Happy post-Thanksgiving chitlins! I don’t know what your leftover situation looks like but I have approximately half a cooked turkey chillin’ in my fridge giving me the side-eye.
I mean that’s the joy for Thanksgiving right? After you get past all the awkward political conversation with the family members you see once a year, and you’ve counted all the wine bottles that you forgot you opened, and then you look at the glory of Thanksgiving leftovers.
I mean, is there any other holiday where is practically demanded that there be leftovers? Or least any other holiday where the leftovers are talked about as much as the meal itself? Halloween doesn’t count. That’s just candy, it doesn’t count.
If you’ve never had bao before I suggest you get your booty to the nearest Chinese restaurant that sells them. I prefer the full steam bun, not the one that looks like a weird, anemic taco. My first bao experience was in China when I was visiting a friend. She taught me how to count to three in Mandarin and order the pork bao for breakfast. Then the kind bao lady taught me how to count to five in Mandarin and order the vegetable bao, and that was pretty much the end of me.
Now that I know how to make my own bao, watch out world. I’m gunna put everything in bao. Also hopefully, I’ll get better at pleating them. I’ve watched all the youtube videos and I’m still miserable.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- ⅔ cup lukewarm water (100F)
- 2½ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet plus ¼ tsp)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp white vinegar
- 1 cup cooked turkey meat (light or dark), diced
- 1 cup stuffing, diced
- 1 cup cooked vegetables (corn, peas, carrots), diced
- ¼ cup gravy (or more as needed)
- In a measuring cup bloom the yeast in the water until foamy.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, and baking powder. Make a well in the center.
- Whisk the vegetable oil and vinegar into the yeast mixture.
- Slowly pour in the yeast mixture drawing the flour and using your hand draw in the flour slowly working the flour into a shaggy dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 6 - 8 minutes until a solid, elastic mass is formed. When you press the dough with your finger it should spring back slowly.
- Turn the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 45 minutes until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile mix the leftover turkey, stuffing, and vegetables with the gravy in a small bowl until everything is thoroughly combined. Add more gravy if the filling looks dry.
- Once the dough has risen, portion it out into golfball sized balls, approximately 25. Flatten the dough into rounds, approximately 5 - 6 inches into diameter, thinner at the edges and a little thicker in the center.
- Fill each flattened round with a tablespoon of filling pull the edges up and pleat around, twisting to fully close.
- Set finished bao on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover a damp cloth and let rest for 10 -15 min.
- Place bao about an inch apart in a bamboo steamer and steam for 10 - 12 minutes until soft and fluffy.
- Serve with soy sauce or extra gravy.