First Blog – Man Tao Journey

Man Tao

Recipe 3

watch video and read her recipe otherwise it may not make total sense

I found this recipe very easy and quick as only 5mins kneading


Recipe 2

I think this one taste the best out of the 3


Recipe 1

The recipe which Susan Chanmeister used:


ManTao 6th August 2014, written by Wai Han Smith

My journey to making the perfect Man Tao Bao

I have tried 3 recipes so far and my favourite is the recipe 2, lireservation one.  The extra kneading and second proof really is worth the extra effort, however if are in a rush or wish to start with an easier recipe then recipe 3 only require 5minuites of kneading.

My Man Tao lessons learnt for the complete novice, as i have never used yeast or made bread before until now.

1)      The water must be luke warm not hot and not cold.  My first attempt I used freshly boiled water and killed the yeast, i was waiting for 8 hours and the dough still did not rise!

2)      Kneading, I think that action of kneading really helps produce a nicer product.  I see it as a bit of exercise and it is quite therapeutic  if you stick on your favourite tunes !

3)      Resting, when i first made Man Tao it was in the winter and the room temperature was not high enough for the dough to rise. I now pre heat the oven on very low (as in about 10 to 20 degrees) then switch it off. I then place the bowl of dough inside the oven.  The dough rises beautifully.  The longer you let the dough rise the better.  In recipe 2, it says 60mins, i rest mine for at least 2 hours.  I once let it rise for close to 4 hours and the dough was very airy.  The only time I did not put in the oven was when it was 28 in my kitchen on a hot day.  I think the temperature needs to be above 25 for a good rise.

4)      Recipe 2, it says to put the yeast with 30ml of warm water and rest for 10mins, i leave it for 20mins and i think it improves the end product.

5)      Second rise, using a damp cloth, my cloth was too wet and i ruined the man tao.  I now make the man tao, put it on grease proof and let it rest in the steamer pan.

6)      Steaming, I bought one of those aluminium Chinese steamers, the first time i used it i put the flame on high.  There was too much steam and the bao turned out really soggy.  A gentle constant steam is the best.

7)      During Steaming and Resting, i am very impatient and could not help but peak.  DO NOT do this and make sure you keep the lid on for the further 5mins ( i think 8mins is better).  When i lifted up the steamer to check half way through, the bao collapsed!

8)      Plain flour vs Chinese low gluten flour.  The normal plain flour works and is much cheaper, however the Chinese low gluten one really is whiter and fluffier.  I have used the cheap supermarket brand of plain flour and had fantastic results.


I hope this helps some of you to a make the perfect bao the first time round.  I still have not found a a lai wong recipe I like yet but have a promising one to try. The red bean one is nice and easy to make and fill.  I cheated and bought Chinese ready marinated belly pork from Asda, it was very nice for my Char Siu Bao, and unfortunately I have yet to master the pleating of the bao.  I also enjoyed the mince chicken, carrot and spring onion filling.  I am hooked and love having bao for breakfast.  I aim to try the glutinous rice bao/roll next.

1 thought on “First Blog – Man Tao Journey”

  1. WaiHan’s experiences and top tips are brilliant. She is an excellent baker. Following her tips I managed to make some soft and light Mantao Bao. This is the first time I’ve used yeast and made Bao. Thank you WaiHan for your support and help. I have given you 5 stars but it won’t let me highlight 5 stars. But you are defo more than 5 stars. Great teacher, making me feel so much more confident! 🙂


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