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Classification of Steamed Breads and Buns (Part 1)

Various forms of steamed products such as steamed bread, buns, and twisted rolls have developed throughout Chinese history (Table 2.1). These were regionally based on differences in geography, weather, agricultural products, and eating habits. Thus different formulations, processing methods, and quality preferences evolved. In northern China, which is a semiarid region, wheat is the main crop and steamed bread is a staple food. Northern-style steamed bread with firm, elastic, and cohesive eating quality is preferred as it provides greater satiety. The steamed bread should also have good chewing properties and a natural wheat flavor.
In southern China, which has a warm climate, rice rather than wheat is the staple food. Popular breakfast foods in the south include southern-style steamed bread and rice porridge. Southern-style steamed breads which are soft and a bit chewy are preferred over the traditional northern-style breads. In the Guangdong region of southern China, rice is the st…

Similarities between Stemed Buns and Other Wheat-Based Products

Other wheat-based products with fillings have developed throughout the world. Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) and European ravioli are prepared from thin wrappers similar to noodle or pasta dough sheets which are then used to enclose fillings. Other examples of European dumplings include pelmeni, pierogi, and kreplach. Unlike steamed buns, these doughs are not yeasted and the products are cooked by boiling. Germknoedel is a yeasted dumpling or steamed bun often filled with cooked plums and is a specialty of Austria and Bavaria. A related product, dampfnudeln, is fried to create a crispy base before steaming. The method of cooking is similar to that used for Chinese dumplings, although the characteristics and taste of the products are completely different.

CURRENT STATUS In China and other developing parts of Asia, there has been a rapid commercialization of the food and food distribution sectors. In the cities, manual and semimechanized production has been replaced by more efficient automat…

Similarities and Differences Between Baked and Steamed Bread

There are many similarities between Western bread and steamed bread. Western bread and steamed bread are both fermented wheaten products. Both are light, porous, flavorsome, and easily digested. Production steps are similar for both, except that Western bread is baked in an oven above 200°C, whereas steamed bread is cooked in a steamer. The differences are described below.
1. Ingredients The majority of steamed breads require only wheat flour, water, and yeast or sourdough. Guangdong-style steamed breads may contain additional ingredients such as fat and sugar. In Western bread making, other ingredients such as fat, sugar, salt, milk powder, emulsifier, and bread improvers are commonly used. Western bread requires flour with higher protein content and good protein quality compared with steamed bread (Rubenthaler et al., 1992), while a wider range of protein content is suitable for steamed bread (Huang and Hao, 1994). Flour color is more critical for steamed bread, as it should have a …

Steamed Product Types

China is the world’s largest producer of wheat, which is mainly grown in the north, and so it is in the north that steamed bread or mantou is a staple food. It is usually eaten hot and can be consumed at all meals. In southern China, which is a rice-growing area, steamed bread is eaten mostly at breakfast. Steamed bread popularity has spread throughout China, and can be found even in remote areas.
Steamed bread was introduced to Japan during the Song and Yuan Dynasties. Lin Jingyin introduced steamed bread to Japan and this is celebrated annually (Ni, 2004). According to the Japanese pronunciation, steamed bun is called “manju” and products consumed have various types of fillings such as bean paste, meat, curry, sweet and sour pork, walnut, vegetables, prawn, beef, and shell fish. Manju can also be made with rice flour. In Korea, steamed products are the second most popular wheat product after cold buckwheat noodles known as naengmyon (Nagao, 1995).
Yum cha, which literally means “dr…

Introduction to Steamed Bread

Wheat was grown in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and Gansu and Henan Provinces in northern China more than 5000 years ago, as has been verified by radiocarbon dating (Dodson et al., 2013). Early Chinese characters found on “oracle bones” (tortoise shells or ox bones used as a form of divination), dating from the Shang Dynasty (1751–1122 BCE), provide written evidence of wheat being widely grown throughout Henan (Fan, 1982). Flour milling commenced during the Warring States period, 475–221 BCE (Chen, 1994, 1995) and became widespread. During this time, the text “Mozigenzhu” recording the work of the famous ancient philosopher Mozi contains a reference to “bing,” which is the common name of cooked wheaten food at that time (Wang, 1984; Zeng, 2002).
Flour-based foods developed further during the Han Dynasty (206–220 AD) and boiled noodles and sesame seed breads gained popularity. It is believed that steamed breads and buns were first produced during the Three Kingdoms period (220–280 …

