This was the second installment of siopao making practice. Practice makes perfect and failure should be omitted from the dictionary.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp baking powder
1 piece tokwa
I cut the tokwa to six pieces then deep fried. These served as siopao fillings. This was my second try. I still never wanted wasting expensive meat ingredients in case something went wrong. Bought the tokwa for ten pesos per three blocks – about 3.33 pesos per block.
I mixed all the ingredients. Added water gradually while mixing until it reached the dough like consistency. Then shifted to hand kneading. Took additional flour as necessary until the dough almost never stick to hands and table surface.
While kneading, I was digging shallow holes on dough using fingers. Holes that never rise back are sign of well done dough – as seen on several demonstrations.
I still used the brown sugar to defy the traditional siopao white color. However, the addition of margarine overpower the brown sugar and gave a yellowish color. I refrained from using instant yeast since my previous try failed to leaven.
I divided the dough to six portions. Rolled each in between palms and flatten with a rolling pin. Fried tokwa were wrapped with it. Then cooked in steamer for 15 minutes.
My second siopao trial went well. The bread taste and texture were almost similar to commercially available siopao. Fried tokwa is best with soy sauce and calamansi mix. So I use it as sauce and the bite size siopao tokwa tasted great.
This was a bread kneading practice before making the actual siopao. I am a real novice when it comes to bakery. I need practice badly.
I started by mixing 1/4 cup of lukewarm water, 1/8 cup brown sugar and a pinch of instant dry yeast. I let it stood for about 10 minutes. The yeast together with sugar and water will be responsible for bread leavening. The yeast will feed on sugar producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The elastic dough will entrap air (CO2) resulting to bubble shape air spaces and bread leavening. Brown sugar defies the white siopao tradition.
Mixed 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar together and added the yeast mixture. I first used spoon to form the dough then switched to hand kneading method. Then divided it several bite size pieces and set aside for one hour to allow leavening. I never prepared filling of any kind. More cash will go to waste basket in case something went wrong.
There was no change in size after one hour. Still no change after another 30 minutes. Maybe the yeast I incorporated was not active. I also noticed that it was spreading slightly.
Kneading develops flour gluten. My kneading process and time might not be enough.
I repeated the kneading. To replace the non-active yeast, I added Calumet baking powder according to label instruction. Kneaded again until the dough was almost not sticking to hands and table surface. Divided to bite size pieces and let one hour to rise.
At last, the bread rose after one hour. Slight spreading was still noticeable though. I steamed for 15 minutes and the size was almost doubled.
My favorite buy every time I go to plaza was a double patties burger. As usual I was going to buy two orders of burger. Hooppss. I noticed there was a new food stand beside the burger store. The new store is selling siopao etc… The siopao is buy one take one, just like the buy one take one burger. I suddenly had a change of appetite and went to siopao store instead.
All the large siopao are on a large double boiler / steamer. This is necessary to keep them always hot for customer orders. I asked for two orders but I had to wait for 10 minutes. No cooked siopao at the time. The crew said cooking time is approximately ten minutes.
While waiting, the crew was pricking the siopao regularly with a toothpick. I was curious so I asked why. She replied, pricking is necessary to check for doneness. The siopao is ready to serve when the bread never sticks to toothpick.
I never know how to cook siopao yet but I plan to try in near future. I think these two bits of information are good start. The ten minutes steaming time and pricking with a toothpick to check for doneness.