The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (2024)

26 Apr 2020

Last updated by Wes Radez on | 26

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Baked pork buns are filled with the same roast pork, known as char siu, found in their more traditional steamed counterparts. This version is made with a slightly sweet and yellow-colored dough that is usually found in cha chaan teng (a type of Chinese diner) dinner rolls.

Baked pork buns are a quintessential Chinatown pastry —you’ll find them for sale alongside pineapple buns, butter buns and egg tarts at any neighborhood bakery. I also enjoy stopping to buy a baked pork bun to bring home and enjoy with a cup of tea.

This recipe uses a “sweet dough” that’s ready to start forming into buns after only an hour of rising time. If you invest an hour to make all 20 buns, you’ll be left with a freezer full that will last you for weeks to come.

November 7, 2019 Update: The recipe below has been updated to reflect reader feedback about the amounts of water and yeast necessary for the dough!

Can you share any expert tips from your experience making baked pork buns? Want to ask a question before you try making it yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Baked Pork Buns Recipe

Makes: 20 | Prep Time: 3 Hours | Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Adapted From: Chubby Hubby

Ingredients

Dough:
2 cups bread flour
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup lard
1 egg
3/4 cup water

Filling:
1/2 cup water
1/2 pound char siu, diced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Directions

1. If using dry yeast, take 1/4 cup of the water and warm it up. Pour the yeast into the warm water. Stir once and let it sit for 5 minutes or until the surface becomes foamy.

2. For the dough, combine the remaining ingredients together and knead until soft and elastic. The texture should be silky and smooth. Pat the dough into a ball. Oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with cling wrap and place in a warm spot of your kitchen for an hour so that the dough can rise.

3. For the filling, in a small saucepan, mix together water, the sugar, the soy, rice wine, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. Cook the sauce over medium heat until it bubbles. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring. The sauce should thicken considerably. Remove from the heat and add in the diced char siu. Cool to room temperature.

4. Divide the dough into 20 equal sized pieces. Work one at a time. Take one piece and knead to a round shape then press it flat. You should try and work so that the edges of the dough circle are thinner than the middle of the circle, which you want a bit thicker.

5. Take a heaping teaspoon of the char siu filling and place it in the middle of the circle. Pull the edges over the filling and try to pinch the dough together so that the bun is completely sealed. Bring the edges together, pinching gently and also twisting.

6. Set aside the buns on either a floured tray or tray with greaseproof paper on it. Place it so that the side with the pinched seal is at the bottom. Do this with all 20 pieces until you have 20 buns.

7. Set the buns aside for 30 minutes so that the dough can ferment a little more. Preheat your oven at this time to 350 degrees.

8. Before you put the buns in the oven, brush the surface of each bun with some of the egg wash (beaten egg). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. To check for doneness, tear one of the buns in half and see if the bread is baked through or if it is still doughy.

9. As soon as they come out of the oven, quickly brush the surface of the buns with a touch of sugar syrup. This gives the buns a lovely glaze. You can eat a couple of these now but if you want to store them, you can keep them in the fridge or freezer. If reheating from the fridge, warm them up at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes. If from the freezer, let them defrost first.

Learn more about Baked Pork Buns from these Experts:

Watch Baking with Mi make a great home recipe for Baked Pork Buns (VIDEO)
A Baked Pork Bun recipe from Dim Sum House in Indianapolis
Ang Sarap makes Baked Pork Buns topped with sesame seeds

HT: Photo by Jess Lander via Wikimedia Commons.

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About The Author
Hi! I’m Wes, a dim sum lover in Oakland, California. I launched Dim Sum Central as a hobby and I’ve loved watching it grow to become an online home for people around the world who are passionate about eating and making dim sum! Get started »

The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (3)

The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (4)

26 Responses

  1. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (6)
    Gin

    |Reply

    We need to know the exact measurements for the ingredients used in the videoez

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (7)
      Dim Sum Central

      |Reply

      Hi Gin, thanks for stopping by! I added this video because I thought it did the best job of showing the cooking technique. If you combine the video with the recipe above, you’ll have a dynamite combination.

  2. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (8)
    Sue

    |Reply

    This recipe does not seem correct. The dough is way too moist and the dough is watery and sticky. Any changes needed? I’ve tried it twice with the same results.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (9)
      Dim Sum Central

      |Reply

      Hi Sue, if that’s the case, I would suggest combining all of the dry dough ingredients together before drizzling the water in as you mix/kneed. The texture you want is “silky and smooth,” that is dry enough to be workable, just short of sticky. Hope this helps!