Baking

1. Why does sandwich bread made from our flour (100% DNS) have a coarser texture when xylanase is added. Whereas we would expect the opposite effect? Xylanases create a finer crumb structure by optimizing the gluten-pentosan network. The network is then able to form thinner membranes so that more and smaller bubbles are formed. The effect depends on the properties of this network (natural fluctuations are possible) and particularly on the properties and dosage of the xylanases. Many xylanases from Trichoderma and also an overdose of other xylanases result in a coarser pore structure. Naturally the processing conditions have an impact on the effect of the enzymes too. A high water addition rate, high dough temperatures and long fermentation increase the tendency towards a coarser crumb.
2. How can crustiness be improved? Given identical baking processes, flour with a lower protein content tends to yield bread with a better and longer-lasting crustiness. Malt flour, amylases and DATEM im…

Rye

1. Is there rye breeding just as there is wheat breeding? Although some rye is grown and bred in the USA and Australia, 90% of all rye comes from Europe. Since t hybrid varieties were introduced around 1970 there has been tremendous progress in respect of higher yields and less dependence on soil characteristics.
2. What biochemical properties are characteristic of rye? The very brief secondary dormancy of rye often results in signs of sprouting in the early stages of ripening. They are marked by increased enzymatic activity. To a certain extent the role of the gluten in wheat is taken on by the pentosans in rye (content : 7-10%). The insoluble part of the pentosans counts as dietary fibre. Rye starch consists of about 25% amylose and 75% amylopectin; the starch grains are mainly of the “B” type (diameter approximately 10 ┬Ám). Medium-sized starch grains are now thought to have special technical functions in respect of shelf-life. The baking properties of rye flours are determined larg…

Durum, Pasta and Noodles

1. Where is durum wheat grown? Throughout the world, provided that the climatic conditions are suitable (warm and dry). The biggest exporting countries are Canada, USA and Australia.
2. Is there an alternative to durum wheat? No. In spite of all the successful breeding and selection with soft and hard wheat and so much technological development there is no alternative. But the properties of pasta made from Triticum aestivum can be greatly enhanced by adding egg, gluten and especially enzymes.
3. What importance does flour treatment have for the quality of pasta? We occasionally find pasta flours that have been treated with ascorbic acid. It is doubtful whether they have a positive effect on the end product. It is probably more a question of adherence to specifications whose values have been determined by rheological methods. But enzymes, especially those with a hemicellulolytic or lipolytic effect, can bring about a great improvement in quality. However, in most cases their use will depe…

Ready-Mixed Flour

1. What advantages do ready-mixed flours have over ordinary bakers and house hold flours? The purpose of ready-mixed flours is to make the production of certain groups of baked goods quicker, simpler and therefore cheaper. Since ready-mixed flours contain all or most of the dry ingredients of the baked product, many steps in the baking process can be carried out simultaneously, simplified and rationalized.
2. What groups of baked goods are suitable for production with ready-mixed flours? In principle all groups, with the exception of very special products. The specific advantages lie in the fact that the flours contain the optimum ingredients and additives for each group of products. In contrast to “normal” commercial flours this makes it possible to produce specific top qualities over a long period with standardized working methods.
3. Are there other reasons for producing and using ready-mixed flours besides the convenience aspect? A consideration that will become more and more impor…

Composite Flour

1. What are composite flours (CFs)? What are they developed and produced for? Tuberous plants rich in starch such as cassava, yams and sweet potatoes that grow in the dry regions of the world are not suitable for making conventional baked products on their own, but they can be put to good use in combination with wheat flour. This encourages the growing of local plant species, saves on hard currency and improves the supply of protein to the population.
2. What is the difference between composite flours (CFs) and ready-mixed flours? Whereas ready-mixed flours contain all the durable ingredients of the recipe for a specific baked product, CFs are just a mixture of different flours from plants rich in starch and protein, with or without wheat flour, for certain groups of baked goods.
3. What baked goods can be made with CFs? In principle all baked goods can be made with composite flour, but the loss of quality with yeast-risen products is often considerable. Pastry goods, on the other hand,…