Mantou is one of my favorite Chinese food! In Chinese, mantou is written as 馒头, a staple food in China.
They are endless variations that you can try, with or without filling.
In this recipe, I added some mashed sweet potatoes (yam) to the dough and turn them into sweet potato mantou.
These Chinese steamed buns are so soft, fluffy, especially when they are fresh off the steamer. They are absolutely delicious!
In this recipe, you are going to learn the simple step-by-step for DIY homemade mantou from scratch.
My recipe calls for very simple ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Sweet potatoes
- Cooking oil
How to Make Mantou?
It’s very easy to make mantou at home and the recipe is very simple and straight forward.
First, you will need a yeast mixture to make the mantou dough. To activate the yeast, add warm water and sugar to the yeast. The yeast mixture will become foamy once the yeast is activated.
Next, make the dough by combining the yeast mixture with flour, sugar and oil. For this recipe, I added mashed sweet potatoes to the dough.
Knead the dough until smooth and shiny. Divide and cut the dough. Let rise for 1 hour or until the dough expands.
The final step is to steam the dough in a steamer. After 10 minutes, you will have soft and fluffy mantou ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Add Filling to the Dough?
Absolutely, you can wrap mantou with all kinds of sweet or savory fillings to make steamed buns or baozi.
You can also use sweet filling such as red bean steamed buns.
Can I Freeze the Dough?
I don’t recommend freezing the dough, however you can keep the dough in the fridge overnight.
When you are ready to proof the dough, just remove it and let rise and proof and continue with steaming.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 169 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
Serve these mantou as a breakfast item or afternoon snack. For a wholesome Chinese breakfast, I recommend the following recipes.
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- 1/2 tablespoon yeast
- 100 ml warm water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 75 g (2¾ oz) sweet potato ((or "yam" in the United States))
- 250 g (9 oz) all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl. Stir to mix well. Set aside for 20 minutes. The yeast mixture will rise and becomes foamy.
- Steam the sweet potato until soft, discard the water that seeps out after steaming. Using a spoon, mash the sweet potato into a fine puree.
- Add the yeast mixture, sweet potato puree, flour, sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with a dough hook.
- Knead on speed 1 for 6 minutes until the dough becomes soft and shiny. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead with hands for 20 minutes or until the dough doesn't stick to your hands.
- Transfer the dough out and cover it with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes.
- On a slightly floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin to form a 14x10" rectangle.
- Roll up the dough into a log. Roll the log back and forth a few times or until the surface looks smooth and reaches 12-inch (30cm) in length.
- Cut the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter. Transfer each dough to a 3x4"-inch (7cm x 10cm) parchment paper. You may roll each dough into a round ball after cutting.
- Place the dough into a steamer. Cover the lid of the steamer and let rise for 60 minutes, or until the dough balls expand in size. Make sure you leave enough space between each dough ball so they don't stick together.
- Add water to the bottom of the steamer. You may add 1 teaspoon of Chinese white vinegar to make the steamed buns whiter. Cover the lid tightly.
- Turn on high heat and steam for 10-12 minutes, or until the dough expands to soft, puffy and fluffy mantou. Turn off the heat and serve the mantou warm.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.