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (10)
      • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (11)
        Dim Sum Central

        |Reply

        Great tip, Jason. Thanks for contributing! I plan to make another batch of these buns soon, after which I’ll update this recipe again. ~Wes

  3. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (12)
    Ferne

    |Reply

    I tried the recipe last night. I’ve baked often enough to know that it has either too much water or too little flour. I realized this when Instarted adding the water into the flour mixture. In the end, I had to an extra add 1/3 cup A/P flour and an extra 1/2 cup bread flour, and use only 3/4 to 1 cup water. I also added an extra teaspoon of yeast. Once I made these adjustments, the subsequent bread turned out fine. I suggest this recipe is revised by the author or there will be many unhappy readers who will have tried this recipe and fail. Thank you.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (13)
      Dim Sum Central

      |Reply

      Hi Ferne, thanks for your comments. I plan to make a fresh batch of this recipe this month and I’ll update the quantities. I want everyone to be happy with the outcome! ~Wes

  4. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (14)
    dchow

    |Reply

    Thanks for recipe, Wes!!

    Just made batch and turned out great. Similar to others, dough is way too watery and sticky. Kept adding combo bread and apt in order to handle it from kitchenaid mixer, probably extra 1/2-3/4 cup. Think water should be reduced, maybe 2/3 or 3/4 cup. Otherwise, dough consistency is good, flavor complements char sui and sugar glaze really make difference in looks and taste.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (15)
      Dim Sum Central

      |Reply

      Thanks for sharing your experience! Working together, we’ll all nail the ratio of water to flour! ~Wes

  5. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (16)
    Cynthia

    |Reply

    To echo everyone else, I wish I had read the comments first! Once I poured in the water I realized I was making pancake batter. C’mon Wes , it’s been 3 years since you said you would change it. How many more unread victims do you plan to have?

    Jokes aside, the filling was delicious. The buns had a nice flavor, but a dry texture after I doctored the failed dough. I’m sure they will turn out wonderfully next time with less water to start out with.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (17)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      Thanks for the reminder, Cynthia! I’ve updated the recipe! ~Wes

  6. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (18)
    Anita

    |Reply

    Made this dough for char Sui pork buns. Hubby kneaded dough for 10 mins. Made the buns and sat for half hour. I did have to add more flour when mixing. Anyways, my point is that this is the best dough ever. Taste store bought and even looked professionally baked! Hope this gets submitted. Tried few times already. Thanks for recipe. Will be my recipe making ongoing fwd. Have tried others and no comparison.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (19)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      That’s terrific, Anita! I’m glad that the updated recipe worked well for you! ~Wes

  7. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (20)
    Cassie

    |Reply

    What can I substitute for the lard? Butter or Oil?

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (21)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      Thanks for your question, Cassie. In my experience, the best substitute for lard is butter. ~Wes

  8. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (22)
    Jeff

    |Reply

    Today is my second batch. First time I made exactly 20 but today it was 14 because I obviously made them a little larger or put more filling in. That’s okay.

    I don’t know if you’ve added anything here about substitutions for rice wine, but I looked up what to use and the recommendation is gin. I’ve done that twice now and it seems to work.

    Thank you for this easy to follow recipe. I miss dim sum restaurants in the Bay Area.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (23)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      Well done, Jeff. Really gratifying to know the recipe is being used! ~Wes

  9. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (24)
    David

    |Reply

    Do you cook the pork before putting it into the dough?

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (25)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      No, David, the char siu meat is already cooked. ~Wes

  10. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (26)
    Joe

    |Reply

    Do you cook the char siu before putting it into the dough?

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (27)
      Joe

      |Reply

      Also wanted to add that this is my first time making dim sum so might be a silly question but dont want to have raw meat inside

      • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (28)
        Wes Radez

        |Reply

        No worries, no silly questions! ~Wes

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (29)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      Yes, the char siu will be cooked beforehand. It’s roasted pork. ~Wes

  11. The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (30)
    John

    |Reply

    Could you add a printer friendly format….don’t see any printing options.

    • The Best Baked Pork Buns Recipe | Dim Sum Central (31)
      Wes Radez

      |Reply

      I would love to, John. Great idea for a future site project. ~Wes

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