Saturday, June 29, 2013

Homemade Steamed Rolled Buns (man tou) 手制有味花卷馒头

Rolled buns, or man tou (馒头), is one of the traditional favorites in most Chinese families, you can find the freshly made in most dim-sum stores or pre-packed ones in the frozen food section of major supermarkets.

This weekend, I decided to give it a try to make my own homemade rolled buns, since it has always been one of my childhood favorites.

Here they are, the  steamed rolled buns hot from stove. I made them plain this time as I had ran out of pumpkin and sweet potatoes, the next round I shall try to make some dwi-color man tou :)

The raw man tou and twisted rolls, I was testing out various rolling methods as you can see. My favorite is the twisted rolls, but my little boy liked the tower shape most. What about you? :)

Interested to make some? Just read on...


Preparation Time: 20 minutes (with 30 minutes of wait time in between)
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serving for: about 10-12 small rolled buns

100gm of Pumpkin puree (or 100ml of warm fresh milk as substitute)
420gm of Low protein flour or super fine flour
6gm of instant yeast
120ml of warm fresh milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of sugar (or increase more if you are making plain rolls)
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

南瓜泥100克 或温牛奶100克代替
低筋面粉/ 幼面粉420克
食盐 1/4 搽匙
白糖 1/4 搽匙
橄榄油 1/2 搽匙

The Making:

1. Combine puree with the flour, salt, yeast, form a well in middle and pour in the milk & oil into the middle, mix well using a spatula or chopstick until it forms a dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until it has a smooth surface.

2. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest in a warm area for about 20 minutes, or until it rises to double the size.

3. Move the dough onto a worktop, dust with flour, and knead the dough until no more bubbles. Spread it out into a long rectangular shape. Cut it into long stripes of 1cm each (for making twisted rolls) or approximately 4cm each (for man tou).

4. Shape your rolls to your preferred shapes, I made them into various shapes to attract my little ones. Some are made smaller so easier for my baby girl to hold.

5. Prepare a steamer, place each buns onto a plate and place into the steamer to rest for 20 minutes so the man tou will rise further and become softer. (You can preheat the steamer, then the rest time can shorten to about 10 minutes)

6. Steam with the lid closed for 15 minutes.

7. Once done, turn off the fire and let the buns set for 3 minutes before opening up the lid. This will ensure it maintains the shape without falling apart.

Making of the twisted rolls:

The various rolled buns, ready to serve!

My reliable steamer, been using it for years.

The steamed man tao are soft and fluffy, best eaten when fresh from the stove. My duo were happily choosing their favorites shapes and my girl insisted to have the biggest one! :)

Useful Tips!

• Raw man tou can be kept in fridge for few days before steaming (after 2nd rise).
• I used warm milk to help the yeast to ferment. 
• If you have a sweet tooth, open up the twisted rolls and spread some Nuttela on it, taste good. :)

Happy rolling peeps, this is such a simple recipe that I will certain make again for my family next round.

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