Tuesday 14 April 2015

Pumpkin Mantou/Pumpkin Steamed Bun 南瓜馒头

This is another pumpkin dish that I did for my son, camouflaged in mantou, or chinese steamed bun. He adores mantous and baos, but hates pumpkin. I just can't just leave something so nutritious like pumpkin alone. I used my trusted basic bao recipe and adapted it to add pumpkin puree. The result is this golden, fluffy, gorgeous mantou that is plain delicious. It can be eaten as it is, or used as an accompaniment to dishes that calls for mantou. You can also add different fillings in the middle to give it more flavour.

I am quiet a lazy bum. Therefore, I dislike the process of rolling bao skin individually and pleating it one by one. Mantou is always a better choice as I could just slather the filling, roll and cut (not unlike a bread roll). It is ok if it looks a bit sloppy as I know it will eventually end up in some very grateful tummies. This time, I added red bean paste to my pumpkin mantou as my son simply adores the combination. However, I only added a little (hence, the not so pretty looking mantou) as I do not want my son to consume too much sugar. Although compromised on looks, I assure you the taste is delicious and I am completely satisfied with the outcome. The pumpkin mantou is as soft and as pillowy as those store bought ones. But this one is better because it has no preservatives, nutritious....and with lots of love!

My sloppy pumpkin mautou with a little red bean paste

Pumpkin Mantou/Pumpkin Steamed Bun 南瓜馒头

1 tsp instant yeast
100 ml lukewarm water
40 g sugar
150 g bao flour (I used Bluekey)

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (approximately 100 g pumpkin, steamed and pureed)
80 g bao flour

30 g bao flour
1 tsp double action baking powder
1/4 tsp ammonium bicarbonate (臭粉)
25 g shortening, lard or oil

Cooking instruction

1. Add yeast and sugar into lukewarm water and set aside for 10 mins. Add mixture in bao flour and stir until well combined. Dough texture should be like a very thick paste and should be very sticky. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for the yeast to ferment for approximately 1 hour or at least double its size.

Pumpkin puree

2.  When dough has risen to double or more then original size, add in ingredients B and mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Knead the dough for 5 mins until the dough is elastic and shiny. The dough should be less sticky after kneading. Brush the dough with some oil and cover in cling wrap again. Leave the dough to rise overnight in the fridge. Alternately, leave the dough to rise until well risen in about 2 hours.

Roll dough into a rectangle

3. Punch air out from the dough. Add in ingredient C and knead to combine. Add a little flour if you feel dough is still too soft. Once it is well combined, divide dough into two equal pieces.  Oil the worktop and roll dough out into a large rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. You can add filling on the dough before rolling the dough or leave it plain.

I added a little red bean paste for taste

4. Roll up the dough to form a log. Cut the log into equal pieces and put on top of a piece of parchment paper. Once all the dough has been shaped to your desired shape, set aside to proof for about 30 minutes.

Roll into a log and cut into equal pieces

5. Boil water in steamer or wok. Put pumpkin mantou into the steamer and steam in moderate high heat for about 15 minutes. Switch off fire and leave mantou in the steamer for 2 minutes. Mantous are best served hot.


1. If you are not looking to make a very fine and white bao, normal bao flour will suffice. The HK bao flour that is normally used to make bao costs nearly twice as much as this bao flour.

2. I made my pumpkin puree by steaming the pumpkin until soft and then running it through a sieve. Do remove all excess moisture from the pumpkin before pureeing.

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