Enjoy delicious homemade BBQ pork buns (char siu bao). It takes about 15 minutes to prep the easy dough recipe, come back to it a few hours later to make the filling and assemble the baos. You will be eating char siu baos within 4 hours but the recipe is flexible enough for you to prepare it overnight or in the morning and then assemble when you're ready.
Combine the yeast, lukewarm water, and sugar in a 2 cup measuring glass or medium bowl, stir to dissolve the sugar and break up any lumps of yeast, and set aside for 10 minutes until the yeast is foamy (so you know it's alive).
Pour the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the well and stir together with a wooden spoon or fork until a shaggy dough forms.
If the dough is very wet, add a tablespoon of flour and gently knead until the dough is slightly sticky and still soft and pliable.
Cover with some plastic wrap, drape with a clean dish cloth, and allow the dough to rise in a warm draft proof place until the dough is doubled in size (approximately 2 hours) or refrigerate overnight.
Add diced char siu and stir fry for one minute, until heated thru and slightly sizzling.
Set up your steamer with a rack and approximately 1 inch of water, and bring to a boil on low heat. Cut parchment paper into 2 inch squares or use parchment paper cupcake liners.
Use a scraper or sturdy spatula to scrape the dough on to your work surface, sprinkle a little bit of flour on the top, and gently roll the dough and shape into a log. Cut into 12 pieces and use lightly floured hands to shape each piece so that it’s round and flat (like a hockey puck).
Use a rolling pin to roll dough flat, approximately ¼ inch thick and 4 inches wide, sprinkle a pinch of flour on your rolling pin and work surface if the dough seems sticky.
Spoon 2 tablespoons of filling into each center, and pleat the dough, and pinch close.
Place each bao on a parchment paper square or cupcake liner and repeat until 6 baos are assembled.
Check on the steamer, raise the temperature to medium-high heat, and carefully place the baos in your rack. Be careful to balance the baos (place them on opposite sides rather than clockwise) so that the rack doesn't tip over into the water. Steam the baos for 10 minutes as you work to assemble the rest of the baos.
*You can make your own Chinese style char siu (bbq pork) if you like, enjoy some for dinner and reserve about 1 pound for making char siu baos. https://www.nutfreewok.com/bbq-pork-char-siu-recipe/