam closed. Place seam side down. Keep all pieces covered as you go.
  • Beginning with the first ball you made (use the balls in order), use a small rolling pin to roll out the balls to 4-5" round (or oval, if making oval shaped). Place spoonful of desired filling on top, and pinch/pleat to close. Place bun on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and cover. Let rise for 20 minutes in a warm spot.
  • Heat oven to 375F. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
  • Brush each bun with the egg wash. Repeat so each bun has double layer. Optional: sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake 20 minutes, until buns are golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

Make your coconut filling:

  • In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until well combined. You may need to use your hands to lightly mix and "knead." Shape into 16 oval-shaped balls. Cover until ready to use.

Make your ground beef filling:

  • In a large bowl, mix to combine the ground beef, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, black pepper, ground coriander, and salt. Marinate for 10 minutes, up to overnight in refrigerator.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 6-7 minutes, until browned. Tilt the pan to let the fat settle to one side. Spoon out the ground beef, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible. Discard the fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon to cook the onion.
  • Return pan to medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Return the cooked ground beef to the pan.
Keyword baked buns, chinese buns, chinese new year
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