Years ago, I fell in love with these little Chinese dumpling “sandwiches.” They are tender, fragrant and delicious with a spongy-velvety texture. They are addictive and thankfully, easy to make. Most of the work is done overnight in the refrigerator with the dough resting and gaining flavor and texture.

Steamed Chinese buns are versatile and can be filled with chopped vegetables, roasted mushrooms or stir-fried meats and poultry. Bao dumplings are a fun appetizer or first course.

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Steamed Chinese Buns  -Bao Dumplings

1 ¾ ounces fresh yeast
3 ½ cups Ice water
¾ cups  sugar
3 ¼ cups  bread flour
2 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 cup    chopped scallions
2 eggs

1. Add yeast to cold water
2. Whisk in half the sugar and a handful of flour
3. Top with remaining flour, sugar, oil, eggs, salt and scallions
4. Let sit for 15-20 minutes
5. Mix slowly for 1 minute, then at medium speed for 1 minute
6. Place the dough in a covered container and place in the refrigerator overnight
7. Divide into walnut size rolls
8. Let rise slightly
9. Steam for 4 to 5 minutes
10.Let cool to room temp.
11. Slice and add the filling of your choice

Roasted Shiitake Mushroom Sandwiches
Serves 6 (2 buns per person)

12 large shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Kosher salt and Pepper

1.    Preheat oven to 350F
2.    Place the shiitake mushrooms on a parchment lined sheet pan. Sprinkle the shitakes with the sesame oil, garlic and ginger.
3.    Roast the mushrooms until they are lightly toasted and very fragrant (about 10 minutes).
4.    Place one mushroom in each bao dumpling and serve.

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