Today I want to introduce a typical staple of Shangdong Province on China’s east coast, which is usually eaten there instead of rice: Mantou(馒头). They are eaten there as a main meal or as an accompaniment to other dishes like Mapo Tofu.
But Mantou are spread not only there, but in general in northern China, like other desserts that are traditionally on the daily menu. But in China but eat all the rice ?! This is of course nonsense and just a silly prejudice like all German constantly eating sauerkraut and potatoes. ? Since wheat is grown because of the climate in North China and South China traditionally rice, also different eating habits have historically formed.
Mantou can best be compared with our Chinese Steamed Buns, being here completely dispensed with butter, eggs and milk. This is not surprising on … in China are milk products yes generally not very common. The Mantou recipe is really very basic. Flour, water, yeast, salt and sugar. That’s it. I recommend you the way to use dry yeast.
The specified amount of flour and water leaves the Mantou fluffy, yet be compact. After the dough has gone more than an hour it is formed into a roll and divided into equal portions. There are variants where just these slices are steamed or they are formed before steaming into balls.
- Mix the flour with the yeast, salt and sugar.
- Add the water and well, knead in a food processor or by hand for 5 minutes.
- Cover the dough in the bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.
- Thereafter, on a floured surface again well knead into a roll and cut into 6-8 pieces of equal size.
- The pieces into balls, place in a bamboo steam basket and let rise 10 minutes.
- In a pot, the size of the steam basket has to give about 4 cm of water, the basket sat on the pot and steam on high for 20 minutes.
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