I love Chinese steamed buns, especially when they are freshly made. As for me, I love it plain. When I first attempted the recipe, I was so disappointed because it was difficult and yet did not turn out to be at all fluffy.
Using the flour sold at the local German grocer was a very frustrating experience. I refused to take the easy way out which was to just get the Hong Kong flour or a type of flour specially used for making Chinese steamed buns. Being determined, I attempted to make this again several times using the flour sold at the local German grocer but failed miserably each time.
Over the months, I kept experimenting and was on the verge of giving up when, finally, I succeeded in making the most fluffy Chinese steamed buns just as how I used to enjoy. Using wheat flour numbered 405 bought from the local German grocer, the buns came out perfectly. Please note that low gluten flour (ca. 8 – 11% protein) must be used to make these Chinese steamed buns. If you are in Italy, wheat flour numbered 00 would be the right choice.
You may have also noticed that the steamed Chinese buns are slightly yellow in colour. This is due to the unbleached flour which was used. Try adding a little vinegar or lemon juice to “whiten” the dough but it is really not necessary. Moreover, in my opinion, the vinegar or lemon juice might be too strong and spoil the original taste of the buns.
You can place the shaped buns on baking paper or even on plain white paper. If you like to make these steamed Chinese buns in advance, freeze them after steaming. Frozen buns can be steamed once again for about 8 to 10 minutes before consumption.
Steamed Chinese Buns is also known as: MantaoMantauSteamed Bao馒头
Mix yeast, (warm) water, wheat flour and sugar well (ingredients in A). Allow yeast mixture to activate by allowing it to rest for 30 minutes in a warm area.
Then, mix wheat flour, water, sugar, salt and oil well (ingredients in B) to yeast mixture. Knead dough for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth. Place kneaded dough in a bowl which had been oiled. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel and place bowl in a warm area for 1.5 hours.
Remove dough from bowl to a working area which has been dusted with flour. Flatten dough and sprinkle baking powder on the dough. Then, knead baking powder into the dough for 5 minutes.
Shape dough into a log to cut dough equally into 12 pieces. Rest the individual dough which is placed on baking paper for about 10 minutes. Steam dough for 8 minutes and enjoy!