Archive for the ‘Bread’ Category

* Uyghur Bread

Posted on May 17th, 2017 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Bread, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Entree, Xinjiang.


Uyghur bread - IMG_4011

 

 

I have not been to Xinjiang myself and it’s on my bucket list of the places to visit.  I have been to many Uyghur villages in the big cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.  When I lived in Guangzhou, we would seek out these breads because they are the closest thing to bagels (this was in the early 90s before China opened up), in fact, this actually resembled bread as we know it, not some strange fluffy sponge that were available as bread then.

To make the bread stamp (durtlik/chekich), go to your hardware store and buy a woode.  T piece of knob or coat peg.  Then find somebody with good woodwork skill (Marco in my case), to knock in some nails so it looks like a nail brush.  Have fun.

Dough:
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 packet yeast
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 1/4 cups cold water

5-6 cups bread flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Toppings:
1 yellow onion, grated
2 Tablespoons nigella seeds
2 Tablespoons sesame seed
Cornmeal or semolina

Heat oven to 550F preferably with a pizza stone. If no stone is available, place baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Proofing the yeast: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add cold water to make a warm solution (105 – 115°F). Take half of this lukewarm water and dissolve in the yeast. Stir lightly, and let stand in a warm place until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 7 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)

Making the sponge. Add remaining water and half the flour. Whisk for about 8-10 minutes until big bubbles form. Let rest 30 minutes. Then all but 1 cup of flour, salt and oil and stir to combine.

Place remaining flour on a clean work surface. Transfer dough to floured surface and knead. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

In the meantime, squeeze the grated onion slightly to extract juice.

Once dough has doubled in volume, remove dough from the bowl and cut in quarters with out working it. Generously dust dough with flour and begin to roll out. Do this until dough is rolled to form a 8-inch circle that is 1/4-inch thick. Pick up the disc and then form a 1 inch band around the edge. Let dough rest for 10 minutes, covered with a towel. Transfer it to a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal (Alternatively use a parchment paper) then using a bread stamp (durtlik/chekich) or a fork. Prick the center of the bread to create holes so bread will remain flat. Brush dough with onion juice then smear in a quarter of the onion pulp on the dough. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and sesame seeds. Then slide dough onto heated stone and bake until golden and crisp, 8-10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and serve immediately. Repeat.

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* Chicken Dai Bao

Posted on October 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Cantonese, Chicken, Chinese, Chinese sausages, Course, Cuisine, Dim Sum, Eggs, Mushrooms.


This is my nephew, Christian’s, favorite bao!  We simply call it “Dai Bao” (translated “Big Bun”) coz it’s like ye big.  The size of a Big Mac, really. These days, it’s hard to find the Dai Bao. They are becoming almost extinct in this modern world of dainty dim sums. I call it the Dim Sum Evolution Theory! When my mom visits her grandchildren in Hong Kong, she brings a few of these Dai Baos with her from PJ.  The bao is filled with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, lap cheung sausages and my favorite part – half a hard boiled egg.

Chef’s tip: Marinating the chicken with cornstarch gives it a velvety texture. The best way to determine if the chicken is cooked through is by using a thermometer.

Ingredients:

1 portion of Basic Yeast Dough – see below

Marinade:
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, skinless, trimmed, vut into 1/2 inch strips
3 Tablespoons cilantro stems
2 pairs Chinese sausage, sliced
8 pieces shiitake, cut into half
4 hard boiled eggs, halved

8 pieces of 4 x 4 wax paper.

Prepare the dough
1. Make 1 recipe of Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns. Make sure you cover the finished dough with a damp tea cloth.
Preparing the filling
2. Mix all the marinade ingredients (oyster sauce, soy, sesame oil, wine, salt, pepper, sugar, cornstarch and water) together in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate 2 hours. Toss in the chopped cilantro stems.
Assembling
3. Take a dough portion, work into a round ball about 2 inch in diameter. Flatten it into a 8-inch round with a rolling pin about ¼ inch thick. Make sure the edges are half as thin as the center.
5. Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of chicken into dough. Add 1/8th of the sausage, mushrooms and the half egg. Pull the sides to meet at the center, making a ruffled fold as you work. Pinch the top together and give it a twist to seal. Pinch off any extra dough at the top. Place onto a piece of waxed paper.
6. Place buns in steamer about 2 inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Allow buns to rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
Steaming
7. Place steamer over the simmering water for 25minutes, or until bun is well risen or when a thermometer inserted into the bun reads 165F. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.

