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论老子

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Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun)  

2014-12-08 13:23:05|  分类: Fusion Cooking |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Background: A buddy from Northern China asked me how to ensure the consistency in making delicious mantou because each time he changed maid, his wife has to teach the new maid all over again.  

Challenges: Yeast is the single most important element about the mantou or bun or bread or nan making process. Temperature is the most difficult to control factor because the warm temperature of our hands can hasten the yeast growing process. The yeast must not grow too fast and not before the kneading process is completed to ensure an evenly distribution of sugar and yeast over the entire dough.   

My brilliant ideas: One, grow the yeast the night before. Two, replace grain sugar and plain water with a sugar dissolved in water solution. Three, add flour to the sugar solution instead of the normal method of adding water to flour.               

Ingredients: Wheat flour, sugar, yeast.  

Procedure: (Broken down into four sections)

Section one: Grow the yeast

Step 1: Add three cc of wheat flour into a small bowl.

Step 2: Add around 100 granules of yeast into the above. Note: You only need a little yeast because the yeast multiplies itself after consuming the added sugar.

Step 3: Add grain sugar. (10% of the wheat flour by weight.)

Step 4: Add a little water.

Step 5: Beat up the above mixture thoroughly.

Step 6: Leave the above well-mixed dough over-night for the yeast to reproduce. Remark 1: The yeast consumes the sugar in the dough mixture and multiplies fairly quickly at room temperature. Remark 2: Once all the sugar has been consumed, it will stop multiplying. Remark 3: You can see the dough is fluffy and lots of bubbles. Some of them are quick big in size.

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

Section two: Knead the dough

Step 1: Add in cold (cooler than room temperature is better) plain water into a large bowl. Note: The traditional method is to add water to the heap of wheat flour. Picture below is a mixture of sugar solution dissolved in water.  Very important note: At 4% of wheat flour by weight. Remark: Too much sugar results in a fluffy mantou or bun that collapses. Too little sugar means the finished product, i.e. mantou or bun is not fluffy enough.   

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

Step 2: Add flour to the bowl of sugar solution.

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 3: Pour in the grown yeast into the bowl. Note:Keep to a ratio of grwon yeast volume to flour at 1:3. This is an optimum ratio. 

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 4: Knead the mixture into dough. Add a little flour at a time, until the dough is not sticky anymore Note: Because both the water and yeast are cooler than room temperature, when the kneading process has completed, the yeast had not started to multiply. Remark: This is the desired situation.

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Step 6: Leave the whole dough in one complete lump aside at room temperature. Cover it up with a peice of damp cloth. Let the yeast multiplies. Remark: Depending on the room temperature, the time requires to complete the consumption of the sugar content differs. Note:  During experiment, the dough was left for one night.  See below. The dough had doubled in size.

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子   

Section three: Shaping the bun or mantou

Step 1: Grab a portion of the dough and form it into the shape required.  

Step 2: Place it into the steaming basket.

Step 3: Carry on to shape the remaining dough.

Remark: This is a complete change in the procedure from traditional method where the dough was formed nicely into the desired shape before allowing the yeast to multiply.

Section four: Steam the bun or mantou

Step 1: Pour some water into the wok.

Step 2: Place the basket of bun or mantou into the wok. Ensure the water level does not touch the bottom of the basket.

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子
  Step 3: Boil the water in order to steam the bun or mantou. See below for the steamed bun or mantou.
Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Finished Product:

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 Remarks:

1) It is fluffy. The appearance of cavities, large and small, is the best proof.

2) The bun or mantou is round. There is no sign of the highest point of the bun or mantou collapsing.

3) It is chewy a result of kneading the dough thoroughly. Remarks: The protein molecules join up together as a long string after repeated kneading.  

Note: 4% of sugar to the wheat flour by weight is the correct mixture.

Advance techniques:

1) Instead of cool down plain water, the use of cooled down soup solution is a much better way in adding fragrance and varying taste. Note: This procedure allows you to break away from the traditional method.  Picture below is a banana-based sweet solution that was added in step 1 of section two.  

 2) During section three, you can add in all kinds of fillings. Note: Again, this procedure allows you to break away from tradition. There is no need to prepare for the gravy. Please come back to this blog article frequently as I shall be adding in many more pictures of how different filings can be added to a simple steamed bun or mantou.

Variants:

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子

 1) Almond chocolate as filing

Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子
2) Beef rendang as filing (added 1/2 kg of mashed potato to 1 kg of beef) 
Advanced method of making mantou (plain steamed bun) - 行天之道 - 论老子
3) Mutton rendang
 
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