Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mantou (Chinese Steamed Bun)

Mantou is a kind of steamed bun originating from China. It is similar to white bread in the West except that instead of baking, mantou is steamed. Mantou is considered a staple food in Northern China.

I tried making Mantou today. Intended to steam some for breakfast tomorrow and give some to my Mom. In fact since I made about 24 mantou(s) I had stashed some in the freezer for future consumption. However, they were such a hit in my family that I had to pull them out from the freezer, else there would not be enough for tomorrow!!!

My mantou(s) is rather flat but they taste good. Soft, light and fluffy even when cooled. Taste heavenly when dipped in curry.

It is a keeper.
Here is the recipe.

Steamed Mantou (makes 24)

Ingredients :
Starter Dough
150 gm low protein flour (cake flour)
50 gm plain flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
pinch of salt
110 ml water

Method :

  • Mix all the above ingredients together in a mixer.
  • Knead until the dough is smooth.
  • Let the dough prove in a covered bowl for a minimum of 45 minutes.
  • Set aside 140gm for use.
  • Keep the balance in a freezer bag and freezer for future use. (Starter dough must be defrost before it can be used)

Main dough :
Ingredients :
350ml milk
100gm sugar
400gm plain flour
200gm low protein flour (cake flour)
140gm starter dough
2 tbsp corn oil
2 tbsp black sesame powder

Method :

  • Put all the ingredients except the oil and black sesame powder into the mixer and mix till a ball is formed.
  • Add in oil and knead till the dough is smooth and elastic. (the dough will not stick on the wall of the mixer).
  • Remove the dough from the mixer and and divide into 2 portions.
  • Add black sesame powder into 1 portion and knead till well blended.
  • Roll out both portions into a flat rectangular sheet.
  • Put the black sesame powder portion on top of the other portion.
  • Roll them up together like swiss roll.
  • Cut into pieces of about 50gm each. (approximately 24 pieces)
  • Place it piece on a square piece of greaseproof paper to prove for another 45 minutes in room temperature .
  • Steam on medium heat for 15 minutes.


  1. Hi Sally.Been looking for this recipe for a long time!Thanks for sharing.I see your flags are multiplying..keep it up!

  2. You are welcome!
    Hope you like it. You can increase the amt of sugar as mine is not so sweet.
    Yes! it's exciting to see the flags increasing.

  3. Can i use the hong kong flour??Kept it for so long bcos we have no time to make paus.

  4. Hi, Wenzhen!
    Yes... you can use Hong Kong flour. Hong Kong flour or also known as waterlily flour is a highly bleached all-purpose flour. Pau made with this flour will turn out whiter than normal flour. The same goes for Mantou.