The best pau that I've eaten so far was in Singapore back in 2008. The dough was so soft and fluffy and basically melts in your mouth. Mmm.. And I'm pretty sure it was the same taste when I ate them this year as well. :P
I'd been looking everywhere for 'Hong Kong pau flour'. I finally found it earlier in the year at Laguna in QV. So I bought a packet (500gm) for $2.45. I didn't know what made the flour so special, but now that I think of it.. I think it's just because it's low in gluten/protein (unlike bread flour which is high in gluten/protein); thus making it soft and light. Therefore.. you just need to buy low protein/gluten flour which you can find at most Asian grocers for about $1.65 per 500gm packet. -__-
Makes about 27 small-med pau
500gm charsiu pork, diced
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp light soya sauce
2 1/2 tbsp corn flour
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
2/3 cup corn kernels
2/3 cup peas
pinch of salt
cooked quail eggs
500gm Hong Kong Pau flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
60gm vegetable shortening
Prepare the filling the night before.
Combine all of the ingredients together (except the quail eggs as they are very delicate) and stirfry on low for a few minutes.
Allow to cool.
Cover and refrigerate over night.
For the pau skin, sift baking powder, sugar, salt and flour in a bowl.
In a small bowl, prepare the yeast by adding the 1 tbsp water and 1 tsp sugar. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes or until frothy like in appearance.
Create a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add water and yeast mixture.
Mix until a dough is formed.
Knead dough until soft.
Cover and leave to rest for about an 1hr or until about double in size.
Punch dough once and knead. Roll out dough and cut into equal pieces.
Roll each piece out and apply filling (including a quail egg) before closing up.
Place on top of a small piece of baking paper.
Steam on high for about 25 minutes or until cooked.
Serve immediately, or reheat when required. (The pau will harden otherwise, but should soften upon reheating).
They weren't as soft and fluffy, but still soft. My dough didn't rise as much as I had wanted.. so perhaps I needed more yeast? Or the yeast wasn't working quite well.. sigh. Oh, and I really need practice is wrapping up the pau. Haha.. the first few were quite.. hideous. :/