Fluffy sweet buns served with blueberry sauce and cream. This is a delightfully light dessert or a snack, that both adults and children will love. The buns are really fluffy because they’re steamed. Don’t worry if you don’t have a steamer – two pots and a splash guard will also work!
What are steamed buns?
Most people associate steamed buns with Chinese cuisine, but did you know that they‘re also very popular in central Europe? I guess our love for dumplings is not the only thing we have in common!
These steamed buns are one of my favorite snacks from my childhood in Poland. They are called ‚pampuchy‘ or just steamed buns (bułki na parze) and were always served with blueberry sauce and cream. They‘re super easy to make and loved by adults and especially children! My daughter just can‘t get enough of them!
These buns can also be served with savory dishes, like goulash.
– This is a pretty typical not-rich yeast dough, so you will need just flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and milk.
– It’s best to use instant yeast. You can of course also use fresh yeast, if you have some on hand. The recipe will work with both yeast types. For rich and sweet yeast doughs it’s better to use fresh yeast (like for example in this walnut chocolate babka wreath recipe), but here, the dough is not very rich, so the instant yeast will work just fine. Bonus – the preparation is simplified, instant yeast can be mixed right into dry ingredients.
– How to use fresh yeast: crumble the yeast into a cup, add sugar and pour in warm milk, mix thoroughly. Milk can’t be too cold or too hot, it should be pleasantly warm to your finger. Cover and leave for 10 minutes in a warm place. After this time, a foam should appear on the surface of the milk (a sign that the yeast has started to work). Mix with the remaining ingredients and proceed as in the recipe.
How to steam the buns:
- Use a food steamer or a regular pot with a steamer insert (it needs to be flat). You can also use a Chinese bamboo steamer.
- I’m using a very simple method – you just need two pots and a splash guard! I steam Thai sticky rice the same way. Add boiling water into a big pot, place the splash guard over the pot, place the dough balls on top and cover with a second large pot. Works like a charm!
How to make the dough and steam the buns step by step:
How to make the perfect steamed buns:
- The dough should be rather loose and sticky. You can‘t add so much flour that it doesn‘t stick anymore and forms a nice, compact dough ball, like for example a pizza dough. The more flour you add, the denser the buns will be. Sprinkle the dough generously with flour from the outside, but don‘t add more flour to it. If you will knead the dough by hand you need to add a little more flour, otherwise, it will stick to your hands too much.
- Make sure that your dough has doubled its volume, the rising time is only a suggestion. The dough can rise quicker or slower in your apartment. Place the dough in the warmest part of your apartment, so it can rise more quickly.
How to serve sweet steamed buns:
- Sweet steamed buns are best served with vanilla blueberry sauce and cream. To make it a bit healthier, but just as tasty, I use xylitol instead of sugar when making the sauce (you can‘t spot the difference, compared to using sugar), and add some plain yogurt instead of cream.
- Instead of the blueberry sauce, you can make sauce from any fruit that you like or just serve them with jam.
- You can also serve the buns with savory dishes like goulash!
- Instead of blueberry sauce, you can stuff the buns with the blueberries (but I prefer with blueberry sauce). You need to steam stuffed buns a little longer, about 15 minutes, instead of 10.
You don’t want to steam the buns? Bake them!
Yes, you can use the same recipe to bake the buns in the oven. Brush the buns with a beaten egg or just milk/cream and bake them in an oven preheated to 375°F / 190°C for about 15 minutes or until golden.
Place the steamed buns in a tightly sealed container or wrap in plastic foil and put in the fridge. On the next day, steam them briefly, just until warm. They taste almost as good as the freshly steamed.
Fluffy sweet steamed buns with blueberry sauce
- 2 cups (260g/9.2oz) flour spoon and leveled
- large pinch of salt
- 7 g (2+1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast or 21g fresh yeast* (see notes)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons butter (30g/1oz)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (40g/1.4oz)
- 300 g /10.6 oz blueberries I used frozen wild blueberries
- 2 tablespoons xylitol or sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, preferably with real vanilla
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream 30-36%
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt, then stir in the instant yeast.
- In a small pot, melt the butter, add milk and mix.
- Add the egg, melted butter with milk and sugar to the bowl with the flour mixture.
- Mix everything with a spoon until roughly combined.
- Knead the dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, for a few minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic and soft. The dough will be very sticky, but try not to add any more flour. The more flour you add, the less fluffy the buns will be. (The dough will be rather hard to make by hand because it’s very sticky, you can optionally sprinkle it a little with flour, but if you‘re making the dough with a mixer, don‘t add more).
- Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl using a spoon, place on a sprinkled with flour surface. Dip both hands in flour and gently form a ball. Don‘t knead the dough. Place the dough back in the bowl, lightly sprinkled with flour, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth.
- Set aside in a warm place to let the dough rise. It should double its volume, it will take about 1-1.5 hours.
- Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl with a spoon. Place on a sprinkled with flour surface, divide into 6 equal parts. Dip your hands in flour, gently form 6 buns (don’t knead the dough).
- Cover the buns with a kitchen cloth and set aside in a warm place for the second rise, for 20-30 minutes. Buns should increase their volume.
- After this time, bring water in a large pot to a boil. For steaming the buns you can use a steamer, or just two pots and a splash guard. You could also wrap with a string a large piece of gauze around the pot. The water should be about 2.5 cm / 1 inch below the steaming rack.
- Place 3 buns on the splash guard (or as many as can fit), with at least 2.5 cm / 1 inch between them. Cover with a second pot. Let steam over low heat for about 10 minutes. If you want to slice the buns in half, always use a serrated knife, they’re very delicate. Steam the buns in batches. Place the other buns in the fridge, so that the dough doesn‘t overproof.
- Blueberry sauce: Add the blueberries, xylitol / sugar, vanilla extract / sugar to a medium pot. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Serve the steamed buns with blueberry sauce, cream, and yogurt.
- If you’re using fresh yeast: crumble the yeast into a cup, add sugar and pour in warm milk, mix thoroughly. Milk can’t be too cold or too hot, it should be pleasantly warm to your finger. Cover and leave for 10 minutes in a warm place. After this time, foam should appear on the surface of the milk (a sign that the yeast has started to work). Mix with the remaining ingredients and proceed as in the recipe.
- 7 grams instant yeast = 1/4 ounce instant yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast = 21 grams fresh yeast or 1 1/4 blocks (0.6-ounce size) or about 1/2 block (2-ounce size) fresh yeast (source).
- How to store steamed buns: place in tightly sealed containers or wrap in plastic foil, put in the fridge. On the next day, steam them briefly, just until warm.
- 1 cup is 240 ml.
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!