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 savory fillings and are rounded in shape.
Chinese Steamed Buns (Mantou) [Gluten Free & Vegan]
- 12.3oz gluten-free self-raising flour
- 2 teaspoons dry instant yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 150ml plus 2 tablespoons rice milk
- 1 tablespoon agave sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, combine and whisk all the dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture.
- 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.
- 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.
- Then use your hands to knead the dough until you have a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Add 2 tablespoons rice milk if required.
- Divide the dough into 2 portions. Seal in ziplock bags and let the dough rest on the benchtop for 1 hour.
- 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.
- Cut each log with a knife into 1 1/2 inch pieces around 1.8oz each.
- Line 2 large bamboo steamers with baking paper/parchment paper. Place each bun dough 1 inch apart onto the lined bamboo steamers.
- 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.
- Best served hot immediately after steaming.
- Reheat by steaming the buns on high heat until soft.