Rose Shaped Mantou (Steamed Bread 馒头)

I saw a video on YouTube on making rose shaped mantou 馒头 (Chinese steamed bread) and I was really keen to try it out. However the ingredients and method used in the video clip yielded a sticky dough which was unsuitable to work with for shaping the mantou, hence I tweaked the recipe on my second try.

I have also used the “dough” setting on a bread machine to knead the dough, but you may knead by hand if desired.

Basic Mantou Recipe 馒头 

Makes 10 rose shaped mantou

  • 1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2.5 cups of all purpose flour, sifted
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cups of water
  • pink food colouring (if desired)

– Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bread machine, and slowly add the yeast/water mixture.

– Add the food colouring to the 2/3 cup of water. I used Wilton paste colouring so that a small quantity would give the pale pink colouring I was going for. For a darker shade of pink, add a bit more of the colouring.

– Slowly add the water into the flour mixture. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky. Once the dough has come together, stop adding water.  If the dough is too sticky, add more flour to the mixture.

– Let rise for 45 minutes or so, until doubled in size.

To shape the dough

– Punch down the dough and flour the work surface and rolling pin.

How to make rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

How to make rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

1. Roll out 4 pieces of dough in decreasing sizes and layer as shown in the first picture. The pieces of dough do not have to be evenly shaped.

2. Start rolling up the dough tightly from the smallest size. The smallest piece should be in the middle and the largest piece outside,

3. This is how the rolled up dough should look.

4. Cut the center of the roll with a knife.

How to make rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

How to make rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

Stand the dough cut side down on the work surface, and it should look like the dough in the right hand side of the picture above. Use your fingers to gently spread the petals slightly so it resembles the rose on the left side of the picture.

Place each rose shaped bread on a square of baking paper and set on the steamer tray. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 15 minutes before steaming. Steam for 15-17 minutes until cooked.

And here is the final product. It would be good for Valentines Day too!

Rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

Rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头)

The kids really enjoyed it, especially Z2. She ate up both pieces in her snack bento below and asked for more. I added some caramel corn and yellow cherry tomatoes into her snack.

Rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头) bento

Rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头) bento

Hope the pictures and description gives a clear idea on how to make this Rose shaped steamed bread (mantou 馒头). I will post another version tomorrow.

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26 thoughts on “Rose Shaped Mantou (Steamed Bread 馒头)

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