As someone who spends most of her day about food – what to make and what to eat, I have had to keep things interesting in the kitchen to avoid becoming bored or depressed with our lockdown. I finally went through the dozens and dozens of recipe links that I had bookmarked over the years and pulled out ones that I had been procrastinating on but had always piqued my interest. Today’s was “Hua Juan” or Chinese scallion “flower twist” steamed buns. I’d always loved eating these from Chinese bakeries growing up, and I didn’t even realize how simple they were to make until I found an article about them on Food52 years ago. I took out my remaining three packets of dry-active yeast. I tested the first packet, and the yeast was unfortunately dead. The second packet was thankfully still alive, so I used that to make these delicious and simple bao as part of our dinner tonight. The dough is pillowy and soft. It felt like a little dream in my hands as I lightly kneaded it today. The glaze was simple and easy to make, and creating the “flower twist” part was so much fun. I let them rise twice, steamed them in 12 minutes, and the result was the softest, airiest, most pillowy little baos I’ve ever made.
As I photographed them this evening and ate them, I gloated in my success in making them so easily without any problems. I also regretted waiting this long to make them, but hey, at least this pandemic has spurred me into action in this bread making realm!