Mantou (Steamed Buns)

Chinese steamed buns can be stuffed with various types of fillings or unstuffed plain versions. Those stuffed steamed buns are called as Baozi in Chinese (Bao Buns) and those without fillings are called as mantou. Basically baozi and mantou shares a very similar dough.

This is a traditional Chinese knife cutting steamed buns (Mantou) recipe with two rising processes. We will introduce the one-rising process in another post.

mantou (steamed buns)

Tips before starting off

  1. There are two types of yeast usually used to make steamed buns: instant yeast and dry yeast. If you are using dry yeast, activate them by placing them in warm water (around 30 degree C) before mixing with the dough.  Avoid adding instant yeast near sugar and salt if you are using normal yeast.
  2. In order to get a smooth mantou, the dough should be well kneaded in both stages. After the second kneading, there should be no large bubbles in cross section of your dough.
  3. Sugar is optional. You can barely taste sweetness in the well-steamed buns but sugar help to form better gluten.
  4. If the dough is sticky and hard to control, dust your board and hands.
  5. For second rising mantou (二发馒头), the steaming process should start with cold water.

 

For the mantou dough, you will need

  • 300g all-purpose flour (about 2 cups, directly dip )
  • 150ml water (Note 1)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast (Note 2)
  • a small pinch of salt (2g)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Steps:

Add salt, sugar and yeast to flour in a large bowl.  Stir in the liquid in slowly from the center to the edges. Wait for several minutes until the water and flour is well cooperated. Then start to form a dough by gasping everything together. When the dough is formed, continue kneading for 8-12 minutes (depending on your kneading skills) until the dough is not sticky and the surface is smooth.

Transfer the dough to a bowl (oil-brushed or slightly dusted)and cover with a wet cloth. Wait until the dough is 1.5 times or 2 times in size (first rising).  Move the dough to a slightly floured board and knead for 4-5 minutes until the surface becomes smooth again and there are no bubbles inside the dough. Cut the dough into two halves.

Shape one halve into a long log and cut into 10 sections. Repeat the other half too.
mantou (steamed buns)

Shape the buns slightly and lay on a lined steamer one by one.

mantou (steamed buns)mantou (steamed buns)

Cover the lid and rest for 10 minutes in summer and 20 minutes in winter. Pour enough cold water in a the pot and set up your steamer. Use high heat to boil the water and steam for 18 minutes over medium fire.

mantou (steamed buns)

Turn off the fire and wait for another 5 minutes before opening the lid. You can directly serve it as staple food or freeze for later servings.

mantou (steamed buns)

Compared with round-shaped mantou, knife cutting mantou is more fluffy and soft, usually with larger bubbles inside.

Mantou (Steamed Buns)
 
Ingredients
  • 300g all-purpose flour (about 2 cups, directly dip ) + more for dusting
  • 150ml water (1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp. Note 1)
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon instant yeast (Note 2)
  • a small pinch of salt (2g)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Add salt, sugar and yeast to flour in a large bowl. Stir in the liquid in slowly from the center to the edges. Wait for several minutes until the water and flour is well cooperated. Then start to form a dough by gasping everything together. When the dough is formed, continue kneading for 8-12 minutes (depending on your kneading skills) until the dough is not sticky and the surface is smooth.
  2. Transfer the dough to a bowl (oil-brushed or slightly dusted)and cover with a wet cloth. Wait until the dough is 1.5 times or 2 times in size (first rising). Move the dough to a slightly floured board and knead for 4-5 minutes until the surface becomes smooth again and there are no bubbles inside the dough. Cut the dough into two halves.
  3. Shape one halve into a long log and cut into 10 sections. Repeat the other half too.
  4. Shape the buns slightly and lay on a lined steamer one by one.
  5. Cover the lid and rest for 10 minutes in summer and 20 minutes in winter. Pour enough cold water in a the pot and set up your steamer. Use high heat to boil the water and steam for 18 minutes over medium fire.
  6. Turn off the fire and wait for another 5 minutes before opening the lid. You can directly serve it as staple food or freeze for later servings.

 

 

 

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