Cheesy "Baozza" With Tomato Dipping Sauce

December 13, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Jun
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • makes 12
Test Kitchen Notes

These “baozza” combine our two favorite things: bao buns and cheese pulls. To ensure even proofing of the buns, we suggest using your oven on ‘proof’ mode or a warm windowsill if your kitchen tends to run on the cooler side.

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) canned tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) water
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) Hong Kong flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (120 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  1. Pour the canned tomato sauce in a pot, and bring it up to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until about half of the sauce has evaporated, or cooked down. Then, take it off the heat, and let the sauce cool down completely to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes, until it turns bubbly. Meanwhile, sift the flour and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl if mixing manually), and add the remaining sugar to it. Pour the activated yeast mixture into the dry ingredients, and knead (either with the stand mixer with a dough hook attachment on medium speed, or by hand) for 1 minute, until the ingredients form a shaggy dough. Add in the vegetable oil and knead for another 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and plump.
  3. When the dough is done, cover the mixing bowl with a kitchen towel or cloth. Leave it for about 50 to 65 minutes, or until it doubles in size. Meanwhile, prepare 12 squares of parchment paper, roughly 4 inches long on each side.
  4. Once the dough is done proofing, divide it into twelve 1.7oz pieces. Then, working with one dough at a time, knead each individual dough ball for 30 to 45 seconds to squeeze the excess air out. Then, on a well-floured surface, roll out the dough using a rolling pin into a flat disc roughly 6 inches in diameter. Then, pick the dough disc up, nestle it in one hand, and fill it with a pinch of mozzarella cheese and a tablespoon of tomato sauce. Fold the sides of the bao into the middle, pinching the edges together as you form it into a pleated ball. When done, place the bao on a square of parchment paper, and cover with a kitchen towel to proof for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a fingerprint pressed lightly into the dough doesn’t bounce back. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
  5. Ready a work or pot of boiling water with a steamer rack/basket set on top. Transfer the baos onto the steamer setup, cover the pot with a lid, and steam the baos for 8 minutes. Then, remove the lid from the pot and place a basil leaf on top of each bao, and steam it for another 2 minutes. When the baos are done steaming, gently remove them from the steamer, and place on a wire rack to cool down for 1 to 2 minutes. The baos are best eaten within 5 minutes while they’re still warm, when the cheese inside is still gooey and cheese-pull worthy! If you’re saving it for later, you can refrigerate them for up to 3 days, and just steam it again for another 5 minutes before eating.

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1 Review

Abby K. December 24, 2022
What is Hong Kong flour? Thanks