When I first saw these
on Tastespotting, I just knew I had to make them, and what better venue for some bunny buns than an Easter brunch? The recipe seemed a little different from the one I use for hua juan
, but I decided to follow it exactly. The only change I made was that I used scallions instead of chives in the bacon egg mixture and used ice cream sprinkles instead of eyes for the chives.
Bacon and Egg Bunny Buns
(based on this recipe
makes 12 buns
For the dough:
400 g all-purpose white flour
1 packet (7g) instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
220 ml warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
extra flour for rolling out
For the filling:
2 slices bacon
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoo sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients for the dough together. Add the warm water a little at a time, mixing all the time, until it forms a shaggy ball. Add the oil and knead in the bowl until the dough cleans the sides. Place on a board (lightly floured if necessary) and knead until smooth. Form into a ball, place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until risen to about 2 1/2 times its original size, about 1 hour.
In the meantime, make the filling. In a dry non-stick frying pan, fry the the bacon bits until crispy but not too black. Drain well on a paper towel and crumble once cooled.
Mix together the egg, soy sauce, sugar and rice wine. In the same non-stick frying pan (i.e. in the bacon grease), mix the egg around to make scrambled eggs that are firm but not hard (take off the heat while still soft and they’ll continue to cook to the ideal firmness). Add the scallions and bacon at the end and mix well. Let cool to room temperature.
Punch down the risen dough, roll into a snake and cut into 12 equal pieces. Make each piece into a small, smooth ball. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Cut parchment paper into twelve 4" or so sized squares.
Make ready the steaming equipment.
Flatten a dough ball to about 5" in diameter, making the edges thinner than the middle part.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the dough circle. Don’t try to overfill or you will have trouble closing up the dough.
Gather up the dough around the filling, pinching to seal well. The dough should be moist enough to form a good seal, but if not brush the edges with the tiny bit of water and pinch closed again.
Flip the bun over, and form into a longish oval shape, rounding out any bumps if needed. Look at the bun and decide which end looks best as the ‘face’ of the bunny.
Lay a pair of clean, sharp scissors almost flat against the top of the bun lengthwise. The points should aim for about 1/3 from the ‘face’ end of the bun. Snip two ‘ears’, taking care not to cut through the dough so the filling is exposed.
To make the eyes, poke small holes with a chopstick end and poke in an ice cream sprinkle in each hole. Don’t go too deep! (If you are in a hurry, just poke the holes and skip the chives.)
Place each bun on a piece of parchment paper, and place in a steamer well apart (they will puff up to about twice the size, and any touching parts will not be smooth). Steam for about 20 minutes. Eat while piping hot.
I found that the dough came out a bit more dry than what I am used to, and as Annie put it, "there is a flavor to the dough". I agreed and thought it tasted like sandwich bread. This isn't exactly a bad thing, it's just not what is expected from a steamed bun. If I were to make these again, I'd definitely try it with the dough I use for hua juan
. Also, I'm not so sure I like the soy sauce added to the scrambled eggs; I think the bacon makes it salty enough, and I'd prefer the color of normal scrambled eggs rather than kind of brownish eggs that were in these. Lastly, I'd definitely not use the ice cream sprinkles for the eyes next time. As you can see, the color started running when they were steamed, and they kind of look like goth bunnies or Bunnicula.