Corner Café

January 25, 2013

Steamed Flower Rolls (rosebud version) 玫瑰花捲

Filed under: Dim Sum — SeaDragon @ 12:00 am
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Steamed Rosebuds

Steamed Rosebuds

Flower rolls or huajuan (花捲) are common Chinese plain steamed buns made into flower shapes. Traditionally the dough piece is rolled out flat, then rolled up like Swiss roll, cut into smaller pieces and with a chopstick press and make a indentation in the centre of each roll so the two ends upturn to show the spiral resembling flowers.
Recently I chanced upon a new modern version with rosebud shapes. They looked fantastic and of course I have to try the new technique out, and here they are. Note that there is no baking powder used here as for the fluffy steamed buns I posted previouly, the reason is that due to wanting to keep good rosebud shapes, you do not want the buns to rise too much and distort their shapes.

Steamed Rosebuds

Makes 12 steamed rolls

400g special white flour, or plain flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
20g caster sugar
6g instant dry yeast
210ml lukewarm water, adjust as necessary
1/4 teaspoon strawberry paste, or a few drops red food colouring, adjust as necessary for desired hue

Baking paper, or patty-tin paper cases
1. If you are using the baking paper as bases for the steamed buns, cut the paper into rounds about 8cm in diameter. Set aside.
2. Sift flour, salt and caster sugar onto the working surface. Add instant dry yeast and stir into the flour mixture; mixing well. Form the flour mixture into a well. Add colouring. Gradually add just enough lukewarm water to form into a slightly sticky, soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes, adjust with more flour or water if the dough feels too wet or too dry.
3. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise until double in size in a large greased bowl, cover with cling film (should take about 1 hour in warm weather, longer in winter months).
4. Punch down, knead briefly and divide into 6 equal portions of about 110g each. Form each portion into a log and divide again equally into 5 portions of about 22g each. You should end up with 30 small portions. Form each piece into a ball and let rest for about 10 minutes (depending on how fast you work, by the time you finish rounding the last portion, the first portion would have rested enough time and should be ready to be shaped), covered loosely with cling film.

Steamed Rosebuds, shaping

5. Roll out each ball with a small rolling pin into a thin round sheet about 8cm in diameter, with the centre slightly thicker than the edges if possible. Working with 5 sheets at a time, place the first sheet nearest to you on the working surface, place the next sheet on top of the first sheet but slightly further away from you so that it covers about half of the first sheet. Repeat lining up the next three sheets in the same way until you have a row of 5 sheets. Press the sheets together lightly so they stick together.

Steamed Rosebuds, shapingSteamed Rosebuds, shapingSteamed Rosebuds, shapingSteamed Rosebuds, shaping

6. Starting from the top sheet, furthest away from you, roll the row of 5 sheets towards you like a Swiss roll. Using a chopstick or a dough scraper, cut the roll in the centre into 2 equal half pieces, using a to-and-fro sawing action. Turn the pieces upright so they resemble rosebuds.

Steamed Rosebuds

7. Place each rosebud on a piece of the prepared baking paper round, or patty-tin paper case. Cover loosely with cling film, and let rise for about 10 to 20 minutes, or until they feel just puffy. Try not to rest too long for this final rise, or the rosebud shapes might be distorted if they rise too much. In the meantime, start boiling water in a steamer.

Steamed Rosebuds

8. Steam the rosebud buns for about 15 minutes over moderate heat. When done, turn off the heat but do not remove the lid of the steamer, and let the buns sit inside for a further 3 minutes (this is to prevent the buns from shrinking). Then remove and serve hot.

Steamed Rosebuds

Steamed Rosebuds

Taste: Soft, slightly chewy plain steamed buns
Consume: Best within one week
Storage: Store in airtight container in the refrigerator, re-steam until hot before serving
Recipe Reference(s): Various Chinese recipes online


  1. lovely rosebuds

    Comment by lily ng — January 25, 2013 @ 1:34 am | Reply

  2. Dear SeaDragon,
    You really are fantastic ! I started reading your pages in May last year, and have been so fascinated with all your works since then. Thank you for all the information.

