Sunday, 21 August 2011

Chinese steamed buns

These few days I've been busy. Busy with what, I hear you say...I was busy making Chinese buns! 

By Chinese buns I mean 'man tou', a staple eaten in northern China in particular. To me, they're just dim sum - snacks! They are easy to make, 'easy' as in there aren't many steps and there aren't many skills, but they're also very hard to make... because you need to keep kneading. Honestly, I don't think making buns is a job for girls. It involves too much hard labour work!!! Having said that, I of course enlisted the help of my new pasta machine - it's never been used to make pasta (yet) and it's already worked for 4 consecutive days, busy making buns! :)

Even with a pasta machine, it's not as easy and effortless as using a hand prepared. :)

You need:
Plain flour 300g
Baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
Yeast 7g (1 sachet)
Granulated sugar 40-50g (depends on how sweet you want your buns to be)
Water / soya milk / milk 140ml (I usually use soya milk)
Optional: ground cinnamon, green tea powder, coffee powder, chocolate powder...

Mix all dry ingredients together thoroughly. Add the liquid and use a spatula to mix everything together.
Start mixing with your hand when everything is combined. When the dough is formed, wrap it in cling film and let it rest for 10 minutes.

This dough is cinnamon-flavoured

Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Put one portion into the pasta machine, and repeat the process for at least 20 times. 

When the dough comes out of the machine, fold it and  put it in the machine again. A 'skinny' (long, lengthy) shape is preferred as it's the easiest to manage. 

Use a spatula to help squeeze out the air trapped inside the dough, to help maintain a smooth surface. 

When it is smooth enough (after perhaps 30 times into the machine), roll the dough up. 

Cut the sides away. 
Cut into small pieces (about 3cm).

This isn't how it should be done - :P the opening side should face down! 

Another night's rolls - cappucino-flavoured
When all the cutting's done, let the buns rest in the microwave for at least 30 minutes with a plate of hot water to provide needed moisture. Remember to leave some space between the buns because they will expand.

Put them into a steaming basket / a wok to steam for 30 minutes. 


I'm a cappuccino bun. 

A mix of flavours: chocolate, cinnamon, green tea (the green isn't visible at all, LOL), cappuccino, and plain buns

Enjoy! :)

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