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 staple food, but a wider choice of food is available from elsewhere in China and abroad. In the Guangdong region, unique steamed products have been developed according to local eating habits and preferences (Shuai, 1998). Here, Western influences have resulted in the consumption of small sweet steamed buns as a dessert, which is not a normal part of a Chinese meal. They are often dipped in sweetened condensed milk before consumption.

Huang and Quail (1996) defined three styles of steamed bread (Fig. 2.1) in China and in East and Southeast Asia: northern, southern, and Guangdong styles. These are shown in Table 2.2, with examples of the different varieties. Style means different ingredients and different quality characteristics. Steamed bread refers to steamed products without fillings and steamed bun to products with fillings. The differences in dough for steamed buns and rolls consumed across China are much less than for steamed breads.
FIGURE 2.1 Three styles of steamed bread, clockwise from left—Guangdong, northern, and

TABLE 2.1 Classification of Chinese Steamed Products

TABLE 2.2 Typical Varieties of Northern-, Southern-, and Guangdong-Style
Steamed Bread

Jizhi mantou, produced and consumed in northern China, is another type of steamed bread which is increasing in popularity. It has a slightly less firm and chewy characteristics due to the addition of an extra 2–3% water to the dough. Jizhi mantou means steamed bread made by machine. Both traditional
and jizhi types are referred to as northern style.

Su (2005) suggested classifying Chinese steamed breads into soft, firm, and very firm. In this system the soft types includes the Guangdong style and the southern style as defined by Huang and Miskelly (1991) and Huang and Quail (1997). The very firm type was traditional northern style as shown in Table 2.2. The firm types were defined as being intermediate between the traditional northern China and are equivalent to the northern-style steamed bread described in Huang’s system.

Refferences : Steamed Breads Ingredients, Processing and Quality. by : Sidi Huang and Diane Miskelly

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