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This is a basic dough for steamed buns (mantou) or steamed filled buns (baozi). These fluffier, white buns are more similar to the ones sold by street vendors in China, but less healthy than the whole wheat version above. These buns are a popular breakfast meal or dinner side, and are filled with an astonishing variety of things, or baked with an amazing number of flour substitions, from corn to buckwheat.
- Mix the yeast and flours in a large bowl.
- Dissolve the sugar and add the peanut oil in the water, which should be 120-130 degrees.
- Add water mixture to the flour bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Knead dough until it becomes a consistent ball, adding milk or more flour as needed (I usually end up using a tad more than 1/2 cup of milk).
- Cover dough in a bowl and allow to rest 10 – 15 minutes.
- Remove dough, pound it down, and re-knead until it forms a fully elastic dough ball.
- Place ball in a greased, covered bowl and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled or tripled in bulk.
- Divide into 16-24 small dough balls, or roll out into one large flat rectangle on a floured surface.
- Flatted dough balls with a rolling pin, OR measure 3 – 5 inch rounds out of the pressed rectangle.
- Fill each flat round with roughly 2 tbs of the filling of your choice in the center. Pull the dough on all sides from the corners up to the top, and ‘twist’ to close.
- Steam filled buns for 15 – 25 minutes over high heat.
- NOTE: Plain buns can be obtained by simply omitting the filling.
Simple and easy to make!!