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Yutangza (Steamed Cilantro Buns)

16 Servings
1 pk yeast,dry
2 t sugar
1/2 c ,water, lukewarm
1/2 c milk
1/2 t salt
8 T butter,sweet
3 c flour,unbleached
1 c cilantro,fresh,finely chop

In a large bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and water and let proof. Stir in the milk, salt, and two tablespoons of the butter and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in three cups of the flour, one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about eight minutes, adding enough of the remaining flour to prevent sticking. Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch the dough down and knead briefly. Divide into sixteen parts and shape each into a ball.
On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out one ball to a round about 1/16" thick. Brush generously with melted butter and sprinkle all over with cilantro. Fold in the edges of the round so they meet in the center and roll into a smooth bun between the palms of your hands. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Place the buns on a buttered baking sheet, brush lightly with melted butter, and let them rise, covered, for about 20 minutes. In a bamboo or metal steamer set over simmering water, steam as many buns as will fit without touching, partially covered, until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Steam the rest of the buns. Serve slightly warm.

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