One Recipe: Steamed Mantou, Oven-Baked Bread, or Slider Buns

One Recipe: Steamed Mantou or Baked Buns // Mono+Co

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-Baked Bread or Slider Buns

adapted from here
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.

Milk Bread Loaf

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This Sweet Milk Bread recipe is a keeper.  Original 元子’s recipe had plain water and whole egg.  After 2 bloggers’ modifications (1st here, then here), the recipe now uses fresh milk and egg whites instead.  My final proof took almost 4 hours for the dough to rise and fill 80% of the loaf pan, but I think the overall texture was worth the wait.

As with all fresh homemade bread (no additives, bread improver, blah, blah), finish it up within 2 days.  On day 3, bread sort of dried out, and turned crummy, even though I only slice it before eating

Made notes below next to the ingredients to remind myself what I have used or tweaked.  So far, all my 3 attempts have been very successful.

The Big Man asks for consistent taste in his daily bread, commented that I have attempted far too many different milk/sweet bread recipes.  I think this is his way of saying that I should stick to this recipe.

//Adapted from Eileenの记事本

250g bread flour (I used Prima) / plain flour (I used Sheng Siong house brand, Happy Family)
50g fine sugar
65g egg white
100ml fresh milk (I used Meiji full cream)
8g milk powder (I used Fernleaf)
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
25g unsalted butter (I used SCS and Anchor)

Oven Temp : 170C
Bakeware : Bread Loaf Pan

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment, mix well all ingredients except butter at low speed.
2. Change to a dough hook attachment, add in butter, and continue mixing till window pane stage, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove mixing bowl from mixer, cover with a clean tea towel, and leave it aside for 1 hour, The dough will rise to approximately twice its original size.
4. Punch down the inflated dough, and pour it out onto a clean worktop.
5. Evenly divide the dough into 3 portions (approx 160g each), roughly work them into balls and leave it covered for 15 minutes with the tea towel.
6. Flatten and roll out with a pin and roll up dough like a swiss roll from the shorter end.  Leave dough aside for another 15 minutes.
7. Repeat step 6, this time pinching the seams to seal tightly.  Arrange the 3 rolled up dough with seam facing down into the loaf pan.  Final proof till dough rise up to fill 80% of the pan.
8. In a preheated oven at 170C, bake for 35 minutes.
9. Remove the bread from the baking tin immediately after the baking is done.  Leave the bread on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

For a better understanding of Step 6-7, See Photos Here.

Easy Peasy Honey Drizzled Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamonrolls // mono+cocinnamonrolls // mono+co

I have never seen an easier cinnamon roll recipe than the one from The Pioneer Woman.

++Notes 001 // I substituted the maple icing with pure honey as topping.

++Notes 002 // The original recipe makes 40-50 cinnamon rolls.  I halved the recipe, to feed my small family.

++Notes 003 // Her step-by-step instruction here, completed with photos, really useful.

++Notes 004 // Original recipe asked for the dough to be used right away after adding baking soda, baking powder and remaining flour.  But I could not roll it out as it was too wet, so I proofed it for another hour and this made the dough easier to handle.  Recipe also stated that chilling the dough in the fridge for an hour before hand will also make it easier to handle.  Remember always to cover the dough with a clean towel to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out.

++Notes 005 // Dough can also be kept in fridge for up to 3 days.  But take note that the dough will still rise and need a “punch-down” once a while when it rises above the bowl.

++Notes 006 //Overnight buns will taste better if reheated in a toaster oven for 2 minutes.

/ Source
/ Makes 25 buns



2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
4  1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp salt


1 cup melted butter
1/8 cup ground cinnamon
1 cup sugar, white or brown


Pure honey



Heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Do not bring the mixture to a boil.  Set aside and cool to lukewarm.  Sprinkle the yeast on top of the mixture, do not stir and let it sit on the milk mixture for 1 minute.

After 1 minute, pour in 4 cups of the flour. The remaining 1/2 cup will be added later after the dough rise/first proofing. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.  I left it standing on the still-warm stove.

After 1 hour, the dough would have risen.  Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup flour on top of the still a-bit-too-wet dough. Stir to mix in the added dry ingredients.  Cover back again with towel and set aside for another hour.*

On a clean worktop (recipe suggested floured surface, but I could manage without), roll the dough thinly into a 30 x 10 in rectangle.


Pour melted butter over the surface of the dough. I pour about 3/4 cup of it before it starts to flow over the dough.  I reserve the remaining and pour them over the arranged buns on the pan, so that they stay in/on the bun, not on my work top.

Using fingers, spread the butter evenly all over the dough.  This is my favorite part of the recipe:-)

Sprinkle ground cinnamon first then sugar over the butter.  According to Ree, The Pioneer Woman, “Gooey is the goal.”


Next, with the longer side facing you, roll up the dough towards you, taking care to roll it really tight.  I use a food scraper to scoop up the fillings into a bowl that oozes out as the dough is being rolled up.  I then pour them over the dough before them are being baked.  No waste!

When reaching the end, pinch the seam tightly to seal the roll.

Place the log roll on a cutting board with seal facing down, and cut 1/2-inch slices with a very sharp knife.

Grease a baking tray by pouring some melted butter on it.  Arrange the sliced rolls in the tray, leaving some space in between.  The dough will expand further, and even more during baking.  You can pour the remaining melted butter + cinnamon butter sugar goo on the dough now.

Preheated oven now to 180C/375F.  Leave the dough covered to rise for another 20 minutes before baking.  The oven should be done by the time the dough rises for one last time.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown.

Remove buns from the oven. Immediately drizzle honey over the top of the hot buns.  About 1 tablespoon per bun.  And more on the sides and edges.

Serve warm.