New Recipes

Wheat Mantou Recipe (馒头)

Wheat Mantou (馒头)
Wheat Mantou (馒头) pictures (1 of 8)

Remember Shao of FriedWontons4U who recently shared her shrimp dumplings (har gow/虾饺) recipe with us? She is back with another guest post today and is serving up some delicious looking homemade wheat mantou (馒头), with step-by-step pictures! I have always loved mantou—Chinese steamed buns that are so soft and pillowy right off the steamer. Another great news, Shao is my new intern on Rasa Malaysia, in addition to the talented The Sophisticated Gourmet. Please welcome Friedwontons4u and give her your warmest support!

Growing up with both of my parents working 6 days a week, my mom’s wheat mantou, a wheat version of the classic Chinese plain steam buns, reminded me that no matter how busy she was, she would always have time to make mantou for me. She would make a big batch on her one day off from work each week, steam it, and store it in the freezer all ready for me to re-steam when I come home to an empty house after school. Unlike regular mantous, wheat mantous are chewier and a little denser than softer white ones, and they are especially good served along with a bowl of congee.

When I decided to ask my mom for the recipe, her measurements included a soup spoon full of baking powder and three big rice bowl scoops of flour. After spending a few days reworking the recipe, I believe I have it decoded. This is a very flexible recipe and even though it’s for wheat mantou, you can use regular all purpose flour and cake flour to make a regular white mantou. You can also add more sugar if you like your buns a little sweeter. Although I mix my ingredients in a stand mixer, you can do this all by hand just like how my mom makes it.

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35 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. When the mantou is hot, it soft; but when you leave it after 30 minutes, it is as hard as rock. Is it all home-made mantou like this? Or it is because of the flour? I use the white flour that i brought in the supermarket, and i didn’t use any cake flour.

    • Usually mantou do get a little stiff when they are cool down, but they should never be hard as a rock. If they are hard, I think the problem might be either you did not add enough baking powder, over working the dough, or the type of flour you use. The first time I made mantou I over worked my dough and they turned out hard.

  2. I want FriedWonton4..ME. Can we share, Bee? :)
    I never heard of wheat mantou before. Once again, i come here and i learn something new. It looks equally delicious and intriguing. Thanks for sharing and congrats to Shao!

  3. paulchoo

    what is the difference between the whole wheat flour and wheat pastry flour? For plain mantou,do i replaced all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and cake flour with wheat pastry flour? thank u in advance!

    • For plain mantou you would use a mixture of all purpose flour and cake flour. The all purpose flour replaces the whole wheat flour and the cake flour replaces the whole wheat pastry flour.

      The difference between the two wheat flour is wheat pastry flour is lower in gluten vs. regular whole wheat flour. It’s almost similar in difference between all purpose white flour vs. cake or pastry flour. With pastry flour you get a softer texture rather than a firmer chewier texture with regular flour.

  4. DailyChef

    Ooh, wheat mantou! I usually had the white ones growing up, but I remember enjoying the different texture of the wheat ones for a change. Thanks for the reminder – I’ll have to bring these back next time.

  5. sawsiamhong

    Hello Shao, The mantou looks yummy. I like mantou but I’m a diabetic. Can i decrease the amount of sugar and what type of milk shall I use? Also can I line the steamer with tea towels? cos i don’t know where to get the coffee liner. I will try it one day. Thank you

    • Yes, you can definitely decrease the amount of sugar. The amount I listed is more of my own personal taste to how sweet I like it. Feel free to change it up. I used whole milk in the recipe but I have also made mantou with 2% milk before and didn’t notice any big difference. As for using tea towels as lining, I never tried that before but I think it should work out. Interesting idea though. Please let me know how it goes :)

      • sawsiamhong

        Thank you very much for your information. I’ll let you know if I make the mantou but don’t know when. CNY is coming and need to start spring cleaning. Anyway early greetings for a Merry Chritmas and a Happy New Year.

  6. Paulchoo

    I really want to try this recipe.I have 3 more questions
    1) can i use instant yeast? is it the same quantity?
    2) why must use ‘warm’ water and milk? what is the temperature?
    3) I don’t have a stand mixer,can i hand knead to achieve the right texture?
    I am sorry to ask so many questions as i am a beginner in cooking and baking.Thank u in advance!

  7. Piaanna

    I love 馒头。
    They were served usually at chinese weddings(:
    But I had the plain white ones!
    They were delish! Especially with fried pork or just any meat!
    They had slight sweetness to it. Which I loved!
    I was born in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
    And left there 3 years ago…(Here in United States, Utah)… and NOW, I’m 15. I love to cook!
    I missed all the wonderful foods there.
    I just went back there this summer and had a lot of fun and I had a list already to eat what I missed out these three years.
    I tried my favorite: Laksa, Ota-Ota, Nasi Lemak…
    You have all that recipe on here and it helped out a lot!
    Thanks You for all the effort you put in to this website!
    Piaanna/Rui Fang(:
    I’ll definitely try this recipe!

  8. I was thinking about making mantou and came across this wonderful recipe! I don’t have wheat pastry flour…so I’m to use cake flour. hope it would work. drooling…oh, and mantou should be great with condensed milk

  9. Jennifer L

    I made these for my parents today. They didn’t say much other than “they’re good” but they usually don’t say much. I had fun making them and I enjoyed that fresh steamed mantou smell in the kitchen. Thank you for the recipe

  10. Firrhaaana

    These look delicious and I really would love to make them! Do you think a double boiler would work the same as a steamer?

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