The soft and fluffy buns shown at the end of this video recipe looked unbelievable. Really, how do you make steamed buns that look so golden-brown, like those baked in an oven? My first attempt produced pale-looking steamed buns.
There is no water in the dough recipe; four eggs and 30ml of oil are the only liquids holding the rest of the dry ingredients together.
The bread dough rose very well, and the steam-cook process produced an excellent Mantou texture.
Soft fluffy crumbs, like those baked with tangzhong (roux) recipes! But the colour of the crust is so different from the one in the video. Was it because I did not use a cling-film to cover the dough when steaming?
I tried again, this time by baking the dough in the oven.
The colour is nice for a baked loaf.
When the base looks this good, you know the bread will be yummy as well.
My third attempt was to make slider buns with this recipe. The specks you see on the buns are oat pulp that I added to the recipe. I make oat milk at home and often need to recycle the oat pulp residue in baking projects. If I am not baking, then I simply make oat porridge, which is the fast way to use up the pulp!
Bake them at 170C for 20 minutes, and you get squishy slider buns.
Add your favourite fillings, or enjoy them plain.
I store them in a covered cast iron pot. The pot makes great bread containers!
So there you go, I have tried this recipe three times, each time making a different type of bread.
My verdict: I will use this recipe for steamed Mantou only, simply because I already have my preferred recipes for baking bread and buns. But now I am getting curious if my favourite bread recipe can be steamed to become fluffy Mantou!
Steamed Mantou/ Oven-Bake Bread or Slider Buns
300g plain flour 4 eggs 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast 30g sugar 30g cooking oil
*Optional: I added 100g of oat pulp to the dough for my slider version.
In a mixer bowl, combine plain flour, eggs, instant yeast, and sugar. Turn on the mixer with a dough hook attachment and knead these ingredients on the lowest speed (KA 1) till they come into a ball.
Adding oil and keep kneading till the dough reaches window pane stage. At this stage, the dough will be extremely pliable and baby-bottom soft.
Leave the dough in the mixer bowl for its first proof of 60 minutes. The dough will rise to double its volume, punch down to deflate and transfer it to a clean worktop.
Shape the dough to your liking (mantou, loaf, buns etc.) and place in a steam basket, bread tin or baking pan, depending on what you are making with the recipe.
Leave the shaped dough to rest for another 50-60 minutes.
To steam Mantou: Fill a pot with enough cold water for a 50-minute steaming process, as you should not interrupt the process by opening the cover halfway through to top up the water. Place the buns in the pot and start steaming on high heat, once the water begins to boil, set timer to steam for another 40 minutes. Mantou is best served warm, no need to cool down. Store the balance in a sealed container.
To bake bread loaf: Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes. Remove bread from bread tin immediately after baking and let it cool completely on a rack before slicing. Store in a sealed container.
To bake slider buns: Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 20 minutes, let it cool completely before storing in a sealed container.