Embark on a culinary journey with whole wheat mantou, a delightful twist on the classic soft and elastic treat. While “whole wheat” often conjures images of heavier textures, this rendition surprises with its remarkably airy and springy nature. Here’s to redefining and elevating the traditional Mantou experience!
A Southern Touch to a Northern Delight!
The beauty of Mantou lies in its adaptability. As someone from the South, where rice rules, I’ve found a newfound appreciation for these versatile steamed buns. They’re the ideal grab-and-go snack, and with a stash in the freezer, you’re always minutes away from satiating those sudden hunger pangs. Plus, every now and then, it’s refreshing to switch from the usual staples.
To those unfamiliar with the specifics, Mantou generally denotes steamed buns without any fillings. Contrast this with Baozi, which encloses delicious fillings within. And for the baked variety, whether filled or not, it’s “mianbao”. A little linguistic trivia for your next dinner conversation!
Creative Ways to Relish Your Mantou
Mantou can be the star of diverse culinary adventures! Enjoy it alongside your main meal, reimagine it as a sandwich bun, or slice and fry for a crispy treat. Fancy a soup? Tear Mantou into bits for a delightful texture. If you’re in for a nostalgic experience, toast them over open flames or indulge in the deep-fried version, paired with sweet condensed milk. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination!
- 400 ml warm milk
- 3 grams active dry yeast
- 12 grams sugar
- 400 grams all-purpose flour
- 170-200 grams whole wheat flour (depending on your kitchen’s humidity)
Steps to Fluffy Perfection:
- Warm the milk just enough to comfortably touch. Mix in the yeast and sugar until dissolved. In a big bowl, blend this milk mixture with the all-purpose flour. The resulting mixture will be moist. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until its volume doubles.
- Gradually add in the whole wheat flour until your dough feels smooth, elastic, and non-sticky. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
- Set up your steamer with cold water, ensuring the water level doesn’t touch the Mantou during the process. To prevent sticking, either oil your steam rack or line with small parchment squares.
- Knead the dough and split into 12 uniform portions. Shape each into balls or cylinders. Place them on the steaming rack, maintaining a 1-inch gap between each. Depending on the size of your steamer, you might need multiple racks or batches.
- Allow the Mantou to rest in the steamer for 30-45 minutes, ensuring they double in size. Once ready, steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Then, without opening the lid, turn off the heat and wait for another 5 minutes. This step guarantees smooth, pillowy Mantou!
- Relish them hot off the steamer or let them cool to store. They remain fresh in the refrigerator for about a week or can be frozen. Reheat via steaming for 8-10 minutes or microwave for 30-60 seconds, and they’re as good as fresh!