I love Chinese steamed buns, especially when they are freshly made. There are many varieties in the market with different types of fillings. As for me, I love it plain. When I first attempted the recipe, I was so disappointed with the outcome as it 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 them 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 fluffy Chinese steamed buns just as how I imagined them to be. 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 had also noticed that the 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 may place the shaped buns on baking paper or even on plain white paper. If you like to make these 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 in a warm area for 30 minutes.
Then, mix wheat flour, water, sugar, salt and oil (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 had 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 and cut equally into 12 pieces. Place on baking paper individually. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Steam dough for 8 minutes and enjoy!