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Yeast Dough For Chinese Buns {Easy Yummy}

by Shirley
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Yeast Dough For Chinese Buns {Easy Yummy Way}

Yeast dough for Chinese buns made of simple ingredients is healthy, yummy, and fluffy, perfect for making any buns, with fillings or without fillings. For buns with fillings, you can make either a savory version such as pork buns or a sweet version such as red bean buns.

It is super easy to make this at home, takes about 5 minutes to prepare the dough, let it rest for about 1 hour. You then shall have this super fluffy and soft dough to make your favorite buns.

Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks to prepare yeast dough buns perfectly every time!

Easy Yeast Dough for Chinese Buns Ingredients

Yeast Dough for Buns {Easy Yummy and Healthy Way} Ingredients
Yeast Dough for Chinese Buns {Easy Yummy and Healthy Way} Ingredients

Organic all-purpose flour – I have been using this organic all-purpose flour for years. It becomes my go-to flour for all bread, buns, cookies, cakes, and crepes needs.

Technically, there are different flours for different needs. For instance, bread should use high glutenous flour, a. k. a bread flour, pastries should use low glutinous flour, a. k. a pastry or cake flour. However, as a former supply chain optimization professional, I have a tendency to rationalize SKUs, LOL. This all-purpose flour can get the jobs done when you treat the flour differently when making bread vs. cake.

For instance, when you make bread, let the dough rest for 2 hours before adding yeast paste. Also, use the slapping technique to stretch and soften the dough. Read here for the complete guide on how to use all-purpose flour to make a fluffy milk bread or milk bread rolls.

Homemade Milk Bread
Homemade Milk Bread Using All-Purpose Flour

Regarding cake or pastries, you can make your own cake flour out of the all-purpose flour by steaming them in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes. Read here to learn more. It is easy and effective.

Active Dry Yeast – This is the active dry yeast I use. I make all kinds of buns and bread regularly. I usually just get a one-pound package and store it in a glass bottle in the freezer.

Avocado Oil – It makes the dough moist and fluffy. Avocado oil is a super healthy oil and has a high smoking point too. It also has a neutral smell and taste. All these make Avocado oil perfect for cooking, baking, and steaming needs.

Himalayan pink saltHimalayan pink salt is my everyday go-to salt. Sometimes I use sea salt too. Just a pinch to add a subtle savory taste, and to contrast the semi-sweetness of the dough.

Organic cane sugar – A tablespoon of organic cane sugar gives the buns a subtle semi-sweetness which I like. In addition, sugar is also much needed for yeast to do its magic.

How to make a perfect Yeast Dough for Chinese Buns from scratch

1. Take the time and make active dry yeast paste first

Make a smooth active yeast paste for a fluffy yeast dough
Make a smooth active yeast paste for a fluffy yeast dough

Add the active dry yeast powder into a small bowl, add about 1/2 cup water from the water in the glass measuring cup. Stir and mix well until it turns into a smooth, thin paste.

When the yeast powered is properly dissolved, you shall see small bubbles.

This is ESSENTIAL for a fluffy dough. Do not add active dry yeast powder directly into the flour. Also, remember to store the active dry yeast in a glass jar in the freezer.

2. Adjust the water amount to make a smooth yeast dough for buns

I am in Chicago, winter is really dry. If I make this recipe during winter, I often have to add additional water compared to that during summer.

The drier environment leads to drier flour. Subsequently, the drier flour will need additional water to accomplish the same dough.

It is important to add the water slowly, especially toward the end, 1 tsp at a time. Keep kneading and pressing using handing or a Stand Mixer to allow the flour to absorb the water.

Make a Smooth Dough
Make a Smooth Dough

3. Cover the dough during the proofing

Cover the mixing bowl with a thick, damp kitchen towel. Fold the towel in half and then cover over the mixing bowl.

Cover the Dough with a Damp Kitchen Towel for better proofing
Cover the Dough with a Damp Kitchen Towel for better proofing

4. Do not over-proofing the dough

At room temperature, around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius, about one hours is all you need to proof the dough. Otherwise, the dough may lose its texture, sponginess, and tastes & smells sour.

