Recipe: Allergen-friendly mantou (steamed wheat buns)

by amanda
0 comment

Last updated on July 4th, 2019 at 03:27 am

I’ve been meaning to try my hand at mantou (steamed wheat buns) making for a while. I saw some irresistibly cute baos at and wondered if an allergen-friendly version could be made.

Corey’s been eating the Tiong Bahru baos for a while now and their lotus paste baos do not contain eggs, dairy and peanuts. Some commercial mantou brands are also free of these allergens. But since we are headed to the Toy Story Carnival this week, I thought I’d make my own version for fun.

See the final product below! Corey insisted on bringing Forky mantou to school this morning. He definitely prefers this homemade version over the store-bought ones.


Super Simple Ingredients

The ingredients are REALLY simple. Just water (or plant milk), sugar, plain flour, oil and yeast. All can be found in local supermarkets. Read on for the recipe below.

Recipe: Allergen-friendly mantou (steamed wheat buns)

Allergen-friendly (no egg, no dairy, no peanuts) mantou (steamed wheat buns)

57 SharesShare53Pin4ShareTweetLast updated on July 4th, 2019 at 03:27 am I’ve been meaning to try my hand at mantou (steamed… allergy friendly recipes allergen friendly mantous, egg dairy and peanut free, breakfast, kiddy snack European Print This
Serves: 10 buns (50g each) Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • Plain flour 300g
  • Plant milk (or water) 150ml
  • Dry yeast 3g
  • Caster sugar 40g
  • Rice bran oil 6g
  • Cocoa powder and food coloring for decorations. 


  • Add water to stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into mixer.
  • Pour all the flour and oil. 
  • Start mixer on speed 1 (low) till all ingredients combine into 1 ball
  • Turn up mixer speed to 4 (medium) to condition dough for 5 minutes or till it is smooth and shiny. 
  • Divide dough into 10 portions (or measure roughly 50grams each) Leave a few small knobs of dough to be coloured for decorations.
  • Knead each 50g dough for a few minutes to remove the air bubbles. Shape into a nice dome.
  • Use food scissors to cut make 3 cuts at the top for the fork design. 
  • Then colour the small knobs of dough with black, blue and red for Forky's face. 
  • Use plant milk or water as glue to stick the eyebrows, eyes and mouth onto Forky. 
  • Place the made Forky onto a piece of parchment paper. Place in a dark warm place to allow proofing (fermentation) for an hour at roughly 45 degrees celsius (or till the dough rises roughly by 1.5X of original)
  • Steam for 15-20 minutes till it expands a little more and it's done. 
  • Extra buns can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month. 

Critical DOs and DON’Ts

Some online recipes state to heat up the steamer with water then switch off the fire and place mantous to proof this way. I heated up water in a pressure cooker and switched off the power when the water warmed up to replicate the same process. My mantous proofed up in roughly half an hour instead of 1 hour. The short proofing time was likely due our hot and humid atmosphere. The key here is to check often. Once the dough has grown to roughly 1.5X of original size and the dough springs back nicely when you poke it, it’s ready for steaming.

The trick to getting smooth and shiny mantou is in the kneading. Never skip this step as it is very important to get rid of the air bubbles. If a few random bubbles appear, you can use a toothpick to pop them gently.

  • DON’T proof at a temperature higher than 45 degrees celcius – or you will end up with shrivelled mantous like my goats (see picture below)
  • DON’T leave unattended dough uncovered – or you will end up with shrivelled mantous like my goats (see picture below)
  • DON’T let your little ones handle the buns before steaming – or you will end up with disfigured mantous
  • DO steam them all straight before refrigerating or freezing.
  • DO make sure water from the steam does not make your buns wet. Wipe the cover often or cover with a cloth to prevent dripping if possible.
  • DO eat them soonest for the best taste
Proofed at higher than 45-degree celsius = shrivelled up Billy Goat and Gruff!
Fancy a chocolate Forky?
I’m so generous Korkor.. I give you…. a nostril!!
Alright time to eat this Hamm!

Why homemade versus store-bought

These are actually way more technical to make then they look! I told a friend that these are a true labor of love to make but the look on Corey’s face makes it all worth it. Plus these do not contain preservatives so are healthier than store-bought ones. Just remember to eat them quick (3 days in the refrigerator) or freeze them and eat within 1 month.

I’m so cute AND i’m healthy, how can I last longer than 3 days in the fridge without being eaten?

I’m working on a video for this recipe as the kneading and proofing feel like it needs more details. Till then, have a go at making these and hit me up if you want some tips!

Share and like this post and help others who might find it useful!

Connect with me by liking our Facebook Page @projectsimplicitysg , follow me on Instagram @amandaprosimple or send an email to say hi at

If you would like to join my growing parent support group, you can find me and my fantastic allergy mums at

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More