Chinese New Year is fast approaching and here at Chiwawa, we are busy preparing for the most festive season in the Chinese calendar. Mantous are plain steamed buns which originated from China. In areas of Northern China, they are a festive food prepared for the celebratory season. Mantous can be made into all kinds of shapes, such as flowers, butterflies, animals, etc., and decorated with dried Chinese dates (Jujube). Here, we share with you a simple, tried-and-tested basic recipe that you can get creative with. Kids will enjoy this quick and fun-filled activity that comes out fluffy and delicious every time!
Ingredients: (Makes 6-8 Mantous)
300g bread flour
180ml full fat milk
3.5g instant yeast
3g olive oil
Put all your ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Using the dough hook on a stand mixer, mix on medium speed until a dough forms.
Continue mixing for 4 minutes so the dough becomes elastic and smooth. If you knead by hand, knead for 5 minutes.
Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.
5. Take your dough and stretch into a long rectangular-ish shape
6. Use a rolling pin to roll flat and fold the top and bottom ends in so they overlap.
7. Turn your dough 90 degrees and repeat another two times, rolling flat and folding over to get the air bubbles out. This makes sure that the mantou retains its shape.
8. Roll out your dough into a long thin rectangle and roll in from the long side to form a long thin dough "stick"
9. Divide your dough into 6-8 mantous and cut some baking paper to fit under each.
10. Cover with a towel and let it rise for approximately 40 minutes. (Tip: you can shorten this rise by putting it into an oven at 50 degrees celsius for 20-30 minutes if rushed for time)
11. Steam in a steamer for 18-20 minutes depending on the size of your buns! Then enjoy whilst they are hot! You can also dip them in condensed milk for a sweet treat!