I love these buns. When they were steaming, they smelled so good. But Mike hated it. Mike only likes Sweet Potato Buns. He even hates my kids’ favourite glorious pumpkin buns. He said this smell like our kids’ s***
Remember my banana honey bread, yes the Jamie Oliver banana bread, that is a true bread. It wasn’t that nice. It was tough. After a few years of baking, I’ve come to know that, when the ingredients are too acidic, it tends to cause the texture to be dry. Just like my experiment with roselle to create Red Velvet Cake. One of my friend tried making a banana cake following a popular baking book in Chinese and when I tasted it, it was dry and crumbly. I asked her whether she used baking powder or baking soda, and to my confirmation, it was baking powder. All things made with banana should always be neutralized with baking soda, if not, the results are always less than desirable.
And so for this steamed banana buns, I tried neutralizing the acidity of the banana by mixing with some baking soda in advance. You will see some very mild frothing occurring, as in like… the mixture looking slightly whitish. Yeast has always preferred an acidic environment, so I didn’t want the baking soda to intervene with the yeast’s reaction and let the reaction be completed before it is used. But bananas are far too acidic for baking on its own. If not Jamie’s banana bread would’ve been good. Haha.
And I guess I did the right thing. The steamed bun is truly soft and fluffy. The fragrance is not as strong as baked banana goods, but it’s still nice for me. My girls love it too, so who cares about the man, Hahaha!
I used only 2 Tbsp of sugar for the dough, of which I do find a bit bland for a plain bun or mantou. Add more if you like your buns sweeter, but some will find this to be sufficient. The type of banana that you use will also determine how much sugar to add. I’m sure pisang berangan will be sweeter, and Cavendish might be moister. Rastali is errrr…. not so favourable, I’d say. So, if the dough is too wet, add in 1-2 Tbsp extra flour or if it’s too dry, and 1-2 Tbsp more milk. It’s hard to gauge due to the difference in the banana’s variety and level of ripeness. You will have to be your own judge.
I also prefer mashing the banana with a fork, so that the “veins” can be seen. If you blitz the banana, chances are, you won’t be able to see those brownish streaks of which are so “bananaish”.
Steamed Banana Buns
Recipe source: Wendyywy
300gm banana (I used local variety, Pisang emas)
½ tsp baking soda
500gm pau flour (can substitute with all purpose flour)
½ tsp salt
½ Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp sugar or more if you like it sweeter
70ml warm milk
1 sachet instant yeast (11gm)
50gm softened butter
1. Mash banana with a fork and mix with baking soda. Let it rest for 1 hour at least. (I rested it for 4hours, because I was busy, but I checked it after 1 hour and the reaction has already stopped)
2. Dissolve yeast in milk. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mix with rested bananas.
3. Mix pau flour with salt, baking powder and sugar. Make a well in the center.
4. Pour banana mixture into the well and mix. Knead until everything looks well incorporated.
5. Add in softened butter and knead until a smooth piece of dough is achieved.
6. Cover and let dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
7. Punch down and knead for a while.
8. Separate dough into 20 pieces. Each piece should be approximately 50gm each.
9. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
10. Shape dough balls as preferred (This method is shown here) and put them on a piece of flattened muffin liner or paper.
11. Let shaped dough rise for another 50 minutes or until doubled. Make sure bun dough is not exposed to air (I like to proof my bread and buns in the oven, cold oven of course)
12. Prepare your steamer and steam buns for 12 minutes on high heat
Video on how to form the buns