Cooking With Kids is a weekly recipe series on getting creative in the kitchen with the family.
Once you’ve carved your jack-o’-lantern with the kids, don’t waste the leftovers. Put the bright orange squash to good use and turn them into delectable little pumpkin buns together.
Z He, co-founder of Bun House, a Cantonese bar and cafe in London Chinatown, lets us in on her secret to incredibly soft and fluffy buns that are lightly sweetened and infused with the flavour of mashed pumpkin.
It’s important to knead long enough so the dough springs back, which will give it its all-important bouncy texture. Other than dough and kneading techniques, kids can get involved with decorating, using a rubber spatula or chopstick to press lines into the bun and add the final goji berry to transform them into a pumpkin.
“What my daughter likes most is how yummy the recipe is,” says Zhe. “She is already on her third pumpkin bun as I am writing this.” They’re almost too cute to eat, almost.
Serves: 30 buns | Prep time: 30 mins | Proof time: 3 hours | Cook time: 35 - 40 mins
For the bun:
500g plain flour
150g caster sugar
50g coconut milk
20g baking powder
Natural orange food colouring
goji berries, to garnish.
For the pumpkin filling:
1kg pumpkin, peeled and sliced
100g glutinous rice flour
100g wheat starch flour
200g caster sugar
50g double cream
50g vegetable oil
1. For the pumpkin filling, steam the prepared pumpkin for 15 minutes or until soft. Once the steamed pumpkin is cooled down, use a blender to blend it into a pumpkin mash. Slowly mix in glutinous rice flour, plain flour, sugar, double cream, vegetable oil. Mix well until all ingredients are well blended together.
2. Transfer the filling onto a steamer plate and steam for an additional 20 minutes. After steaming, give the mixture a good stir and let it chill in the refrigerator until needed. The filling can be made a day in advance.
3. For the bun dough, mix all of the bun ingredients in a stand mixer and mix well until a dough is formed. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
4. If you have a dough roller/pasta machine, run the dough through the roller 12 times. If you do not have a roller, give the dough a good knead of 50 times or until smooth.
5. Weigh out the dough at 35g each. Using a rolling pin, roll out a circular-shaped dough to approximately 5mm thick. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the middle of the dough skin, and pinch and wrap the dough edges together to encase the filling. Place the buns inside a steamer basket with the pinched edges facing down, cover the steamer and proof for 3 hours.
6. After proofing, use a rubber spatula to press lines into the bun to shape it into a pumpkin. Once shaped, steam the buns for 6 minutes, and top with a goji berry stalk to finish.