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.