Brunch Bao



⅔ cup warm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon canola oil1
¼ cups bread flour, plus more for if needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the water, yeast and sugar until the yeast dissolves. Let the mixture sit until the yeast starts to get foamy and bloom, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the oil and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, sift the bread flour, salt and baking soda together. Add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula. If the dough looks sticky, add 1 additional tablespoon of flour at a time until it is less sticky.

3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rest until it has doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours. Punch the dough down to flatten it.

4. Portion the dough into balls that are 2 inches in diameter and let rest for 5 minutes. Flatten each ball into a disk 3 inches in diameter.

5. Fill the buns with your filling of choice (see below) and wrap by gathering the edge and twisting slightly. Cover with a damp kitchen towel to keep the bao from drying out.

6. Place the buns in a steamer lined with parchment paper and steam until the buns have expanded, 7 to 9 minutes. Serve.



1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl, mix together the chips, butter and vanilla. Place the bowl over a barely simmering saucepan of water and stir until the chocolate has melted. Whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

CHAR SIU (Roast Pork)

1 tablespoon oil
1/3 cup shallots or red onion (finely chopped)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups diced Chinese roast pork

While the dough is resting, make the meat filling. Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for a minute. Turn heat down to medium-low, and add the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy. Stir and cook until the mixture starts to bubble up. Add the chicken stock and flour, cooking for a couple minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the roast pork. Set aside to cool. If you make the filling ahead of time, cover and refrigerate to prevent it from drying out.

Psychic Hearts Cocktail

1oz Grenadine
1oz Midori Melon Liqueur
1/2oz Blue Curaçao
1/2oz Water
1oz Pineapple Juice
1oz White Rum or Coconut Rum
2 dashes Orange Bitters (optional)

First, mix the 1/2oz water and 1/2oz blue curaçao in a small glass or jigger and stir. Next, do the same with the pineapple juice and rum in a separate glass. In your serving glass, add grenadine and bitters. Then fill the glass with crushed ice. Next you will be slowly pouring the other ingredients in just the right order to get the layering effect! Add the Midori, pouring slowly. Then the blue curaçao. Add lastly, the rum and pineapple mixture. Add a straw and enjoy! 
You may want to stir it all together before you drink, but get your pretty picture first!
Brunch with Books