Thursday, June 18, 2020

Bow to Bao Buns

Bao buns are soft, fluffy and pockets of steamy goodness. They go perfect with any meat or vegetables like mushrooms with pickled vegetables, fresh herbs and your favorite sauces. It can be served as a side or as the main meal itself.... And what I love about this bread is that it doesn’t collapse under the pressure of steaming. These buns just made me swoon and are a family favorite now. These are easy to make with readily available ingredients. Try it out and trust me, you will keep making it!

Yield 14 to 16 buns

·         1/3 cup warm water
·         1/2 cup warm milk
·         1 tbsp active dry yeast
·         4 tbsp sugar, divided half
·         2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
·         2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/2 tsp baking powder
·         1/4 tsp salt

1.       Combine warm water, milk, active yeast, sugar and oil. Whisk to let yeast and sugar to dissolve then let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast activate.
2.       Meanwhile in a stand mixer and a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. You could make with your hand too if you prefer.
3.       Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Blend on a low speed to slowly incorporate all the ingredients together then on medium speed until it becomes a dough shape. Keep on kneading for 3 to 4 minutes on medium speed. The dough should be elastic and really soft and not stick to your fingers or on the mixing bowl.
4.       Once the dough is ready, shape it into a ball and place it back to the bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it becomes triple size, about 2 hours. Let it sit for longer if needed as it had to rise well. 
5.       Place the raised dough on a working surface and roll it out to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle flour only if you need to. Cut the dough 3 1/2-inch circle with a ring mold or glass or a wine glass. This recipe will make 14 o 16 baos.
6.       Lightly brush or spray oil on one surface of the baos and fold in half as a half moon shape. Gently press each bao with a roller and place on a parchment paper or coffee filter lined steamer so that it won’t stick to the bottom. Cover with a lid and let it rest for additional 30 minutes.
7.       Meanwhile get your steamer ready. Carefully place the steamer with the baos on top of boiling water wok/pot. Make sure water is not touching the baos. Cover and steam for 8 to 12 minutes. Please be careful when you open the lid of the steamer. You can serve this bao as a side or serve with a filling like I did!
I hope you all will enjoy making these and do keep me posted if you try. Have a great weekend everyone!

Above pictures are copyright to Tickled by inpirations

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Artist of the month - Dr.Zakiya Al Busaidi

Today I am honoured to feature a passionate Omani artist who is a doctor by profession and therapist. And her goal is to heal the world through art and medicine and make this world a better place to live in. Dr. Zakiya Al Busaidi strongly believes that other than medicine, art can heal people. She has also acquired her PhD on the relation between mind and body. And she has been a great advocate for mental health awareness in Oman. She started her journey as an artist 6 years back. I was fortunate to see her work in an exhibition here in Oman. The emotional energy of her work is portrayed beautifully in each piece. There is joy and movement in most of her work through the colours and textures she has used.

Let’s have a look at her beautiful work and hear more from her regarding her art journey

Tell us a bit about yourself. How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training?

My name is Zakiya Al Busaidi, I am artist and a doctor. The two seem to be inseparable since both are expressions of my soul. I started my journey with art 6 years ago, unplanned but fell in love with art and started attending short courses with Omani artists for 2 years.

How would you describe your art style?
Since I am a big fan of the French Impressionsm art movement, (especially Claude Monet), that was the first style I started with but later I experimented with pop art, calligraphy and currently working on pour and fluid art. 

What's your inspiration for your art work?

My art is inspired by nature where I feel more connected and spirituality.  

Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?

My art is available for sale on my instagram account (@zalbusaidi_art) and whenever I participate in exhibitions in Muscat. 

Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career.

I believe in the role of art in healing and I promote for mindful art. Therefore, I encourage people to do art for self- expression and as a way of meditation. Art teaches us how to be present, appreciate the beauty that we have around us and be less judgmental of ourselves and others. 

Thank you Zakiya for sharing your beautiful work with me and my readers…. and for giving us an insight for your inspiring art journey. We wish you many more successes and looking forward to more creative pieces from you!

If you wish to get updates of her beautiful work, please follow her on instagram @zalbusaidi_art.

All the above pictures are via Zakiya Al Busaidi