The dough doubles the size after the proper proofing.

5. You can let this dough slowly proof inside the refrigerator

You can also put the dough into a ziplock bag and let it proof slowly inside the refrigerator. The dough is good inside the refrigerator for one week. Whenever you are ready to make buns, take the dough out a couple of hours in advance to let it warm up to room temperature first.

The science behind yeast dough, how to make a fluffy bread or bun?

We are actually accomplishing two objectives during the dough proofing period. Both help the dough becomes light and fluffy.

The first is to activate the gluten properly. When they do, the gluten will extend beautifully to create a strong gluten network. This leads to spongy and soft bread or buns.

The second is to have yeast feeds on the sugar to produce carbon dioxide. The gas makes the dough airy and soft.

For making buns, and when the environment is around 70-degree Fahrenheit, we can definitely accomplish these two goals in one simple step. Simply follow this recipe and let the dough rest for about one hour. The two processes work in tandem nicely.

However, if we need to make extra soft bread such as the popular Milk Bread, then I need to allow extra time for the gluten to sufficiently activated first. Let the dough rest for 2 hours without adding the butter or yeast paste. Dough will become super stretchy during the process. Read here for a detailed guided recipe to make a super tasty smooth semi-sweet Milk Bread using all-purpose flour.

Bread Making Tip No.1 - prepare a stretchy dough
Bread Making Tip No.1 – prepare a stretchy dough

Hooray, now that you have the prefect yeast dough for buns, Let’s make some yummy buns!

Check out deliciously healthy homemade Red Bean Buns or Pork Bun.

Yeast Dough For Chinese Buns {Easy Yummy Way}

Yeast Dough for Chinese Buns Recipe {Easy Healthy Fluffy}

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Tasty, fluffy, and healthy yeast dough to make all kinds of buns either with fillings or without fillings.


  • 660 g all-purpose flour, about 4 cups, organic unbleached
  • 20 g avocado oil, about 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 15 g organic cane sugar
  • 12 g active dry yeast
  • 360 g water, about 1 1/2 cups, see notes


  1. Use a 2-cup glass measuring cup, measuring out 360 g of water using a kitchen scale. Set aside.
  2. Add 12 g active dry yeast to a small bowl, add some water from the measuring glass, stir and mix very well until fully blended into a smooth thin paste. Keep mixing until no lump exists and set aside.
  3. Add flour, avocado oil, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl one by one, using the kitchen scale "TARE" function to measure incremental weight.
  4. Add yeast paste into the well. Use the dry flour in the mixing bowl to scrape the yeast bowl clean.
  5. Make a well in the middle, and gradually add water while mixing and kneading.
  6. When there is about 1/2 cups of water are left in the measuring glass, go extra slow adding the remaining water until you form a soft and smooth dough. Allow time for the flour to absorb water. See notes.
    Make a Smooth Dough
  7. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp thick kitchen towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
    Cover the Dough with a Damp Kitchen Towel for better proofing
  8. The dough shall double its size over the time. You are ready to wrap some yummy buns.
    Yeast Dough After Proofing


  • I use metric unit gram for easier and accurate measurement.
  • Use a handy kitchen scale with the "TARE" function to easily measure ingredients and add to an existing mixing bowl.
  • The humidity level in the air and the flour plays an important role in determining the ultimate amount of water required to form a soft dough. You may or may not need the entire 360 g water. Go extra slow adding water toward the end. Break down the dough and re-form the dough will help the flour absorb the water faster.
  • Do not over proof the dough. Also, making buns take time too, and the dough will continue to proof during the process. As a result, you do not need to proof longer than 1 hour, at room temperature, or go through a secondary proofing for buns.
  • However, if you are making Mantou, or buns without filling, then I recommend go through additional 1 hour secondary proofing.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 267Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 0mgSodium 52mgCarbohydrates 50gFiber 2gSugar 2gProtein 7g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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1 comment

XMC Education January 28, 2021 - 7:17 pm

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