Mantou is a type of Chinese steamed bun. Unlike baozi, it is normally without filling. It can be eaten plain or sandwiched with stuffed meat. It is also great for dipping into gravy or curry sauce.
Mantou doesn’t have to be the usual plain boring white. It can be colourful as well by adding vegetable puree. I particularly like to use pumpkin puree as it gives the mantou a bright yellow look and extra nutritional value. Besides that, pumpkin puree can also make the mantou extra moist and flavourful. These pumpkin mantou are super soft and moist when warm, and remain soft even a couple of hours after steaming.
Choose pumpkin that is bright in orange, an indication of ripeness and sweetness. Different type of pumpkin will yield different level of sweetness and flavour. So, adjust the amount of sugar that best suit your palate. You will also have to pay careful attention to the amount of water added to the dough. It is much affected by the concentration level of pumpkin puree. Some puree are more diluted than the others. To be safe, add water little bit by little bit to the dough, and knead it until it is soft and smooth (Note: You don’t have to knead it until pass the membrane test like bread dough.)
This pumpkin mantou recipe is very easy to make. It requires lesser effort in kneading and proofing time than making bread. The size of the dough for this recipe is quite small and can be handled easily. I kneaded it with my hands, but of course, you are free to do it with either bread maker or kitchen mixer (with a dough hook).
I must admit that I am still a novice in making mantou. Although my mantou were far from perfect, I felt elated when my family devoured the whole batch within a day. They even became one of my son’s favourite school snack.
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