Steamed “Longevity” Peach Buns:
Makes 20-22 buns
2½ cups All Purpose flour
2¼ teaspoons fast action yeast
1/3 cup granulated/raw sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups water (might need a slight more)
½ tablespoon shortening
3 cups red bean paste (store-ready – use 1 tablespoon of bean paste and to roll into a ball, place in a plate for later.
Tools & Coloring
Bread machine (sorry, I used this)
Red/Pink food color
Green food color
22-24 pieces (3”x3”) parchment/wax paper
In the bread machine add water first, follow by AP flour, raw sugar/granulated sugar, baking powder, shortening and lastly the yeast. Follow the machine instructions and wait until all the procedures of proofing are done. Remove from machine and scale dough into 20g per ball. Take one ball and drop a few green food coloring and blend well. That is for the leaves. Transfer the dough balls to a tray and covered with a lightly damp cloth. Set aside to rest for 12-15 minutes.
With your hand flatten each dough ball, add a bean ball, wrap up and shape the dough into a Chinese peach shape. Press a dent in the center to the tip of the peach with a dull side of a table knife. Place onto a parchment/wax paper sheet. Repeat with the dough and fillings.
Use a rolling pin and roll out the green colored dough portion into a very thin layer and cut the dough into tiny leaf shape, use a sharp pin to mark the veins. Stick the leaf with the help of wetting with water and adhere to the bun. Transfer to the cookie sheet/tray and covered with a light damp cloth/muslin. Set aside to let the bun to rest and proof further for 30-40 minutes. (In the high altitude areas– only proof for 20 minutes should be enough.)
Meanwhile, heat a Chinese steamer/steamer fill with water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Arrange the proofed bun onto the steamer racks. Do not over crowd the rack. This is to allow some room for expansion while steaming. Use a air-brush or ordinary new toothbrush to spray the bun. (I used the air-brush to do the job) Continue the procedure until all the buns are done.