mardi, février 16, 2010

Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns)


The kids are very fond of Mantou (Chinese Steamed Buns). I usually use a fast and easy recipe to make them, but decided lately to combine it with a more traditional method to see how it would turn out. It turned out to be just as painless, only with a longer resting time, and the buns were lighter, softer and tastier. Since then I prefer to use the second method.

Mantou :

150g Sugar
300ml lukewarm Water
30g fresh Yeast
650g strong white Flour
1 Tsp double-acting Baking powder
1/2 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Corn oil

Dissolve the sugar in the water and add the yeast. Set aside for 10-15 minutes till the yeast turns frothy.

Just after combining the dry and wet ingredients

Sift the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix in the salt. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture and the corn oil. I mixed with the kneading needles of my hand mixer. Then used my hands to combine it into a firm dough.

After 10 minutes' kneading

Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes and then leave it to rest for about 1.5 hours, with a damp cloth over the bowl. It should normally double its volume by then.

After 1.5 hours' rest

Knead it again and let it rise for another 30 minutes.

Before being steamed (this one has not been rolled into a tube 1st)

Knead the dough again till it's smooth and then roll it into 2-3 long rolls. Roll each roll out till it's flat and then fold/roll it into a tube. Slice into a few pieces and steam them (spaced sufficiently apart from one another as they will usually triple in size) over rapidly-boiling water for 10-15 minutes. If necessary, line the buns with greaseproof paper before steaming them.

These buns are best eaten hot. The kids like to eat them plain, but I sometimes like to stuff them with sweet or braised pork, or stir-fried chilli prawns. This time we ate them with a Marmite Roast Chicken.

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