Monday, 12 March 2012

Rose Shape Mantou/ Plain Chinese Steamed Bun Recipe (step by step photos)

According to Wikipedia Mantou or Chinese Steamed Bun/Bread is a kind of stemmed bun originating in China. They are typically eaten as a staple in northern parts of China where wheat, rather than rice is grown. They are made with milled wheat flour, water and leavening agents. A popular story in China relates that the name mantou actually originated from the identically written and pitched, but more heavily pronounced word mántóu meaning "barbarian's head". The name mantou is cognate to manty and mantı; these are filled dumplings in Turkish, Persian, Central Asian, and Pakistani cuisines. In Japan, manjū usually indicates filled buns, which traditionally contain bean paste or minced meat-vegetable mixture. Filled mantou are called siopao in Tagalog. In Korea, mandu can refer to both baozi and jiaozi. In Mongolia, mantuu are basically the same as the Chinese mantou. Today, I will make mantou using my favourite recipe that I adapted from

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 350 grams pau flour/low protein flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 30 grams white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • *200 to 250 milliliters morning glory juice/water

*If using 250 milliliters water and kneading by hand, add in 200 milliliters first, kneading well than slowly add in the remainder 10 to 15 milliliters each time. This is to make sure that the dough is not too sticky to handle.


1. In a small bowl, mix together yeast and warm water. Stir well. 

    Allow to proof until yeast resembles creamy foam. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
    Add in shortening and combine well. Mix in yeast mixture and 
    sugar. Mix well then add in morning glory juice. Knead until 
    dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased 
    bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until double in 
    bulk, about 30 minutes depending on room temperature. 

3. For Rose Shape Rolls. Punch dough down. Knead for a few 
    minutes, and divide the dough into 50 grams equal pieces.(If 
    the dough is too sticky dust your hand and work surface lightly
    with some flour). Coat each piece with vegetable oil. Shape 
    each into a long stick.  Flatten each stick and roll into a small 
    long rectangle, about 4cm wide. Brush vegetable oil all over 
    the surface of the dough. Take the ends of the dough, roll in 
    to make shaped like a rose. Place the roll on a wax paper 
    squares, about 6cm square. Let stand covered until doubled, 
    about 30 to 45 minutes. 


5. Bring water to a boil in a steamer using high heat. Transfer as 
    many mantou on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto 
    steamer and leave 1 to 2 inches between each mantou. 
    Cover steamer with lid. Steam mantou over boiling water for 
    5 minutes.

6.  REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will 
     drop back onto mantou surface and produce yellowish 
     “blisters” on it surfaces. Continue steaming batches of 
      mantou until all are cooked.

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