HAWAII:  Maple Apple Butter Pork Bao Buns

HAWAII: Maple Apple Butter Pork Bao Buns

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Courtesy of
Chef Hiram Peri
Honu Cuisine
Maui, Hawaii

Chef Hiram created the Maple Apple Butter Pork Bao Buns dish using our Woodies Goodies Maple Apple Butter to mix with braised pork belly as a filling inside fluffy steamed bao. You can find Chef Hiram at dawn foraging at local farms and farmers markets to create hand-made ingredients and his signature dishes for private clients: www.honucuisine.com.

Yields16 Servings
BRAISED MAPLE APPLE BUTTER PORK BELLY
 4.50 lbs raw pork belly (skin off, rinsed and dried)
 4 tbsp ground coriander
 2 tbsp ground cumin
 2 tbsp ground fennel
 1.50 tbsp ground black pepper
 1 tbsp ground cloves
 1.50 tsp ground star anise
 1 tsp ground cinnamon
 1 cup salt
  cup sugar
PORK FILLING (for Bao Buns)
 Cooled pork belly, pulled apart
 14 oz Woodies Goodies Maple Apple Butter (one 14oz jar)
BAO BUNS
 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of active dry yeast
 1.50 cups of water
 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour
 6 tbsp sugar
 1 tbsp salt
 3 tbsp milk powder
 ½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
  cup pork fat or butter, room temperature
 vegetable oil
 parchment paper
BRAISED MAPLE APPLE BUTTER PORK BELLY
1

Mix all of the ground spices, salt and sugar in a bowl and combine.

2

Place the pork belly in a deep roasting pan and rub in the spice mix all over the pork belly.

3

The pork belly should sit fat side up.

4

Cover the pan and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

5

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

6

Remove the pork belly from the pan and lightly rinse under cold water. Remove most of the spice mix but not all.

7

Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel. Wash and dry the pan, place the pork belly back in, and place parchment paper over it.

8

Tightly cover the pan with foil and roast for 6 to 7 hours.

9

When tender throughout, it is done. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover and let cool for 20 minutes.

10

Cool in the refrigerator for several hours.

11

NOTE: if you are short on time, you can also roast the pork belly at 425 degrees F for 1 hour, and then lower the temperature to 250 degrees F for 1 hour, and then follow the cooling directions.

PORK FILLING (for Bao Buns)
12

Using your fingers, pull apart the pork belly leaving out some of the big chunks of fat.

13

In a small bowl, combine the pulled pork belly with the Woodies Goodies Maple Apple Butter, mix well, and set aside.

BAO BUNS
14

In a bowl of a mixer, add water and yeast, and mix.

15

Attach a bread hook, and add flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pork fat, and mix on lowest speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should become a ball and should be smooth and moist, but not sticky.

16

Place the dough in a bowl that is lightly oiled, and coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel and put in a warm place for an hour. The dough should double in size.

17

Then, turn the dough on to a clean surface, and use a knife to cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.

18

Roll each piece into a ball and set on a baking sheet.

19

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes. While they are rising, cut out 4-inch squares of parchment paper.

20

Working one ball at a time, flatten each ball with the palm of your hand, place the ball on a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough lightly into a circle shape.

21

Place 2 big Tbsp of the pork mixture in the middle of the dough and fold in half, letting the top hang over the bottom (this will help prevent the buns from opening), and place each bun on top of a parchment square. Let the buns rise for another 10 to 15 minutes.

22

Put 1-inch of water in the pot that will be underneath the steamer basket, but do not let the steamer basket touch the water. Bring the water to a boil and then lower to a good simmer.

23

Place the buns in the basket and make sure the buns do not touch each other or the sides of the basket. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

24

NOTE: you can freeze the bao buns for a few months. To reheat, you can steam them (from frozen) for about 10 minutes, or for 1 minute in the microwave. If bao buns are from the refrigerator, you can microwave them for about 30 seconds or steam them for about 6 to 8 minutes.

Ingredients

BRAISED MAPLE APPLE BUTTER PORK BELLY
 4.50 lbs raw pork belly (skin off, rinsed and dried)
 4 tbsp ground coriander
 2 tbsp ground cumin
 2 tbsp ground fennel
 1.50 tbsp ground black pepper
 1 tbsp ground cloves
 1.50 tsp ground star anise
 1 tsp ground cinnamon
 1 cup salt
  cup sugar
PORK FILLING (for Bao Buns)
 Cooled pork belly, pulled apart
 14 oz Woodies Goodies Maple Apple Butter (one 14oz jar)
BAO BUNS
 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp of active dry yeast
 1.50 cups of water
 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour
 6 tbsp sugar
 1 tbsp salt
 3 tbsp milk powder
 ½ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
  cup pork fat or butter, room temperature
 vegetable oil
 parchment paper

Directions

BRAISED MAPLE APPLE BUTTER PORK BELLY
1

Mix all of the ground spices, salt and sugar in a bowl and combine.

2

Place the pork belly in a deep roasting pan and rub in the spice mix all over the pork belly.

3

The pork belly should sit fat side up.

4

Cover the pan and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

5

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

6

Remove the pork belly from the pan and lightly rinse under cold water. Remove most of the spice mix but not all.

7

Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel. Wash and dry the pan, place the pork belly back in, and place parchment paper over it.

8

Tightly cover the pan with foil and roast for 6 to 7 hours.

9

When tender throughout, it is done. Remove the pan from the oven, uncover and let cool for 20 minutes.

10

Cool in the refrigerator for several hours.

11

NOTE: if you are short on time, you can also roast the pork belly at 425 degrees F for 1 hour, and then lower the temperature to 250 degrees F for 1 hour, and then follow the cooling directions.

PORK FILLING (for Bao Buns)
12

Using your fingers, pull apart the pork belly leaving out some of the big chunks of fat.

13

In a small bowl, combine the pulled pork belly with the Woodies Goodies Maple Apple Butter, mix well, and set aside.

BAO BUNS
14

In a bowl of a mixer, add water and yeast, and mix.

15

Attach a bread hook, and add flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pork fat, and mix on lowest speed for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should become a ball and should be smooth and moist, but not sticky.

16

Place the dough in a bowl that is lightly oiled, and coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a dry kitchen towel and put in a warm place for an hour. The dough should double in size.

17

Then, turn the dough on to a clean surface, and use a knife to cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.

18

Roll each piece into a ball and set on a baking sheet.

19

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for another 30 minutes. While they are rising, cut out 4-inch squares of parchment paper.

20

Working one ball at a time, flatten each ball with the palm of your hand, place the ball on a floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough lightly into a circle shape.

21

Place 2 big Tbsp of the pork mixture in the middle of the dough and fold in half, letting the top hang over the bottom (this will help prevent the buns from opening), and place each bun on top of a parchment square. Let the buns rise for another 10 to 15 minutes.

22

Put 1-inch of water in the pot that will be underneath the steamer basket, but do not let the steamer basket touch the water. Bring the water to a boil and then lower to a good simmer.

23

Place the buns in the basket and make sure the buns do not touch each other or the sides of the basket. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes.

24

NOTE: you can freeze the bao buns for a few months. To reheat, you can steam them (from frozen) for about 10 minutes, or for 1 minute in the microwave. If bao buns are from the refrigerator, you can microwave them for about 30 seconds or steam them for about 6 to 8 minutes.

HAWAII: Maple Apple Butter Pork Bao Buns