Mantou (Chinese Steamed Bun) is a simple bun without filling. I call them Chinese version of dinner rolls. They are great options for breakfast or snack too. Mantou can have many varieties of flavour as you would like. The texture of the mantou is soft but denser than bao.
This chocolate spiral Mantou has a mild sweet and chocolate flavour, it tastes good even on its own. Kids love it so much.
You may make lots of these mantou ahead of time and freeze it. To serve, just steam it again until softened.
Yields about 16 Buns,
- 80g lukewarm water (40°C)
- 2 teaspoons yeast酵母
- 350g plain flour 中筋面粉
- 40g caster sugar 白糖
- 6g coca powder可可粉
- 120g milk (room temperature), It is important to use the milk in room temperature. So either take milk from fridge earlier or heat it up to 40°C
- Split the yeast and place them in two separate bowls with a total of 80g lukewarm water (in 40℃.). Mix well. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, split the flour and place them in two separate mixing bowls. Split the sugar and add into the two bowls respectively. Add coca powder into 1 mixing bowl.
- Mix the flour mixtures well. Let’ start with the non-coca powder flour mixture first. Add into resolved yeast and half of the milk gradually. Knead the dough for about 5-6 minutes, until the outer is smooth. The dough should be soft but not sticky. If your dough is drier, add in a bit more water. If it is sticky, lightly coat hand with flour when kneading. Once done, cover the bowl with clingy film. Set aside. Continue to work on the second bowl. Cover the coca powder dough with clingy film and set aside. Let the dough rest for about 60 to 90 minutes until both dough doubles in size.
- Divide the white dough into two equal pieces; do the same with ‘chocolate’ dough. Put 1 pieces of ‘white’ dough on lightly floured counter top, punch air out of dough, knead the dough again for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Roll out into thin flat dough (cover the rolled dough to prevent it from drying). Do the same with I piece of the ‘chocolate’ dough. Put chocolate dough on top of white dough, roll out again to left and right into thinner dough. Then roll up the thin dough into a rod shape.
6. Now let’s work on the other twp pieces of dough. Roll out into thin flat dough. Put white dough on top of the chocolate dough, roll outagain to left and right into thinner dough. Then roll up the thin dough into a rod shape. Cut into 8 portions using knife.
- Arrange mantou pieces on a parchment paper-lined bamboo basket. Leave some space between each as the buns will expand when steaming. If you do not have the bamboo basket, any stainless steamer will work fine. Just make sure the lid has a hole as the hole helps prevent the condensation water from dripping onto buns, Cover the bamboo baskets with a lid and let them proof for 25– 30 minutes. This is we call the second proof/rest.
- Fill a steamer pot or wok with water and bring the water to a boil. Place onto the stack of bamboo baskets or any the stainless steamer you would have. Cover the steamer. Turn to the high heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Don’t open the lid yet. Let it rest for 5 minutes then open the lid.
- Enjoy your soft and chewy Mantou!