Updated: Jul 25, 2021
When thinking about bao buns, my personal favourite thing to add would most definitely be stuffing it with as much spicy crispy squid as possible. This whole recipe initially came from a good friend of mine giving me the idea to make squid ink baos and here we are...The baos were insanely good and they are one of those that are a little labour intensive during the prep but are well worth the effort! The dough is simply made with the addition of squid ink to give it that colour, although, adding it does not give the bao's a particularly intense squid flavour. With all that said let's make baos!
Cook time 20 minutes / Prep time including proving 1 hour 45 minutes
To yield 8 Baos
1 tbsp squid ink
370g plain flour
30g milk powder
5g baking powder
5g instant dry yeast
35g white sugar
35ml rapeseed oil
200ml warm water
extra flour and oil for dusting
400g medium sized squid
1/2 cup plain flour (dredge)
1/2 cup cornflour (dredge)
2 tbsp fine chilli flakes (dredge)
1 tbsp white sugar (dredge)
salt and black pepper (dredge)
oil for frying
4 spring onions
2 small chillies
1 tsp white sugar (pickle optional)
3 tsp rice vinegar (pickle optional)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp fine chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves
Let's begin with making up the baos, we need to allow 1 hour of proving the dough, therefore, let's start here. Start by adding 5g of instant dry yeast to 200ml of warm water, mix and leave for 10-15 minutes. Whilst we are waiting for the yeast to work, we want to sieve then add 270g of plain flour to a mixing bowl then add 30g milk powder, 35g white sugar and 5g of baking powder. Mix then make a well in the centre of the flour. When the yeast and water has begun to foam add into the well along with 35ml rapeseed oil and 1 tbsp of squid ink. Begin to fold in the flour with a spatula then when it begins to come together begin to knead by hand until a rough dough starts to form.
2. Now that we have a rough dough, lightly dust a work top with flour and place the dough onto the work top. We now want to knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until a smooth springy dough is formed adding additional flour if the dough is too sticky. You should be able to tell the dough is ready as when you lightly press with your finger the dough should spring back. Now add the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Allow the dough to prove in a humid area for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Toppings and Sauce:
3. Whilst we wait on the dough to prove, we can now move onto making the toppings, sauce and preparing the squid. Let's begin with the pickled red chillies, simply finely slice 2 red chillies leaving the seeds in if preferred. Next in a small bowl add 1 tsp of sugar and 3 tsps of rice vinegar and mix well until the sugar dissolves. Add the chillies and allow to pickle until we are ready to serve. As for the spring onions simply finely slice into a julienne then place to one side. For the spicy mayonnaise, in a small bowl add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 finely minced garlic cloves and 1 tbsp of fine chilli flakes. Mix well then place to one side with the other toppings.
Squid and dredge:
4. For the squid start by removing the outer membrane then remove the tentacles by cutting just below where the eyes are. Remove the beak from where the head is then cut the tentacles into bite sized pieces. For the squid tube remove the spine and innards first then briefly wash. Pat the squid tubes dry then slice into thin rings. Place the squid onto kitchen paper and place back in the refrigerator for now.
5. Last thing left to prep before we move back to the dough is the dredge, by getting all the components prep completed whilst the dough is proving will make finishing the bao's so much simpler. To make a light dredge for the squid, in a bowl add 1/2 cup of plain flour, 1/2 cup of cornflour, 2 tbsp fine chilli flakes, 1 tbsp sugar and salt and black pepper. Mix well then place the dredge to one side until the very end.
Back to the Dough:
6. Back to the dough, after at least 1 hour of proving the dough should have doubled in size. Press into the dough to release and unwanted air then place onto a work surface dusted lightly with flour. Kneed the dough back into a ball then cut the