Yep. A vegan bao donut. A cinnamon-sugar vegan bao donut with a homemade caramel drizzle. This exists and you need it.
Bao Donut [Vegan]
For the Cinnamon Sugar Bao Donuts:
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Instant Yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
- 6-8 tablespoons Water, heated to 120-130°F
- 1/3 cup Organic White Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
For the Caramel Sauce, optional
- 1/4 cup Vegan Butter
- 1/2 cup Organic White Sugar
- 3/4 cup Canned Coconut Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- In a food processor (the preferred method) or by hand, add the flour, instant yeast packet, sugar, and salt. Pulse or mix a few times until combined.
- Now, heat the water on low for a few seconds (not boiling). Using a kitchen thermometer, check the temperature. It should be approximately 120-130 degrees.
- Add half the water and all the oil to the dry mixture. Pulse a few times until combined. Now, add the rest of the water tbsp by tbsp until the dough is completely combined. It should be soft and slightly sticky.
- Lightly flour a surface and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes.
- Return the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 1 hour.
- Punch the dough in the middle to release air. Empty out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 30 more seconds. Roll into a log and evenly divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
- Place a clean dish towel over the dough balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.
- With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4in thick. Stretch out one side slightly into an oval shape and fold over. Like a taco.
- Carefully place each bao bun on a parchment-lined baking tray. Continue until all 8 bao donuts are shaped.
- Cover the tray with a clean dish towel and let rise for 1 more hour.
- If using, make the caramel sauce by whisking together melted vegan butter, sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla in a pan on medium heat.
- Whisk the caramel occasionally until sugar turns golden and the mixture has thickened. About 10-15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Fill a large pot with enough oil to cover a few inches above the base.
- Heat oil to approximately 360-375°F. Turning down the heat as needed.
- Mix together cinnamon and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Carefully place a few donuts at a time into hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Once donuts are fried, immediately toss them into cinnamon sugar until coated.
- Remove and return to parchment-lined tray.
- Continue until all donuts have been fried. Serve with caramel drizzle if desired!