Chinese Steamed Chicken Buns ~Bread Machine


When I was in Jr. High School my mom worked with a gal Keng, from Singapore.  Occasionally Keng would bring in food that she had prepared.  Sometimes it was noodles and once in a while it was these deliciously savory, fragrant and chewy steamed buns.  They were like nothing I had ever tried at any Chinese restaurant.

I was recollecting Keng and her amazing steamed buns and decided to make them.  I had just bought an industrial size pack of boneless, skinless chicken breast and was tired of oven fried chicken, I needed something more complex and savory. Sadly, I cannot honestly recall what the meat was in Keng’s buns.  I believe it was ground pork.  That would be amazing too.

I found a recipe or two online and one in my bread machine cookbook and combined them all to create my own recipe.  My girls and husband were crazy about them and The Mr. promptly said “You can make these anytime you want!”  I laughed and assured him, it was going to be a while before I did these again.  Not because I did not enjoy them, but they are a lengthy project to undertake.  But, yes… they are mighty tasty!

Dough Ingredients:

5/8 cup lukewarm milk

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon room temp butter

1 teaspoon rapid rise yeast

Pour the milk into the bread machine and add the butter.  Sprinkle the flour to cover the milk.  Add the salt and sugar into separate corners and put the yeast directly in the center.  Use your dough cycle on your machine.  Allow the dough to rest after the cycle ends.  I allowed mine to hang out for about three hours after the cycle ended.

Filling Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

2 inch piece of ginger root finely minced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1/8 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder (*this seems like a small amount but the flavor is needed)

8 ounces chicken breast, thinly sliced and cut into 1″ pieces

3 scallions chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro chopped

Salt and pepper

Mix all of the ingredients and marinate for at least 1/2 hour.  Heat a non stick skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil.  When the skillet is hot add 1/2 of the chicken and stir fry for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from skillet and add the second batch of chicken.  Cook for 3 minutes and add the the first batch.  Let rest for 1/2 hour to cool the ingredients.

Vegetables For Filling:

1 small can sliced water chestnuts ~ Drained

2 carrots peeled and roughly chopped

1 small onion roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic roughly chopped

Add all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are well chopped.  Add the chopped vegetables to the chicken, once the chicken is cooled and easy to handle.

Dough Preparation:

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll the dough into a log shape.  Cut the dough into eight uniform segments and cover with a tea towel.

Take the first piece of dough and roll it into a 5″ round.  Recover and roll out the remaining dough balls into 5″ rounds, covering the dough as you work to keep it from drying out.

Heat approximately 6″ of water in a large stockpot and place your bamboo steamer on the pan.  Heat the water to a boil.

Take one round of dough and add about 2 tablespoons of filling and pull the dough out a bit.  Run a small amount of water around the edge of the dough.  Bring the sides of the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges together to seal.  Place the bun on a small square of wax paper or parchment.  This is used to keep it from sticking in the steamer.

Cover the completed bun with a tea towel as you create the remaining seven.

Load the buns into the steamer, being careful not to allow them to touch the sides of the steamer or each other.  Keep in mind that the buns will expand as they cook.  It’s quite surprising how much larger they get while steaming.

steamed bun

Steam the buns for ten minutes and serve immediately.


Bread Machine White Breakfast Bread Recipe

Another one of my old favorites from the best bakers ever.  King Arthur Flour.

This always tastes great and is not too overly sweet.  Lovely!  Lovely!

One (1 1/2-pound) Loaf

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
3 3/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Program for white or basic bread, light setting, and press Start. Check the dough’s consistency about 7 minutes after the kneading cycle begins, adding additional water or flour to form a smooth, soft ball of dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. Remove the bread when it’s done, and let cool completely before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.

Easy as Can Be Bread Machine Bread by King Arthur Flour

This is an excellent and easy recipe for homemade bread machine bread.  I always use King Arthur Flour for the best results and follow my basic bread machine steps 1. lukewarm liquid first / butter room temperature  2. flour second 3. salt, sugar and yeast separated and added last

For large (1 1/2lb.- 2lb.) machine
1 cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

For small (1 lb.) machine
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons butter or margine
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
5 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Put all of the ingredients into your machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Program the machine for basic white bread, and press Start.