    Comment by djoko — January 25, 2013 @ 1:42 am | Reply

  3. Wow intelligently done and simply gorgeous… Great idea for coming Mother’s Day, thank you.

    Comment by Leanne L — January 25, 2013 @ 3:44 am | Reply

  4. SD these are soooo lovely, perfect for Valentine’s Day.

    Comment by Edith C — January 25, 2013 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  5. wow this is brilliant – now to practice practice practice – than do for special event catering small groups
    Flour varies world round so here in bay area of california will discover which flour(s) work best

    Comment by ara — January 26, 2013 @ 3:46 am | Reply

  6. How can you make something so pretty! loll! very nice n innovative! Thanks for sharing. by the way, will the buns still be soft and fluffy since it cannot rise much due to no baking powder? Thankx!

    Comment by Clara — January 29, 2013 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

    • The buns will not be as soft and fluffy, they will still be soft when hot but have a denser, chewy texture.

      Comment by SeaDragon — February 1, 2013 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

  7. Hello,

    You have a great recipe blog! I am searching for a recipe for “Song Sui Ban” or “Kong so Paeng” I’ve heard it both ways. They are called Chinese Tea Cookies. The recipes online are not exactly like what they sell. I’m hoping someone might know how to makes these. Thanks!

    Comment by Alayna — January 31, 2013 @ 8:32 am | Reply

    • I am not too familiar with this Chinese cookies, I understand it is 光酥餅, right? Which recipes have you tried? Maybe some of the Chinese recipes would be more accurate?

      Comment by SeaDragon — February 1, 2013 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

  8. …i stumbled upon this informative blog just a while ago…me thinks you’ve very deft and nimble fingers to be able to shape those petals…i shall look you up everyday for new updates….thanks for putting in the effort to keep us informed.

    Comment by Juliet — February 21, 2013 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  9. Hi SeaDragon,

    Just a random note, but I clicked on the link to your Home Cooking Club forum (closed down) just to see where it would lead me to out of curiosity, and it led me to an explicit website, hahaah.

    Comment by Jess — February 24, 2013 @ 9:10 pm | Reply

    • LOL, the company Aceboard that supplied the free forum went out of business mid last year. I meant to remove the link but kept forgetting, thanks for reminding me.

      Comment by SeaDragon — February 25, 2013 @ 10:52 am | Reply

  10. […] came across this entry from Corner Café, and was so inspired by the steamed roses. Feeling bored on a lazy afternoon, I decided to try it […]

    Pingback by Steamed Rosebuds | 每天都是Baking Day — March 15, 2013 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  11. i like that Steamed Flower Rolls recepie i am sure i will try this ………… by the way you have a nice blog keep up your good work

    Comment by Kanza Khan — March 17, 2013 @ 12:51 pm | Reply

  12. This is so loverly. Will you please tell me how to use a bamboo steamer? Do you sit it in boiling water in a uncovered wok with the bamboo steamer lid on and let it boil?

    Comment by Wendy — April 10, 2013 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

    • No, you don’t sit it in boiling water, the bamboo steamer should be above the waterline, as you do usually when steaming food.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 14, 2013 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  13. Thank you. After I sit the bamboo steamer with its lid on above the waterline in a wok, do I still need a wok cover to cover the whole steamer?

    Comment by Wendy — April 15, 2013 @ 4:42 am | Reply

    • No need for the wok lid, the steamer lid is already doing the job.

      Comment by SeaDragon — April 15, 2013 @ 7:49 pm | Reply

  14. omg after seeing this I nearly fainted. IM SO EXCITED to try all ur recipes! Im going to not do homework and just read all of your recipes!! 😀

    😦 maybe I can have an invitation to your other blog… I want to see that one too IM A BIG FAN

    Comment by ChouxChoux — April 23, 2013 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  15. They looked so good that I had to try last night.

    But mine did certainly not turn out looking as nice as yours. They looked more like a traffic wreck…

    It was fun to try, but I guess you need a lot of practice.

    Comment by Kim — May 15, 2013 @ 12:37 am | Reply

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