Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)

I'm not sure if most of you felt the same, but I often feel "lazier" after a long weekend. @_@ I managed to travel up to a bigger city nearby for a weekend getaway and got some of my food cravings fixed. There were bubble tea, Korean BBQ and Dim Sum which quite replicate the authentic taste. And speaking of Dim Sum, it reminded me that I've this recipe that I need to share with everyone. ^_^ 

Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)

What could be better than to combine a successful bread dough recipe with a homemade Char Siu recipe? You know you just can't keep anyone's hands off these homemade Char Siu Buns although they may still be very hot from the oven. *_*

I am sharing these Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns) with Tea Time Treats (May 2015: Sandwiches, Wraps & Rolls!) hosted by Janie of The Hedgecombers and Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

I am also sharing this recipe with Bake of the Week organised by Helen & gang of Casa Costello; CookBlogShare organised by Lucy of Supergolden Bakes and guest hosted by Angela of Patisserie Makes Perfect; and Family Bakes and Makes hosted by Jenny of Modern Family Baking.


Homemade Char Siu Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)
The Dream Baker's Creation
Makes 12

Ingredients Required

Bread Dough
Recipe referenced from: The Dream Baker's Chicken Curry Buns

Overnight Sponge Dough

215 grams bread flour
125 grams full cream milk (cold)
2 grams instant dry yeast

Basic Dough
1 overnight sponge dough (as above)
90 grams bread flour, more for dusting
30 grams egg (about 1/2 of an extra large egg)
4 grams instant yeast
3 grams fine salt
60 grams fine sugar
45 grams unsalted butter / margarine, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk (cold)

Homemade Char Siu (BBQ Pork) filling, cut into small cubes (click for recipe)

Egg wash: Balance of 1/2 egg + 1 tablespoon milk
Sugar syrup: 1 teaspoon white sugar + 1 tablespoon hot water
Red food coloring, optional

Bakeware Required

Two large baking sheets

Preparation Steps

Overnight Sponge Dough
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to form a rough dough.
  2. Cover dough with cling wrap and store overnight in the fridge (non-freezer compartment).
Basic Dough
  1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except overnight sponge dough and butter/margarine. 
  2. Beat the ingredients with an electric mixer, and tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces and throw into the mixing bowl piece by piece while beating. 
  3. Turn the dough onto a clean table top sprinkled with bread flour (to prevent sticking) and knead the butter into the dough by hand to form a smooth, shinning and elastic dough. Knead for approximately 10 minutes. 
  4. Put dough into a large mixing bowl covered with cling film or a piece of damp cloth. Leave aside to proof till double in size.
  5. Punch down the dough to expel the air, divide into equal weight portions and mould into round balls. Cover and let dough rest for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Assembling and Baking the buns
  1. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a round disc and spoon filling in the centre of the dough. 
  2. Wrap dough around filling and seal by pinching the dough together. Shape them slightly oval and place the sealed side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp cloth and let proof for another 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Gently brush the surface with egg wash, and dap a dot of red food colouring on the centre of the bun surface using the back of a chopstick (optional).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven at 355 degrees F (or 180 degrees C) for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until surface turns lightly brown.
  5. Once baked, remove from oven and gently brush the surface of the buns with sugar syrup while hot. Transfer buns to wire rack to let cool slightly before serving. Be careful of the hot filling although the outside of the bun may have cooled slightly.
It's a good sign when the dough puffs up well after they have been wrapped with filling.
Thanks to the yeast for their hard work! ^_^

I prefer to go with the traditional look of Char Siu buns that comes with a little red dot although I don't know why. But I guessed it's because of the colour of the meat filling. It is important to brush the egg wash before dapping the red dot. Else you will end up smudging the red colouring.

The Dream Baker's Experiment
  1. This recipe uses half the portion of dough used for my Sausage (Hotdog) Buns. Hence I made 6 of these Char Siu Buns after dividing the dough into equal pieces of approximately 50 grams each.
  2. I wrapped each dough with roughly 2 tablespoons of meat filling.
  3. I baked the buns in the middle rack of the oven for 13 minutes (baking time varies across different ovens). I would say 12 minutes would be sufficient. As you can see from the colours of my buns, they are a little browner. They are not burnt, but I might have over-baked them for an additional minute.

I just feel they look so much prettier and more appetising with that glossy finish from the sugar syrup.

And I absolutely love homemade buns because I can have it stuff with lots of filling compared to the miserable bits from store-bought!

Try making yours today!

Dare to dream.
The Dream Baker

(P.S.: It was Memorial's Day in the United States yesterday on 25 May 2015, a federal holiday for remembering the people who sacrificed their lives while serving the country, officially observed on the last Monday in the month of May. My heart goes out to the families who have lost their loved ones, and deepest respect to the men and women who fought hard and sacrificed to protect their country, not only in the United States, but everywhere around the world.)


  1. These look so amazing! I really want one. They look just perfect. Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Hi Angela, thank you for your lovely note. Oh and I have amended my linky to mention you as the guest host for CookBlogShare. Apologies for the overlook. :)

    2. No worries. Thanks for changing the link. These do look amazing.

  2. Oh! I see your tasty buns are loaded with char siu filling :D

    1. Hi Karen, indeed.. That's why I love homemade since we can stuff as much as we want, compared to the miserable filling we get from some store-bought ones.. :)

  3. Another very tasty entry into Tea Time Treats - thank you so much! :)
    Janie x

    1. Thanks Janie! It's a great pleasure to be able to share with Tea Time Treats. :)

  4. These look delicious and great as a portable snack. I'd be interested in the origins of the red spot. Thanks for linking to #FamilyBakesAndMakes

    1. Thanks Jenny, I must say they are indeed yummy! Well, the red dot on the outside of the buns serve to differentiate the buns according to their filling since store-bought buns are often made in bulk in the factory. My guess is red goes with the colour of the char siu filling cos' traditionally, red fermented bean curd are added to the seasoning of char siu (nowadays some simply add red food colouring) which turn the exterior of the meat dark red after roasting. But perhaps Google will have a better answer as to the origins of the red dot. :)