Time simply flew while we were busy with crafting activity. It is October and the year 2013 has entered it’s last quarter, also the busiest quarter of the year, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.. then New Year countdown.
This is my first Fall edible craft recipe, the Cinnamon Pumpkin Mantou. Mantou is a Chinese steamed bun. The classic plain steamed mantou is soft and fluffy in texture. Various mantou recipes with added ingredients have been adapted over the time, wheat mantou, various type of filled mantou (bao), sweet potatoes mantou, yam mantou, red yeast mantou and of course pumpkin mantou. Besides the variation in tastes, mantou also comes in lots of styling, classic rectangular shape, braided shape, rose shape and pumpkin shape etc…
So… if there is already an existence of pumpkin mantou recipe, what makes my pumpkin mantou different from others? Well… In conjunction with the Fall season, I adapted my mom’s traditional oriental mantou recipe and develop it into a more Westerner style and taste. I named this fusion cinnamon pumpkin mantou “When East Meets Wests In The Fall”, it has the creamy cinnamon taste in it, yummy! I love it and can’t stop eating while I was fine-tuning the recipe to the perfect taste I like.
The shaping of mantou is another interesting thing I have learned. Unlike playdough or clay dough, food dough like bao, mantou, and bread are softer in texture. Due to the yeast effect, food dough will blow-up a bit during the shaping process. If the dough recipe is sensitive with shaping, the texture will collapse because it won’t proof accordingly as it was being interrupted. It is a whole new challenge to me to make this pumpkin mantou into an edible craft, it took me 3 batches of practice to make successful mantou with pumpkin shape. Hope you like it and try this recipe! They are perfect to go with soup or eat them alone when warm. Perhaps you can also adapt this recipe to make pumpkin bao with pumpkin filling inside, just my 2 cents.
Happy Fall!!! More recipes and crafts coming soon.
Cinnamon Pumpkin Mantou
Prepare Time: 45 minutes | Proofing Time : 45 minutes | Steaming Time: 15 minutes
150 gram pau flour (you can also use low-protein flour / all-purpose flour), sifted
100 gram pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 TBsp fine granulated sugar
1/2 TBsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder (1/2 tsp if you like a stronger cinnamon taste)
1/8 tsp salt
40 ml milk
Green food coloring
1. Wash, remove all seeds and skin from pumpkin, grate pumpkin to fine pieces by using a shredder. Place 100 gram of shredded pumpkin into a small bowl and cover lightly with food wrap, microwave in high power for 2 minutes.
2. Further mashed the pumpkin while it is still warm. Add sugar into the still warm pumpkin puree, stir and mix well until sugar dissolved. Add in instant yeast to the still warm pumpkin puree. Stir and mix well.
3. Sift flour and cinnamon powder and add in salt, mix well.
4. Add pumpkin puree and milk into flour, stir and mix them by using a chopstick until it forms crumbs. Add in oil and knead with hand or machine for 20 minutes or until the dough doesn’t stick to your hand. Cut out about 5 gram from the dough, set aside.
5. Roll the big dough into a ball and proof it in the bowl, cover with a wet damp cloth for 45 minutes or until it is about double the original size.
6. Add a tiny bit of green food coloring and some cinnamon powder into the small dough. knead until well combined and give an olive green color. Proof the small dough.
7. After 45 minutes, take out the large dough, punch down by rolling it flat. Equally divide it into 10 small parts (around 30 gram each). Roll into balls and place them onto pieces of 2″x 2″ parchment paper.
8. Shape the dough into pumpkin shape by using a toothpick. Dust the toothpick with flour it if sticks on the dough.
9. Cut the small green dough into 10 parts.
10. Place 1 green dough on the pumpkin as the stem. Repeat for all the pumpkin dough.
11. Heat up the steamer on high power until the water boils. Reshape the pumpkin if necessary because during this second proofing, the lines of the pumpkin will be diminishing. Place the pumpkin mantou to the steamer and steam for 15 minutes.
12. Mantou is best served warm.
Use instant yeast that is meant for sweet dough, I used Fermipan Brown.
Prepare ingredients as stated above.
I used a microwave to soften the shredded pumpkin, but you can use a steamer to do it, make sure to cover the bow with food wrap by not wetting the pumpkin during steaming.
Sift flour and cinnamon powder. Add salt into it.
Cut parchment paper to about 2″ x 2″ square.
Knead dough until well combine and the dough does not stick to your hand, it takes about 20 minutes. You can use a machine to knead for the same length of time.
Cut about 5 gram out from the dough, set aside. Roll the big pumpkin mantou dough into a ball.
Cover it with wet damp cloth to proof it for about 45 minutes.
Add a tiny bit of green food coloring and some cinnamon powder to the small dough.
Knead it until the food color and cinnamon powder is evenly combined to give an olive green color.
Proof the small dough together with the big pumpkin mantou dough.
After 45 minutes, the pumpkin mantou dough is about double the size (if it is not, cover it up again and leave it for another 15 minutes).
Punch down the dough by rolling it flat on the working table.
Equally divide the dough into 10 parts (about 30 gram each).
Roll them into balls and place them on the parchment papers.
Shape the pumpkin with a toothpick by first outlining the crease lines. Dust the toothpick with flour it if sticks on the dough.
Prick along the centerline of the mantou dough to mark the hemisphere line, then prick again to mark quardro-sphere, then octa-sphere.
Repeat the same to the rest of the dough.
When you have done around 5 of them, turn on the steamer and let the water boil while you continue to shape the rest.
By the time all the 10 pumpkins have done, the first few pumpkins (from top center to the right) are blowing up a bit due to yeast reaction.
Pierce the dent lines a little more if necessary just before going into the steamer.