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Steaming to keep warm

With that ‘wintery’ feeling starting to descend on us, we’re looking for ways to keep warm…

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Apart from right next to the gas heater, the other warmest spot in the house is the kitchen.

Usually baking would be a good way to keep warm, but I decided to try something a bit different.

Freshly steamed mantou buns!

So simple to make… and I know I’ve probably overused this phrase, but it’s really amazing what you can whip up with just four ingredients.

All you need is:
  • 3½ cups plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 plus ¼ cup water
My breadmaker came in handy here. All I needed to do was to combine the ingredients and set the machine to mix and knead the dough.

If you’re doing it by hand, first dissolve the yeast with ¼ cup water and set aside for a few minutes. Meanwhile, combine the flour and sugar. Add the yeast mixture with the remaining cup of water to the flour and sugar and mix together until a dough forms. Knead the dough for ten minutes then set aside to rise for 1½ to 2 hours. When the dough has doubled in bulk, punch down and knead for a few minutes.

Now you’re ready to shape the buns. Roll the dough into a long 30cm roll about 4cm in diameter, then slice them across into mini rolls. You should get about 12 pieces depending on the size. Cover and let the buns rise for about 45 minutes. The picture below shows the buns after the second rising.

Steam the buns over high heat for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let is sit for 10 minutes. Don’t remove the cover until after the 10 minutes, otherwise the buns may dent slightly when the heat escapes.

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We’ve been enjoying these for breakfast this week.

I also shaped the buns into these clam shapes to serve with stewed pork belly.

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Try this recipe for the stewed pork belly.

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