purple sweet potato mantou (汤种紫署馒头)

Playing with yeast is addictive. 🙂

Mantou is a special love of mine. The Hong Kong TVB period dramas that I’ve watched since young always have swordsmen (and women) who would pack these mantous for eating during a long journey. I always picture these as soft fluffy white bread that would taste like heaven.

In actual fact, a cold mantou can usually be used as a substitute for a rock. I have attempted making mantous before. Once cooled to room temperature, they were inedible. To eat them, you’d have to steam them again.

Buns made using the water roux method are softer and fluffier due to the additional water content. So I thought, how about using water roux to make mantou? Sure enough there were plenty of recipes for water roux plain mantous on the net.

I was not able to find a recipe that uses water roux method and purple sweet potato so I just used a recipe with water roux method for a normal mantou, added sweet potatoes and crossed my fingers.

It worked. I still find the method used for making butter buns to yield softer buns though.

Purple Sweet Potato Mantou (汤种紫署馒头)


  • 10 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams water
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk flour and water until combined. Cook over a low flame until mixture reaches 65 degrees C. If you do not have a thermometer, cook the flour mixture until it thickens. Cover with cling wrap and let it cool.

Main dough

  • 380-400 grams pau flour/Hong Kong flour
  • 5 grams instant yeast
  • 50 grams sugar
  • 100 grams warm water
  • 150 grams mashed purple sweet potatoes mixed with 50 grams of water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable cooking oil
  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the warm water and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and tangzhong except oil and knead to form a dough.
  3. Add oil and knead till dough is shiny.
  4. Place dough in a lightly-oiled large bowl and let it proof for 30-40 minutes until double in size.
  5. Punch dough lightly to remove gas. Knead on a lightly floured board for 5 minutes. Form into a ball and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough in two for easy management. Roll the dough to form a rectangle around 25cm x 15cm. Roll the dough into a swiss roll and pinch the seams shut. Cut the dough into about 6 pieces, place on a piece of pau paper and put into a steamer.
  7. Proof dough for 30 minutes.  Steam over high heat for 10 minutes.

I was having fun with the ‘ends’ of the dough roll. To make the mantous look better, I cut off the ends and shaped them in a bad attempt at making rose mantou. The ones I see on other blogs are fantastic! Mine are a bit…er…out of shape and fat. Haha.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s