Serves: 8 buns

Basic Yeast Dough Recipe

This is a recipe for the dough of the fluffy white skins of the char siu bao and the shanghai cabbage buns. It’s truly versatile — you can use the same dough and fill it with sweetened mashed red beans or lotus seeds for a dessert treat. Or just steam it by itself to turn it into “man tou” essentially steamed white bread that is used to soak up the wonderful sauce of Sichuanese or Hunanese dishes. If you shape the bun into a flat disc, it becomes the base for peking duck.

The dough can be allowed to rise slowly, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using. If you are not using the dough straight away, punch it down and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

3 Tablespoons sugar
½ Tablespoons active dry yeast
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons hot water
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons cold water

3 cups unbleached “00” or high protein bread flour plus additional for kneading
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted

Part 1: Making and proofing the dough.
1. Proofing the yeast: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add cold water to make a warm solution (105 – 115°F). Dissolve the yeast in the sugar solution. Stir lightly, and let stand in a warm place until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 7 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, and add yeast mixture and oil and stir to incorporate the flour until dough holds together and just come away from side of bowl. Add a little more water if needed.
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-3 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

Part 2: Finishing the dough – Using the dough
1. Uncover the dough, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
2. Flatten it and make a well in the center. Sprinkle baking powder in the well, gather up the sides and fold to the center to incorporate the baking powder. Knead lightly for a few minutes till it becomes a ball again.
3. Divide the dough into two cylinders. Cut each into 4. Make 8 2-inch ball portions. Cover dough with a damp tea cloth as you work.
4. Proceed with dumpling recipes

Note: This basic dough can be used for char siu bau steamed pork bun recipes, plain steamed man tou recipes, shanghai cabbage steamed buns, chicken steamed bun recipes.

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* Spiced Köfte Mini Sliders

Posted on September 7th, 2008 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Beef, Bread, Coriander, Cumin, Fennel, Lamb, Parsley, Persian.


Yummy herbed-infused kofta burgers. Instead of ketchup, we use a lemony tahini.

Chef’s tip: Chilling the meat makes it easier to form patties. If you want all your burgers to be of a standard size, use an ice cream scoop.

Ingredients

Burger:
½ pound ground lamb
½ pound lean, ground beef
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs, soaked with water, squeezed dry
½ small red onion, grated, and squeezed to remove liquid (reserve the other half for condiment)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ egg
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½  teaspoon ground chili/ cayenne

¼ cup parsley, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tablespoons mint, chopped
½ cup roasted pistachios or almonds, chopped finely
¼ cup crumbled feta
2 Tablespoons canola oil

Tahini:
1 small shallot, peeled and quartered
1 small clove garlic, peeled
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ Tablespoon cumin, ground
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup tahini paste, at room temperature, stirred if separated
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt

Cilantro leaves
1 tomatoes, sliced
3 pieces of Iceberg lettuce
½ small red onion, sliced
10 mini brioche buns

Preparing the burger patties
1.    Combine the burger ingredients together. Chill for 5 minutes in the freezer.
2.    Mince the parsley, cilantro, mint and chop the nuts.  Mix into chilled burger mix.
3.    Form meat into golf ball size balls. Using your finger, make a hole into the patty, add a small half teaspoon of feta, and form the meat around the feta.  Gently form into 2-inch patties.  Using your thumb, make a small dimple in the middle of the patty.  Place on a slightly oil baking sheet.
Cooking the burger
4.    Preheat oven to 375°F
5.    Heat a fry pan over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, sear burgers 1 minute on each sides, drain on paper towels then transfer to a sheet pan.  Transfer the burgers to the oven to finish cooking, about 4 minutes for medium rare.
Preparing the tahini
6.    Mix together all ingredients in a blender, and pulse till it forms a smooth paste
Assembly
7.    Split and toast buns.  Assemble burgers with tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a smear of tahini sauce.

Serves: Makes 10 mini burgers

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