Siopao (Philippine Stuffed Steamed Bun)

2 cups warm water
2 ½ tbsp sugar (added to yeast mixture)
½ cup sugar (added to the flour mixture)
1 pouch dry yeast or approximately 1 tablespoon
5 cups all purpose flour
1 ¼ tbsp baking powder
6 tbsp shortening
Square pieces of wax paper to put the siopao to be steamed on.

Filling Choices:
Chicken adobo removed from bone and chopped or
Barbecue Pork removed from bone and chopped or
Spanish Hamburger with peas or
Red Bean Paste (cans can be found in Asian food stores)
Your own choice

Place warm water in a bowl then add the yeast and sugar and mix well. Leave the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to use a big enough bowl for the yeast to increase in size.

2. In a second, larger mixing bowl, put-in the flour, sugar, baking powder, shortening (or lard), and the yeast-sugar-water mixture then mix well (bubbles should have formed on top by then).

3. Knead the combined mixture until the texture of the dough becomes fine. Let the dough rise by setting it aside for about an hour (place in the mixing bowl and cover the top ). You can use this time to make the filling of your choice.

4. Knead the dough again then cut into individual slices (this will be the dough per individual siopao). The dough reminds me of pizza dough type feel.

5. Flatten the dough until a round shape is formed using a rolling pin.

6. Put about a tablespoon or more of your choice of filling on the middle of the flattened dough and wrap (bring dough edges up, a folded type pinch and then twist).

7. Put siopao on a piece of wax paper and place the siopao in a steamer and steam for 15 - 20 minutes. Makes about 15 - 20 siopao.

Notes: I used a 3 tier steamer, but for my first attempt I used only the bottom tier. I used chicken adobo for my filling for me and my oldest son and made some with red bean paste filling for my vegetarian husband. I got the recipe from Panlasang Pinoy website. There is a video of how to make the siopao with a pork filling on the recipe page. Siopao is pronounced “Sho -Pow”.