I’ve gotten a couple of emails from readers who had some trouble with the bunny bao . Just in case you plan to try these tomorrow or any time (why limit bunnies to just Easter?), here are a few key points to watch out for.
- As stated in the recipe, use all-purpose or cake flour (in other words a relatively low-gluten flour), not bread flour. This ensures that the bao will be fluffy. If you make it with high gluten bread flour, they may come out rather doughy.
- Make sure the filling is not too watery or too oily. The scrambled eggs should be moist but not runny, and the bacon should be well drained before adding to the egg mix. If any oil or moisture run over the edges, the dough won’t stick together.
- Don’t overfill the bao. For the proportions given in the recipe (which makes 12) about 1 heaping teaspoonful of filling should be enough.
- Make sure to give the dough a rest after cutting it into 12 pieces. This allows it to ‘heal’ a bit before proceeding.
- Don’t overhandle the dough. Forming the ears is just two quick snips with your scissors. After that, you can squish the ears flat if you like but try not to fiddle too much with it, or the dough may not puff as much as it should. Don’t worry - the ears will come out fine, and even if the bunnies are a bit crooked everyone will love them anyway.
And…the scissors need to be sharp, pointy, and impeccably clean. (don’t use those rusty scissors sitting around in your kids’ crayon box….)