If you’ve never heard of mantou, it’s all good. These are basically Chinese steamed buns with chestnuts kneaded throughout the dough. My mom made these the other day, and I had to post the recipe. These Chestnut Mantou are so good!
So, the great thing about mantou is how easy their are the make. My general rule is that the dough for this recipe needs to be stiffer/thicker than a normal bread dough. Since they are steamed, the raw dough doesn’t not that much moisture. Steaming will add enough fluffiness while the dough can still hold its shape.
For this recipe, I used freshly steamed chestnuts. If you don’t have access to fresh chestnuts, I would recommend roasted chestnuts or frozen chestnuts. If you use frozen, steam them first until their are smash-able and then knead them into the dough.
For the flour, I use unbleached all purpose flour because it lends the best flavor/texture. Of course, normal all purpose flour will work as well, but it may have less natural flavors or that light-tan color that is naturally in wheat.
To be completely honest, my mom didn’t measure anything when she made this so I am completely estimating. They may turn out differently, but you will certainly get fluffy buns!
5 Word Summary:
If you like chestnuts, check these recipes out:
If you like fluffy bread, this is totally for you. These are not only super easy to make, they are vegan, dairy-free, oil-free.
- 400 g unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup steamed chestnuts
- 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
- 225 g lukewarm water
In a bowl, combine the yeast and lukewarm water. Mix until the yeast dissolved. Allow to proof (start bubbling and foaming).
In the bowl of an electric mixer or just a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, chestnuts, and yeast-water. Knead on medium speed or by hand until the dough is elastic, homogeneous, and not sticky at all.
Just to be safe, make sure this dough is thicker/stiffer than stickier. This will work because these buns are steamed so they will get more moisture from there.
Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and allow the dough to proof in a warm place. I put mine in my oven with the light on but with no heat. Proof until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into whatever size you'd like. Remember that they will expand in the steamer. Allow to proof a bit more while you warm up your steamer.
Once the water in your steamer begins to boil, place however many buns fit (make sure to leave from space in between them). Steam for 12 minutes. Then. turn the heat off, but do not lift the lid off until about 3 minutes have passed. When you lift the lid, make sure to bring it away from the pan because the condensation will fall onto the tops of the buns (which is bad!)