Steamed Bisquit Buns from Whitney Miller

Steamed Biscuit Buns — Whitney Miller, author:  “New Southern Table”
I learned to love buns when I traveled to China to work with the St. Regis Hotel on Southern food promotions. The restaurants in the hotels offered a buffet of all kinds of foods: fresh fruits, fried rice, noodles, and, of course, a variety of buns with different fillings. You can buy buns at Asian markets stateside, but I wanted to create a recipe of my own. After experimenting with my Olive Oil Biscuit dough- see recipe in cookbook-, I found a steaming method that worked well. These buns are easy to make with staple pantry ingredients and can be made ahead and frozen. They are great for meals or appetizers.

Buns
2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2/3 cup whole milk

Fillings
Pulled pork see Collard Green Wrapped Pork Loin recipe in cookbook
Sliced Smoked Brisket see Smoked Brisket recipe in cookbook
Roasted Barbecue Sauce see recipe in cookbook
Coleslaw for garnish
Thinly sliced jalapeño pepper for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in the well, and add a few tablespoons of the milk. Using only one hand, gently stir the milk into the flour to incorporate. Once a wet dough forms, begin using a folding technique to incorporate the rest of the flour and milk until a moist, sticky dough forms. If the dough is too wet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour. Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch thick round. Using a 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch round cutter, cut out 7 rounds. Reshape the dough, roll out, and cut 4 more rounds for a total of 11.

Working with one round at a time, roll the dough out to a 4 1/2-inch oval. Lightly brush olive oil on one half of the oval. Fold the other half over on top. Repeat with all the rounds.

Cut 11 4 x 4-inch squares out of waxed or parchment paper. Transfer the dough pockets to the parchment squares and let rest for 10 minutes.
Place a wooden or stainless steel steamer over a pot filled halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Place half of the buns in the steamer. Make sure the pockets do not touch.

Cover with a lid, and steam until the buns are puffed and cooked through, about 4 minutes. Use tongs to transfer the buns to a plate, and then discard the papers. Wrap the buns in kitchen towels to keep warm. Steam the remaining buns, adding more water to the pot as needed.

Fill the steamed biscuit buns with pork or brisket, and top with coleslaw, sliced jalapeño, and cilantro leaves. Serve warm.

Makes 11 buns.
Note: You can let the buns cool completely, then place them in a freezer bag, and freeze for later use.. Enjoy every bite!

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