What Is Bao Flour? (What Is It Made Of, What’s It For, Substitutes + More) 

Many recipes will call for flour, but some recipes may use unusual terms for flour in their ingredients list, such as bao flour.

If you have never used bao flour before, you may be curious as to what bao flour is. I did the research, and here is what I learned!

What Is Bao Flour?

Bao flour refers to any flour used to create bao, but there is no exact type of flour used to create bao. Generally, all-purpose bleached flour is used to create bao since all-purpose bleached flour creates white and fluffy bao. Using other types of flour changes the flavor, texture, and appearance of the bao.

Do you want to learn why your bao is not fluffy, why your bao is not yellow, and what other flour you can use for bao? Keep reading!

What Is In Bao Flour?

Technically speaking, there are no specific ingredients in bao flour other than wheat flour because bao flour does not exist.

Generally, people would use the term bao flour to refer to flour that they will use to create bao, which means dumplings.

What Flour Are Bao Buns Made From?

There is no exact flour used to make bao buns since many different cultures and chefs will use varying types of flour to create bao.

However, opting for all-purpose flour with moderate gluten levels may be the best for bao since all-purpose flour is white, which is traditional for bao, and has the right amount of gluten to provide the ideal amount of chew.

What Is Bao Flour Used For?

Since there is no specific type of bao flour, the flour used to create bao will usually be for recipes like xiao long bao, pork buns, and more.

Is Bao Flour The Same As Cake Flour?

Is Bao Flour The Same As Cake Flour?

While bao flour is not the same as cake flour, some Chinese American chefs tend to use bleached and low-gluten cake flour to create bao dough.

However, some chefs may add a little vinegar to bleached cake flour to make up for the fact that it is low in gluten to create a chewier bao dough.

Why Is My Bao Not Fluffy?

Typically, the dough you used to make the bao may be too dry, causing our bao to be hard and not fluffy.

Generally, adding one tablespoon of water at a time to the dough to create a wetter dough will make your bao fluffier.

Why Is My Bao Yellow?

If your bao is yellow, it is likely because of the type of flour you used since the flour you use can affect the color of your bao.

For instance, flour that has been milled once will be somewhat yellow, which will affect the color of your bao as well.

What Color Should Bao Be?

Generally, most bao recipes should result in white buns, which is why bleached flour is often the preferred type of flour used to make bao.

What Can I Substitute For Bao Flour?

Since there is no specific flour used for bao flour, using any bleached plain flour is acceptable to make bao.

However, some people use bleached cake flour instead of bleached plain flour for bao because bleached cake flour can provide a soft and fluffy texture.

Check out our other articles to learn what barley flour is, what banana flour is, and what bread flour is.


There is no exact type of flour used to create bao, so bao flour often refers to any flour that is used to make bao.

Generally, most people used bleached all-purpose flour to make bao since bleached all-purpose flour is white and contains enough gluten to create traditional bao.

Leave a Comment