These buns [mantou] are quite similar to the Chinese Red Buns [Mi Koo or Tortoise Buns]. The difference is, it is not that sweet, plain and less ingredients used to make them. Yet they are as good, texture is fine, soft, light, fluffy and chewy. The sugar added is to aid in fermentation of the dough.
It can be eaten plain or good to serve with dishes like braised meat and perhaps curries etc. I ate it with ham.
[makes 8-9 Buns]
500 gm low protein flour or pau flour
5-6 gm instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar [I used 30 gm]
270 ml lukewarm water
some extra water if dough is too dry
1 tsp shortening [optional]
- In a big bowl, put in flour, yeast, sugar and water. Mix ingredients with a pair of chopstick. Mix and knead with hand into soft dough. Cover and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Add in shortening if using. Continue to mix and knead with hand using a combination of motion [knead, rub, pull and roll] until soft, smooth and elastic [about 20 minutes]. Shape into a ball, cover and leave to rest until double in size.
- The proof dough has lots of small air pockets. Punch down and knead for another 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide into 8 or 9 equal portions [depends on how big you wish to make the buns]. Roll each portion into balls. Place buns on a parchment paper. Arrange in a steaming tray Cover to proof until double in size about 20-30 minutes.
- Bring water to boil in a steamer.
- Steamed buns in steamer over high heat for 15-20 minutes. Off heat, leave buns in steamer for 5 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.