Steam buns are a fun way to bake bread using the Steam Mode, as these delicate, fluffy pillows can be used for a variety of other recipes. For example, they pair perfectly with braised pork when folded in half creating a bahn mi sandwich. Easy to prepare and quick to bake, this steam bun recipe is a great way to experience a normally unthought-of way to bake bread.
Before You Start
Like any bread, you will need to proof this dough. It is helpful to have a rigid, oiled (or sprayed) container to put the dough in for proofing. You will also need the perforated convection steam oven pan to bake the buns on. Be sure to spray the perforated pan prior to placing the steam buns on it. Because of the perforations, it is a good idea to spray the pan over a sink, as some spray will make its way through the perforations.
Combine all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer. With the dough hook in place, mix on low until the dough begins to come together. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue mixing for 7 minutes. It may be necessary to add a teaspoon or two of water or flour, depending on the season. If the dough seems too dry, add one or two teaspoons of water. Conversely, if the dough seems too moist and is not pulling away from the sides of the mixing bowl, then add one or two teaspoons of all-purpose flour.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place inside an oiled or sprayed, rigid container. Cover with plastic wrap or a wet towel and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the proofing container and place on the counter. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Shape each piece into a log. Divide each log into 10 pieces. You should now have 20 equal pieces of dough. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, lightly dust each ball with flour, and place on the counter. Cover with plastic wrap or warm wet towels and allow to proof for 15 minutes.
One at a time, roll out 10 three-inch flat circles. Reserve the remaining 10 pieces of dough. Place the 10 rolled-out circles onto the perforated oven pan, which has been greased with cooking spray. Cover with a warm towel and allow to proof for 15 minutes. While the dough is proofing, roll out the remaining 10 pieces of dough and place them on the counter. Cover with a warm towel and allow to proof while you steam the first tray. Place the perforated pan on rack position 2. Turn the convection steam oven on by selecting the Steam Mode set to 210 °F. Set a timer for 10 minutes. After the timer goes off, remove the pan from the oven, but leave the oven on. Place the pan on a heatproof surface and remove the steam buns. Respray the perforated pan and place the second batch of proofed buns onto the pan. Return the pan to the oven on rack position 2 and set a timer for 8 minutes (the oven is already preheated so we don’t need to steam the buns as long this time). After the timer goes off, remove the pan from the oven and turn the convection steam oven off. Place the pan on a heatproof surface and remove the steam buns. Use them immediately, or save them for later use.