Eggplant, Onion & Rosemary Focaccia ~ Bread Machine

I was raised at my grandmother O’Brion’s kitchen counter kneading dough on her (now mine) huge cararra marble slab.  She showed me how to make gorgeous pizza dough and loaves of fresh bread in the traditional way.

Fast forward to me with two babies and grand ideas of making fresh bread for my family.  That lasted about 10 hot seconds!  I quickly discovered that time was limited with two toddlers.

I only own a handful of kitchen appliances, but the ones I do have, I adore and use often.  I bought a bread machine about 9 years ago on for about $60.00 and it was the best 60 bucks I’ve ever spent.  I use it a lot.  I know some people think it’s “cheating” and others think they are difficult to use.  Okay, maybe, just maybe if you’re a purist, it is sorta cheating.  But, I’m more inclined to make a loaf of homemade bread with the machine, than I would if I had to knead bread dough by hand.  Plus, my slightly arthritic hands are thankful.  I love that I can put a loaf of bread together in about 10 minutes and leave it, go out, take a nap or whatevs.  In under three hours I have the best bread.

As far as bread machines being difficult or rather their loaves not coming out very well, here are my thoughts on bread machine usage.  Use good quality yeast like Fleishman’s and a superior bread flour.  I only use King Arthur Flour because I have found that cheap flour results in a poor bread quality.  Follow the instructions I will provide and you should have nothing but gorgeous bread, every single time!


Scant 1 Cup water ~ lukewarm

1 Tablespoon EVOO

3 Cups unbleached King Arthur Bread Flour

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 Teaspoon granulated sugar

1 Teaspoon rapid rise active dry yeast


I’ve used EVOO  thinly sliced red onion, eggplant and fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt.  However, there are many lovely vegetables and toppings that you could use.  Summer squash, tomato, ham or pepperoni just to name a few.


1. Set the machine to your dough cycle (Either basic dough or pizza dough setting)

2. Lightly oil a flat pan or a round pizza pan.  Depending on the shape you prefer.

3. When the cycle has finished turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

4. Punch the dough down to flatten it slightly.

5. Shape the dough into your pan shape.  Try not to pull and stretch the dough too much and to not over flour the dough.  I find that giving it some time to rest and relax helps to shape the dough.  I usually give it about 20 minutes covered with plastic wrap.

6. Pre~heat the oven too 400 degrees F.

7. Uncover your dough and continue stretching it to form your desired shape.

8.  Poke the dough to create dimples all across the surface and let rise again.  About 10 minutes.

9. Drizzle the surface with EVOO and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and your toppings.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till golden.

Serve warm!


Have all of your ingredients out and your measuring tools ready to go.  The idea is to work fast.

I always pre~ measure my flour into a bowl.  That way I am not loosing track of how much I’ve added and so that my liquid does not get too cool.

Put all of your wet ingredients into the bread machine first.  Oils, butters, milk or water.

Make sure, sure that your wet ingredients are not cold, or hot.  They should be lukewarm.  Remember yeast is killed with hot liquid and it will stop the bread from rising properly if it’s not the correct temp.

After you put your wet ingredients in, add your flour.

Make a dimple in the center of the flour.  This is where your yeast goes.

Then add your salt and or sugar separately to a corner.  They should not touch the yeast or each other!  Separate corners for sugar and salt.

Do not stir anything as you are adding it.  Just layer.

If you are adding cheese, herbs, spices etc. I usually just sprinkle those over the whole thing before I hit start.  If however you’re using fruits or nuts there is a special cycle for those types of breads and your machine should give you a warning beep to add them in at a certain point.

Do not delay in starting the machine.  Your liquid will get too cold and your bread will not rise properly.

Do not open the machine when it’s kneading or rising ( well, it’s okay to peek!  But really just a split second) because again you’ll loose heat and it won’t rise properly.

Honestly, after you’ve made a few loaves you’ll get to know how the dough should look and feel.  On an occasion I’ve had to add liquid or flour to remedy overly sticky dough or dough that was too dry.  I have found this only happens when using random recipes on the web I’ve not tested.  It’s never happened when using a good resource such as King Arthur Flour’s recipes online.