This is my pai pau 排包 (translated as rows of bread) trial #2 with a different recipe. I got the recipe from Do What I Like. Just like my pai pau #1, this recipe uses bread starter too. While the starter for my pai pau #1 is more of a paste like and pretty quick to make; the starter in this recipe, on the other hand is more like a sticky doug. Since there is yeast in the starter so it takes a lot longer (it takes at least 2 hours) for the dough to be “fermented” in order for use. The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup of bread flour and uses only 1 egg yolk, but I used one whole egg because I don’t want to have any egg white leftover. I am thinking it might be because of the addition of egg white, my dough was very wet and sticky, so I kept on adding more bread flour (about extra 3/4 to 1 cup total). Also, I added a little more sugar and butter, hoping for a sweeter and more buttery taste.
Difference between pai pau #1 and pai pau #2? Well, these two versions both yields soft breads, but I think pai pau #1 weighs more (heavier feel on hand) and a little more chewy texture. Pai pau #2 seems to have a fluffier and lighter texture. I voted pai pau #2 over #1. Luckily the bread starter recipes yields 4 portions and can be frozen, which means making pai pau in the next three times will be a breeze.
Pai Pau 排包 #2 Recipe (makes 8 rows)
2 1/2 cup bread flour– see note below
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp dry whole milk powder
5 tbsp sugar
120 ml milk and 1 egg combined
50 gm dough starter– about 1/4 portion of the recipe
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 beaten egg for egg wash
Method (using a KA stand mixer):
- Combine bread flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and dry yeast in the stand mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients (except butter and egg wash). With a dough hook attached and the mixer turn on, knead the dough until it forms a dough. Drop in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane” test. (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it passes the test).
- Transfer the dough to a big bowl. Wrap the bowl and leave it on a warm spot to rest/proof until double in size. (To speed up the resting time a little you can sit the bowl on a moist hot towel, or sit the bowl on top of a pot of hot water).
- Lightly knead the dough on a board a few times to punch out big air pockets trapped inside. Divide into 8 even portions. Rest for 15 minutes. Roll each pieces into a ball. Use a rolling pin, roll out 1 pieces of dough to a oval shape. Fold 1/3 of the dough on the top towards the center. Then fold the bottom 1/3 over, on the center. Pinch to seal the edge. Roll and gently stretch the dough to 7 inches long. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Place them on greased 9x13x2 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest till the dough almost reach the rim of the pan.
- Apply egg wash on top of the buns. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
Dough Starter Recipe (yields about 200 gram of dough)
3/4 cup bread flour
1/4 tsp dry yeast
pinch of salt
80 ml water
Mix all ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and proof at a warm place for at least 2 hours (I proofed my starter for 4 hours). Divide dough starter into 4 portions. For pai pau recipe above, use only 1 portion. Extra dough starter can be wrapped individually and kept frozen. Thaw and bring back to room temperature before using.