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 …


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…


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…