Chinese bread or mantou, easy to make at home step by step

Chinese bread or mantou has its origin in northern China, where wheat is grown. This bread is usually eaten steamed. If taken as an accompaniment to food, it is called mantou while if stuffed is eaten, it is called baozi. It can be made sweeter or less sweet depending on its later use. When it becomes sweeter, it is usually fried and consumed with breakfast, as a snack or as a snack between meals. Fried mantou are more typical of southern China and can have different shapes: rectangular bun, ball-shaped, flower-shaped… A trick to make Chinese fried buns is that the first steam cooking can be reduced from 10 to 8 minutes of cooking That way, when they are fried, they finish cooking and that way they are not too hard.

recipe information

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • cooking time: 10 minutes
    • total time: 40 minutes (plus about 3 hours at rest)
    • rations: 8, 8 units
    • Category: loaves
    • type of cuisine: China
    • Calories per serving (kcal):115

Ingredients for Chinese bread or mantou for 8 people

    • 240 g plain wheat flour
    • 5 g dry baker’s yeast
    • 5g chemical booster (optional)
    • 10-20g sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
    • 125 g of lukewarm water
    • 500 ml of sunflower oil (for frying)

Ingredients for making Chinese bread@conkdekilo

How to make Chinese bread or mantou

To make the Chinese bread, put the 240 g of wheat flour in a bowl. A hole is made in the center and the 5 g of dry baker’s yeast, the 5 g of chemical booster and the 10-20 g of sugar are added.

Mix dry ingredients to make Chinese bread@conkdekilo

Add, little by little, 125 g of warm water while mixing with the help of some chopsticks.

Incorporate water to make the Chinese bread dough@conkdekilo

When the dough is more or less mixed, it is removed from the bowl and worked on a smooth and clean surface. Knead for ten minutes, cover and let rest for ten minutes.

knead chinese bread@conkdekilo

Knead again, cover and let the dough rest for another 10 minutes. This process lasts until when kneading, the dough has a smooth surface. Then, we let it rest for 2 hours covered, in the bowl at room temperature.

resting Chinese bread dough@conkdekilo

After 2 hours of rest, it is kneaded again and shaped into a thick and elongated cylinder.

Shape the Chinese bread dough into an elongated shape@conkdekilo

The dough is cut into portions of the same size that can be left like that (it is one of the shapes that this bread can be given) or can be rounded.

Cutting Chinese bread dough@conkdekilo

Put the Chinese bread dough in a steamer with a bit of baking paper underneath, so that the breads do not stick, but without covering the entire rack so that the steam can pass through. You can make a few holes in the baking paper that match the slots in the steamer.

Bounce Chinese bread dough@conkdekilo

Cover the steamer and let the loaves rest in it for another 30 minutes, before steaming them.

Steaming Chinese bread in the steamer@conkdekilo

Steam the buns for about 8-10 minutes. Since they are going to be fried later and will cook more, in this case it is better to cook them only for 8 minutes. Let them cool down and fry in plenty of oil at a temperature of 160ºC-170ºC until golden. You can check the temperature with a kitchen thermometer.

frying chinese bread@conkdekilo

Once the Chinese breads are fried, they are left to dry for a couple of minutes on kitchen paper.

dry fried chinese bread@conkdekilo

It is advisable to take warm, freshly made Chinese bread. It can be accompanied with tea or any other drink to taste.

Final presentation of Chinese bread@conkdekilo

Easy preparation summary

    1. Mix the dry ingredients for the Chinese bread dough in a bowl
    1. Add the lukewarm water to the mixture
    1. Knead leaving intervals of rest for the dough to relax, until it becomes smooth
    1. Let the dough rest covered for 2 hours
    1. Knead again and shape the dough into a cylinder.
    1. Cut the dough into portions and roll
    1. Place the portions of dough in the steamer
    1. Cover the steamer and let the portions of dough rest in it for half an hour
    1. Steam the buns for 8 minutes, let cool and fry them in plenty of sunflower oil
    1. Once fried, let the breads dry on kitchen paper
    1. Serve the breads accompanied by a tea or other drink to taste