Growing up I’ve always had unconventional breakfasts, its most likely due to the fact that I’m Chinese and my parents didn’t really believe in eating bacon, eggs and toast in the morning. Instead I would get some sort of rice product, whether it be noodles, congee, steamed BBQ buns or rice itself, it was a guarantee that I wasn’t going to sit down at the table one day and find in front of me a bowl of cereal and some milk. I guess it makes sense as to why I still don’t drink milk to this day. Although over the many years my parents have shifted their ways and slowly adopted the North American breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast (we’re still working on the bacon part, but I don’t think my mom recognizes that as being healthy in anyway).
So it’s not a surprise that sometimes I wake up stare at in my pantry or fridge and literally stand there for hours and just stare as if everything sitting in those shelves is nothing that I consider food that early in the morning. Therefore everybody here shouldn’t be surprised that I decided instead to pull out some flour, surf the internet and find my little slice of breakfast heaven by making some steamed BBQ pork buns of my own and while I was at it, why not some Mantous or what’s better known as steamed buns with no filling. Yup, that’s right, no filling of any sort. Nothing but pure warm fluffy floured goodness at 9 am on a Saturday morning and all I can say is thanks mom and dad for never wavering when you saw all the other parents serving their kids cold cereals or fatty bacon.
Normal Chinese BBQ pork buns and Mantous are white due to the all-purpose flour or white bread flour used to make them. I wanted to add a little more fibre to my dough and decided to add a bit of whole wheat flour, if you’d prefer not to use whole wheat flour, just replace it with all-purpose flour.
2 cups of whole wheat flour
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tbsp sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
In a small bowl, measure out the 1/2 cup of water and add in the yeast and sugar. Set aside to allow the yeast to revive.
In a large bowl, add in the flour and make a small well in the middle, pour in 1 cup of water and slowly mix the flour in to the water. Add in the yeast mixture and keep folding the dough until all the water is taken up. If the dough is a little dry add a bit of water until the dough no longer crumbles.
Place plastic wrap over the dough and let rest until it doubles in size.
At this point you can make any type of filling you prefer to be wrapped in your bun or you can just make mantous which have no filling, which is what the following preparation will detail.
After the dough has doubled, flour the countertop and roll the dough until it’s roughly 1 inch thick. Pick up one end and slowly roll it towards the other end like a cinnamon roll. Once the dough is rolled up, cut in to desired width (roughly 2-3 inches) and allow each piece to sit until it doubles in size again.
If making individual steamed buns you can roll out each piece, stuff it and wrap it. Remember to allow for the double to rise again before steaming.
When ready to serve, place in a steamer for 15 mins.