Mantou are plain steamed buns with no fillings and are traditionally consumed in Northern China as a staple food in contrast to rice as a staple food in Southern China. They are normally eaten plain and also commonly served as a side dish. While bao or baozi are usually stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings and are rounded in shape.

Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) [Gluten Free & Vegan]

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Serves

11

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Ingredients

Dry Ingredients:

  • 12.3oz gluten free self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 150ml plus 2 tablespoons rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon agave sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine and whisk all the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
  2. Warm the rice milk in a small pot for around 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Add in the extra virgin olive oil, agave sugar and vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Pour the warm rice milk mixture in step 2 into the well in the large bowl, stir and combine well with the flour using a spatula.
  4. Then use your hands to knead the dough until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Add 2 tablespoons rice milk if required.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 portions. Seal in ziplock bags and let the dough rest on the benchtop for 1 hour.
  6. Dust the work surface with some gluten free flour. Remove one portion of dough from the ziplock bag. Roll the dough into long log of 1½ inch thickness. You can also cut into any desired size.
  7. Cut each log with a knife into 1 1/2 inch pieces around 1.8oz each.
  8. Line 2 large bamboo steamers with baking paper/parchment paper. Place each bun dough 1 inch apart onto the lined bamboo steamers.
  9. Heat up a wok with a steaming rack with some water and place the covered bamboo steamers on top of the steaming rack. Bring to a rolling boil and continue steaming the buns for 20 minutes on high heat. Ensure that there is sufficient water in the wok for the whole steaming process.
  10. Best served hot immediately after steaming.
  11. Reheat by steaming the buns on high heat until soft.
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