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Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
This dough can be used to make Chinese steamed buns, called mantou, or filled buns, called baozi. These fluffy, chewy, warm and unusual breads are common breakfasts, sides and meals in much of China. They are especially popular in Shanghai (Baozi) and Beijing (Mantou), where window-stall and small shop vendors sell them. Because this is the less unhealthy version with some whole wheat substitutions, they can be finicky based on dampness and temperature -- I fnd adjusting down the amount of flour is the best bet. These are fantastic piping hot, or with any of my three filling recipes!
- Mix the yeast and flours in a large bowl.
- Dissolve the sugar and add the peanut oil in the water.
- Add to the flour bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Knead dough until it becomes a consistent ball, adding milk or more flour as needed (I usually end up using a tad more than 1/2 cup of milk).
- Cover dough in a bowl and allow to rest 10 – 15 minutes.
- Remove dough, pound it down, and re-knead until it forms a fully elastic dough ball.
- Place ball in a greased, covered bowl and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled or tripled in bulk.
- Divide into 16-24 small dough balls, or roll out into one large flat rectangle on a floured surface.
- Flatted dough balls with a rolling pin, OR measure 3 – 5 inch rounds out of the pressed rectangle.
- Fill each flat round with roughly 2 tbs of the filling of your choice in the center. Pull the dough on all sides from the corners up to the top, and ‘twist’ to close.
- Steam filled buns (baozi) for 15 – 25 minutes over high heat.
- NOTE: Plain buns, or mantou, can be obtained by simply omitting the filling.
This was my first attempt at making steamed buns (or any kind of dim sum, for that matter), and it came out great! I made a vegetarian filling by stir frying vegetables, tofu, sherry, ginger, and soy sauce and used that instead of the recommended meat filling.
I was able to make this on my first try. the only difficult part was putting in the filling for the baozi because the dough would not stick together once it got oil on it. I'm sure that would be solved by a more skilled Chinese chef.
If your making mantous, its not good to punch dough down and divide after it has rested. It won't rise well. I suggest you roll dough int a sausage, then divide and place on a plate (at least 1 inch apart). Then leave it to rest for 1/2 to 1 hour. After this, put it directly into the steamer. The result will be fluffier, like the one's you get in a shop.