1 tsp instant dried yeast
1 tbsp white sugar
120 ml warm water
200g high-gluten flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp black sesame seeds
2 tbsp white sesame seeds
600ml vanilla ice-cream
vegetable oil for deep-frying
Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water and leave for 1 minute to dissolve.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and baking powder and then add the oil, vinegar and milk. Then add the water solution and mix well. You want the mixture to come together to form a dough. If the dough is too dry, add 1 tbsp water at a time.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Lightly oil a bowl and add your dough. Loosely cover with a damp cloth and leave for at least 1 hour, in a warm place, to rise. The dough should double in size.
Tip the dough back onto a lightly floured surface and knock out the air in the dough. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Roll the dough into a sausage shape and divide into 12 pieces. In the palm of your hand, roll each piece of dough into a ball and place onto a lightly oiled baking tray pressing down lightly to create a flat bottom. Loosely cover the tray with a damp cloth and repeat for the remaining dough. Leave to prove for another 30 minutes in a warm place. The dough should double in size again.
To cook, heat the oil in a deep-fryer or large pan to 180°c and then cook the bao in batches for 6-8 minutes. They should be golden brown on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. Drain on kitchen paper and place onto a wire rack. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and then leave to cool. Repeat until all of the bao are cooked.
When you’re ready to assemble, cut the bao in half through the middle and place 1 scoop of ice-cream on the bottom part of the bao, smoothing the top of the ice-cream down slightly with a spoon before putting the top of the bao back on. Serve immediately.
Note: to get ahead, whilst the dough is proving, pre-scoop the ice cream and keep on a tray in the freezer until you’re ready to assemble