Indonesian Bak Pau



1000 grams bread flour

200 grams icing sugar

100 grams white fat

15 grams salt

25 grams instant yeast

450 grams water +/- depending on flour quality  




1, Sift the flour and icing sugar together


2, Blend in the salt, white fat and instant yeast


3, Gradually add in the water and bring all the ingredients into a slightly firm dough


4, Keep mixing and kneading the dough until it becomes smooth, silky and with elasticity


5, Immediately divided the dough into pieces of 40 grams each and roll into tight little balls and then place onto a lightly floured work top, cove all the pieces with a dry cloth and leave them to rest and rise for about +/- 10-15 minutes depending on temperature in your room  


6, After resting take one piece of the Bak Pau dough and gently press it flat in the palm of your hand, then place some filling of your choosing inside (About a teaspoon full) Bring all the edges together and seal them tight with a twist of the dough at the top, then gently roll it into a ball again and then place it onto a piece of lightly greased greaseproof paper that’s been cut into a square of 3 inches or alternatively you can use large size flattened out paper baking cases


Once you have made ready all the Bak Pau cover then with a dry cloth and again leave to rest for 10-15 minutes.


7, Have the water in your steamer ready at a slow boil on a medium heat, and then place some of the Bak Pau side by side into the steamer, cover the steamer with the lid and leave them to steam for about +/- 10 minutes, the products will swill up with the steaming and should be slightly firm once steamed. 


8, Carefully taking care not to scald your arm or hand, remove the Bak Pau from the steamer and leave them to cool on a cooling wire, once cool trim the excess greaseproof paper around that base of the products, but do remember to remove that paper before eating the Bak Pau!


Extremely nice and tasty when eaten whilst still warm


Ideas for Fillings


Chocolate chips, Chocolate Vermicelli, Peanut butter, Grated Cheese such as Cheddar, Stilton or Blue chess, or any other type of chess that you may like, you can also use some pre fried Mincemeat or pieces of diced chicken.


Note that during the mixing process you can also turn some of the mixture into various colours such as pale yellow, pale pink or pale green.


Just use your own imagination as they do in Chine’s Countries                 


In Asia we place them onto cut up pieces of banana leafs for steaming... Also in Chine and other Asian Countries it is very common to fill the Bak Pau with Red or Black bean paste which you can buy via internet shopping 



Indonesian Martabak, Chocolate, Cheese or Pandan with Chocolate vermicelli

This recipe makes 2 small Martabak (Sweet) (4 inch) or 1 large one (8 inch)




1/2 tablespoon instant yeast

1 cup warm coconut milk cream also known as “Santan”

120 grams bread flour

50 grams caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs lightly beaten together

1 tablespoon margarine (and a little more for brushing the pan and the pancake)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 tablespoon water


Possible Filling variations/combinations

  • Margarine
  • Condensed milk
  • Pre lightly roasted Peanuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts, almonds (crushed)
  • Chocolate Vermicelli
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Pandan Colour and Flavor/extract


1, In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm coconut milk and let it sit for 10 minutes or until bubbles start forming.


2, In a large bowl, sift together salt, baking soda and bread flour then add in the sugar.


3, Then mix in the coconut milk, instant yeast mixture, eggs, and melted margarine, mix completely together with a food mixer and beaters, then cover and allow to rise for 2-3 hours in a warm place. You should be able to see a lot of holes forming on the top.


4, Preheat the skillet or griddle with Gentle (LOW HEAT)

Grease the pan and sides with a little margarine. Pour in the batter and even out over the skillet, then cover and cook until you can see bubbles start to form on the surface. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes or until top is full of holes. Ensure that your heat is LOW so that the skin doesn’t burn.


The level of the batter should not exceed half the height of the skillet.


5, Spread margarine on top and then finally sprinkle with your grated cheddar cheese, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk or your other desired filling. 

Remove from the pan and fold it in half immediately like the shape of a semicircle. This will prevent the cake from cracking.


6, Spread the outer surface with margarine to keep the cake moist. Best served warm!




If you’re making Pandan Martabak then add in the colour and flavour/extract at stage (3)   


Indonesian Martabak is simply a fermented pancake


(About Pandan Leaf)


Pandan leaf (Rampe or screwpine leaf) these are widely used in Asian cooking and are used in both savoury and sweet dishes.

A small strip of leaf, only a few cm long is added to the pan when rice is cooked to add flavour and fragrance.

Slightly longer strips are added to curry to add flavour and they are even used as wraps when steaming to add flavour.

In Asia, pandan is used as often as vanilla here in the west. Surplus fresh leaves may be frozen in plastic bags. Size and length of strips will vary.



If you do an internet search you can buy fresh “Pandan Leaf” on line, you can also buy Pandan colour and extract in small plastic bottles from an Asian grocery store 



Add photo text

Add photo text