The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe Search - Yeast rolls found in Chinese restaurants

AnnaMPS's picture

Recipe Search - Yeast rolls found in Chinese restaurants

I'm looking to re-create the slightly sweet, yeasty rolls you get alongside soup at Chinese restaurants. They tend to look like the rolls made in the "Buttermilk Cluster" recipe here (I just made this tonight, they were great!).

Any ideas anyone?

trailrunner's picture

This is the recipe. You can also fill them with different things like barbecued pork...Chinese style. This is from Far East Cafe' by Joyce Jue. I have made it many times and I can say I have never had such delicious buns. It is a very easy dough to work with. I hope you like it. Caroline

2 1/2 t  active dry yeast

3 T sugar

1/4 c 110 degree water

8 fl oz warm milk

3T veg oil

1 egg beaten

19 oz AP flour , + extra for kneading

1/2 t salt ( regular)

2 t baking powder ( very important !!)

16  squares parchment each 4" sq


1 egg beaten w/1/2t sugar and 1T water

Combine yeast,  1 Tsugar and water. Let set till foamy. Add oil, egg and warm milk. Set aside. In food processor bowl combine flour ,salt and remaining 2 T sugar.  Turn on processor to combine dry ingred. add liquids slowly and process till forms ball. Process for 15 sec. more. Remove from bowl and knead till spongy and resiliant...about 3-5 min. This is a very nice smooth dough. Do not add extra flour unless you really need to. Place in oiled bowl and cover let to rise till double. About 2 hrs.  Remove and flatten dough to a square. sprinkle baking powder over dough and knead in thoroughly about 3  min. This is very important. I sift it over to be sure there are no lumps. Form into 16 balls. Place on parchment. Set to rise till double about 30 min. Preheat oven to 350. Glaze rolls just before baking. bake for 25 min. till golden. 


These reheat beautifully and keep for days in the fridge. They are a miracle dough ! 



mediter's picture

Hey there!

I was really excited to see this recipe - and am using it to make char siu bau. I have a question though. When I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, I did not have balls forming - in fact the dough was so wet that, well, it really didn't look like dough at all. I gradually added more flour, about 1 cup in total - and it was still fairly wet - sticking to my fingers like crazy and not terribly kneadable.

The dough is rising now, so I don't know what the results will be like (though I will return with an update).

I measured all ingredients out exactly, so I'm really puzzled as to why the dough would be so incredibly wet. I'm a bit concerned that my adding extra flour will diminish the flavor (smaller ratio of sugar). Any tips would be much appreciated. I am a novice baker, and intermediate cook. :)

mrfrost's picture

Don't worry. The recipe calls for extra flour for kneading. So, you're probably on track. But still, use only the extra flour needed to make a smooth stretchy dough that is not (too)sticky. You can still knead, and let it rise, again.

niagaragirl's picture

Of my own design. This blog is not quite ready for mass traffic, but here is the post

The dish is Char Siu Bao and the authentic recipe has some rice flouri in it. I have it kicking around here somewhere. The buns can be baked or steamed. If I locate the recipe I'll post here. But I am sure if you do a search on the dish name you will find many versions. I just had one of these cold leftoverr from dinner and it was great.

You can read the little blog post too. It was quite a day. Like baking with the Stooges ;-)


Well I could not locate the dough that has the rice flour. The recipe above will do fine. When an Asian friend of mine does these, for the egg wash she uses 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp sugar, and 2 tsp water. It's what gives it that slightly sticky outside.

Here is a mix for seasoning the pork

Seasoning for cha shao:

1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons corn flour
4 tablespoons water
a dash of sesame oil

Above by corn flour they mean cornstarch. Just do a slurry with the water.


Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

..."blog is not quite ready"
  You're doing a nice job so far. ;-)

niagaragirl's picture

Thanks. I was a total buffoon when I started with breads. Hopefully I can help out some who stumbled as I did. I can now braid a six rope Challah in my sleep ;-)

trailrunner's picture

Here you go...I found the pics from the last time we made them. We make the traditional bbq pork. It takes 2 days to make. Very very yummy. I always make extra to use in other dishes. 

Photobucket Photobucket

trailrunner's picture

It is really good. I could never figure how to do that. Will just have to post here instead :) Do you do other Chinese cooking ? My husband is the one who does all the stir fry. Have you tried Fuschia Dunlop's 2 books? They are wonderful as is the Far East Cafe'. c

RobynNZ's picture

There is a vast wealth of practical knowledge here and I've learned lots following links and using the search box. One thing about spammers they sometimes highlight posts I haven't found yet!

BioCindy's picture

I made the buttermilk cluster and added ~1/2 t cinnamon and ~5 heaping t of splenda, and it came out just like the rolls I remember from the Chinese restaurants in Metro Detroit.