It started last week with an email from a gluten-free Asian dumpling lover who asked about Indonesian buns (bao) made of rice flour dough. Then there was a tweet from @chubbybuns_shop in Boise, Idado, asking if I’d ever made gluten-free bao. I have poked and held enough loaves of gluten-free breads to know that it would be a challenge to create fluffy, chewy dough that could be baked and steamed.
Marvin of Burnt Lumpia asked if I knew how to make Filipino rice flour siopao (stuffed bao). No I didn’t but figured that the Filipinos may mix rice flour with other flours. Given the Filipino- style bao, I figured that I could come up with something. I wasn’t a fool for taking on the challenge of creating gluten-free bao dough.
I looked through several gluten-free sources and decided to base the dough recipe on a cinnamon roll dough from Cybele Pascal’s reliable Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook. I chose it because it had similar elements as my regular bao dough in Asian Dumplings: flour, fat, sugar, liquid, and leavening. It wasn’t such a big leap, going from Western cinnamon rolls to stuffed Asian buns.