Soft White Bubble

November 28, 2005 by  
Filed under Die Cutting Machines and Supplies

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perfect soft-white-chinese steamed bun recipe?

I have literally tried every recipes out there found in internet, but no recipe was able to replicate the soft, white, chinese steamed bun that you can buy in package.

If you use american/instant yeast, the bun you have will have chaotic large air bubbles instead of small and evenly distributed air bubbles like ready-to-eat steamed bun.

If you use bleached flour from grocery, you will end up with white buns but rough and not as soft, smooth original bun.

Please chip in your ideas on how to create the perfect one just like we bought frozen in package. Soft, tiny air bubbles evenly distributed, packed but nor firm, and purely white steamed bun.

Like this:
http://www.fayda.com/breads/steambuns.shtml

but not this:
http://foto.tyst.nu/albums/Food/IMG_0427.sized.jpg
http://www.students.stedwards.edu/ksmithe/steamed_buns.jpg

You haven't given enough description for me to be sure which of the dozen or so types of "buns" you want. The most common steamed bread (called "man tou" in Mandarin) may be what you want but is not the same in each region of China. Whatever you tasted in your relaxing enjoyment of that place seemed like mana from heaven but it is to some degree the pleasant association with a happy time that enhances the memory of the taste.

In northern China, only wheat flour is used for making bread, never rice flour since rice is only made common in northern China in the last two generations. Likewise, wheat was not common in southern China two generations ago so they have only recently begun to eat bread as a main food. Wheat is not the same in China, France or America. Your result will not be the same unless you can get Chinese flour. Also, bleaching techniques are not precisely the same in China where they value what you noticed, extremely snowy white flour, as Americans did two generations ago. They also usually use a very finely ground flour so try either "cake flour" or sift it a few times to remove any trace of bran or course particles.

Don't use fast rising yeast. Sour-dough starter is sometimes used in China and will facilitate a slower rising and smoother texture but it adds a local flavor from air-born yeast that is strong in San Francisco and throughout much of America.

Kneading is important to reduce the size of the gas bubbles. Let the dough rise a second time after 20 minutes of kneading and then roll out all the bubbles, knead again for 20 minutes and let it rise only half as much. You can put the dough in the fridge for the second riding to slow it even more.

Sometimes I have seen quite a lot of pounding of the dough in much the same way as French beaten bread that also has a very fine texture. But too much stretching will enhance the glutinous quality and "man tou" does not typically have much elasticity.

Then put it in the steamers. Aluminum steamers are typically used for "man tou" because it will hold more heat than bamboo and make for a dryer texture, not so gooy as is often the case with small-scale shops that cannot afford the huge, aluminum steamers.

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