Keys to bunny bao success

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....)

Happy Easter!

Filed under:  easter chinese bunny steamed

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Mine turned out lovely, everyone liked them, and that was despite steaming them in a vegetable steamer!

Actually, the only issue I had was running out of filling. The baos closed up easily (with room to spare) over the egg/bacon that I put in and still I ended up with 4 balls left over. I made some pork filling and filled them for freezing.

Anyway, we had a mixed nationality group for lunch yesterday (British, Colombian, American) and everyone thought they were wonderful!

It really makes me happy to see so many people actually trying out the bunny bao :)

Right now I'm imagining bunny bao invading tables around the world...

Mine came out pretty good actually. I didn't have time to make the filling so I just made the buns as is. Aside from coming out a bit smaller than a filled one (obviously) they tasted great and everyone at lab loved them! I'm going to make these guys again except with a filling. I was very surprised at how easy the recipe was. I've always been a bit bread-making phobic.


i followed the instructions to a T, using all purpose flour, and the right measurements (converted to american, of course) and on the first pass, my dough was way too wet. i couldn't get it to stop sticking all over my fingers long enough to try to get it into a ball, and when i threw it back into the bowl, it just sagged. i had to add at least another quarter cup of flour to even be able to handle it at all, else it was just liquidy. even after i added the extra flour, the dough was still sticky, sticking to the scissors and the plate.

did i do something wrong?

Do you by chance life in an area with a humid climate? I find that the ambient humidity can affect the amount of water in a baking recipe quite a bit, especially when you are aiming for a smooth dough. Next time try adding about half the water first, kneading, then adding the rest bit by bit just until the dough is about the right consistency (it may still be shaggy but it shouldn't feel overly wet or dry). It also looks like you may have left the bunnies to rise a bit too long (which may account for the bubbly texture). But try the water-adding thing first!


I just tried making the bunny bao and it didn't work :( I live in a humid climate yes, and the dough was definitely too sticky. I sort of added a little bit more water during the first round because 220ml only, there was still a lot of dry flour left :(

It did rise but after I punched it down, it became sticky again, sigh.

How does 'shaggy' look like by the way? I had this lump of very sticky yet...thick strand-like dough?

Thick strand-like dough sounds right. It sems like you just need to adjust the water/flour ratio a bit to get it right. (I really should post a video how-to for dough ^_^;)

I am making these for the daycare I work at as an easter lunch. I am changing the filling a bit to have chicken. I will post pictures when i am done....wish me luck! I am about to make 60 of these little bunnies!