Big Mac Bao Buns

by Barry Lewis


For the Bao Buns

300g plain flour

1 heaped tsp fast action yeast

1tsp baking powder

1tsp sugar

85ml milk

85ml water

sesame seeds to top (optional)

Oil for brushing

For the Big Mac

500g ground beef, season with salt and pepper

3tbsp burger sauce

1/2 onion, diced (1 heaped tsp for the sauce)

1 medium gherkin chopped thinly (1 heaped tsp diced for the sauce)

1 slice cheese

Handful fresh lettuce, chopped

I’ve always loved making Big Mac’s from scratch – such as this Big Mac Wellington, Grand Big Mac, or the limited edition Chicken Big Mac to name a few! However I wanted to make a video (or hopefully series of videos!) where I attempt to fuse together my favourite things, rather unnecessarily – and hence merging the love of Big Mac’s with bao buns, we create the Big Mac Bao Bun!

How to make a Big Mac Bao Bun

First up we make the Bao Buns – you’ll need a bamboo steamer or other method to steam the buns.

First up we need to activate the Yeast, warm the milk and water together in a jug in the microwave / over the hob until luke warm, sprinkle in the sugar and the yeast and leave for a few minutes to activate the yeast.

In a large bowl add the flour and slowly mix in the milk mixture, stirring as you go in batches, it’ll be dry at first and then gradually come together to form a dough, once all the liquid is in there use your hands to merge the flour together, pressing it and kneading gently to bond it together, it should not be sticky or dry, if it’s sticky add a little more flour, too dry, a little warm water a tsp at a time. Leave in the bowl as one big lump, cover with cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes. It will probably look quite rough, don’t worry at this stage.

After 20 minutes it will be smoother, remove from the bowl add some more flour to the work surface and knead until super smooth, it won’t take long. Roll the dough out into a log shape and cut into 8 even size chunks, roll each one into a ball and roll out into an oval shape about ¼ inch thick. Slice a couple of them in half down the middle to create 2 smaller halves as you roll all the dough out, these will be your middle buns.

As you roll each dough piece out place on baking parchment and brush one half with oil, it can then be folded over, this is how it cooks folded in half and the oil stops it sticking. Trim your baking parchment if too big and place in steamer basket, repeat with the buns making sure you make enough middle buns too for the big mac approach.

Once all done they will have all had a little resting time in the bamboo basket but make sure you leave them all for at least 30 minutes. Fill a large pan with water, place the steamer basket on top and bring up to a simmer. If you want to add sesame seeds at this stage, brush the lid of the buns with a little water and sprinkle on the sesame seeds, they should stick to the water. Once the water is simmering, keep it gently bubbling for 10-12 minutes. Check the buns, they should be puffed up and soft / pillow like in texture. If eating immediately serve now / move on to the next step, or they can be stored in the fridge / freezer then re-steamed again.

Meanwhile make the burger patty, I pressed the beef mince into a pan, seasoned with salt and pepper and pressed it out nice and thin, cooking until browned. I then put my pan under the grill to brown the top, or you could just flip it. Once cooked remove to one side and cook out burger patty shapes to those of the bao buns, make sure the beef is nice and thin when you cook it, not for that authentic ‘it does not look like the photo’ McDonald’s look, but more to make sure you can build the thing!

Mix the burger sauce with a tsp of the diced onion and a tsp of the diced gherkins. I have done homemade Big Mac sauce before on the links above but the burger sauce in a lot of supermarkets is pretty darn close to the real deal!

Build your bao bun (the video shows this best) with sauce, lettuce, diced onion and gherkin, cheese slice and a patty of cooked beef, place sauce on the middle bun, add more onion, gherkin and lettuce, then the other burger patty and top with a lid – steam to warm through (or put in the microwave for ten seconds!) before eating asap!