Sweet baked lotus paste buns

Sweet baked lotus paste buns

The Real Food of China
Leanne Kitchen

We’ve never been quite sure why so many otherwise rational people, accomplished cooks among them, have such a terror of using yeast. People, listen up — it’s simple to use! Particularly modern, instant yeast, which technically you don’t even need to start in warm liquid — you can just throw it straight into the flour and mix and knead from there. The only thing that will kill yeast is if you mix it with liquid that’s too hot, so make sure your water or milk is always at blood temperature.


Quantity Ingredient
2 1/2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
170ml milk, warmed
60ml vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon caster sugar
485g plain flour, plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon salt
300g lotus seed paste
1 egg yolk


  1. Sprinkle the yeast over 2 tablespoons lukewarm water in a small bowl, then set aside in a draught-free place for 6 minutes, or until foamy. Combine the yeast mixture, milk, oil, eggs and sugar in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to combine well. Add the flour and salt and stir to just bring the dough together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 8 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, adding a little extra flour if the dough remains sticky — the dough should be soft. Cover the dough with a tea towel.
  2. Divide the lotus seed paste into 12 pieces and then roll each into a ball. Set aside. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, then roll each piece into a ball. Working with one dough ball at a time, use your hand to flatten the ball to a 9 cm circle. Place a ball of lotus paste in the middle of each circle, then bring the edges up and over the filling to meet in the middle. Pinch the edges together to seal. Place the bun on the work surface, seam side down, and shape it into a neat ball. As you fill and shape each bun, transfer it to a large baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving room between each for rising, and loosely cover with a tea towel. Leave in a draught-free place for 40 minutes, or until risen and puffy.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the egg yolk with 2–3 teaspoons water in a small bowl, then brush the mixture over the buns. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until deep golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool. The buns are best served on the day they are made.
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