Today I posted up a video of How to Make Panipopo. Hope that the video, together with the recipe here, make it clear that anyone can make these buns.
Some variations to the recipe are:
- Use butter, margarine or even shortening as a substitute for the oil. I happen to use oil because I always have it on hand, and it's easier to measure out that the other fats.
- Use milk instead of the water. You have the scald the milk first (heat until bubbling at the edges but not boiling) then cool it down to lukewarm before using it. Milk makes for a slightly richer dough and helps the buns keep longer.
- Even better than milk or water, use leftover water that potatoes have been boiled in. Yeast loves this stuff so you'll get quite a rise.
- If you like a richer, thicker sauce, use 100% coconut milk. I just happen to like a lighter sauce. Another way you can get a thicker sauce is to add 1 tablespoon of flour or 2 teaspoons of cornstarch/cornflour to the coconut milk/water sauce and mix it well before pouring it over the buns.
- As mentioned in the video, better to bake panipopo in a square or rectangular baking pan. They look better, and they're all the same size so people aren't fighting over who got the big ones.