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home > recipes > breads > pan-fried scallion bread
Makes 1 10 inch or two 8 inch flatbreads, enough to serve 4-5 people. (Since I was making it for 2, I did as she suggests and cut the recipe in half to make 1 8-inch bread. Mine was more like 7 inches. Next time, I'm making the whole thing because it disappeared). Cold water dough: *1 cup unbleached flour *2 tsp double-acting baking powder *1/3 cup cold water Hot water dough: *1 cup unbleached flour *1 tsp coarse kosher salt *1/3 cup boiling water *additional flour, for kneading and rolling out dough *1/4 tsp Chinese or Japanese sesame oil Seasonings: *1 1/2 tsp. Chinese or Japanese sesame oil, or rendered chicken fat (I used the sesame oil) *1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt (since I was making half, I used 3/4 tsp c.k. salt. I thought it was too much. Next time, I'll put in about 3/4 tsp for the whole recipe). *2-3 medium whole scallions, cut into thin green and white rings about 1/2 cup fresh corn or peanut oil, for pan frying Making the dough: I used a food processor. This is what I did: Put a cup of the flour and the baking powder into the work bowl with the steel knife. With the machine running add the cold water through feed tube steadily until the dough forms a ball. Add a little more water if you don't get a ball. This happens very quickly, and you don't want to over knead. Remove the dough and any smaller balls on the edge. Using the blade again, add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp of the c.k. salt, and add the 1/3 boiling water in the same manner as the cold water. The water should be fresh boiled. As soon as you get a dough ball, add the cold water dough to the work bowl. Process them together for 15 seconds and then knead it on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until it is "ear-lobe" soft. It should not stick to the board when it's at the correct elasticity. It will spring gently back when you press on it with your finger. If you add too much flour, it will be tough when you cook it. If you don't have a food processor, basically do the same thing as I wrote above, only you'll knead the doughs together for about 10 minutes or so. I can post/email more details if necessary. Put the 1/4 tsp of sesame oil in a bowl, put the dough in, turn it over, and cover for 30 minutes or o/n in a refrigerator. I let it sit for 30 minutes because I was hungry, already! If you do put it in the fridge, let it come to RT before shaping. She says you can leave it up to 2 hours at RT. To shape the dough: Turn rested dough onto a *lightly* floured board and knead until smooth (mine was already quite smooth, but I kneaded it a bit anyway). Divide dough into 2 equal portions if you want 2 breads. Form into (a) smooth ball(s). Cover one ball while you shape the other. On a lightly floured board, roll dough out into a 1/4 inch thick circle or 1/8 inch for the smaller breads. Dust if sticking. Spread the sesame oil or chicken fat over the surface with your fingers. *Evenly* (my salt wasn't very even--oik!) spread the c.k. salt and scallions over the surface. Melted chicken fat should be only slightly warm, not hot, if you use it. I'm going to quote the shaping verbatim so it's very clear: "Roll the dough up like a carpet, neither too tight nor too loose, and pinch the top seam shut. Place the cylinder seam side down, then grasp one end of the dough gently between your thumb and first finger to anchor it to the board. This is the "head" end. Next, grasp the other, the "tail" end, of the cylinder with your other hand and wind this neatly around the head into a coiling, flat spiral ... The coils of dough should be touching at every point, so there are no holes in the spiral. Finally, tuck the tail end under the spiral. Extract your pinned fingers by pressing down gently on the dough around them with your free hand so that the coil remains in place on the board." In the book, there is an illustration available. Press on the shaped dough with your closed palms and roll it out until it is 10 to 11 inches in diameter or 7 to 8 inches for the smaller breads. Do it gently, so your scallions don't all pop out. A few will break the surface here and there, but you can't help it. Let the dough rest for 5 or so minutes if it is really stubborn about rolling out. If you have another bread to roll, do that while one is resting. It's best to cook the bread immediately after rolling. She says you can freeze them at this point and let defrost partially in the fridge and pan-fry for a longer time on a lower heat. Pan-frying: Here's the magic-wheeee! part of this. Use about a 12 inch heavy frying skillet. Heat it over high heat until you can evaporate a drop of water on contact. Add enough oil (*not* the sesame oil) to coat the bottom of the pan to a depth of about 1/8 inch. Swirl to coat the sides and reduce the heat to medium. When oil will foam a pinch of flour...add the bread and adjust the heat so the oil bubbles around it. Cover the pan and cook over moderately low heat until the bottom of the bread is golden brown. Shake the pan now and then as this encourages steam, which will help the bread puff up. Mine took 2 minutes (again, I halved the recipe). Flip the bread over, dribble in more oil if necessary (I didn't), shake the pan gently, cover, reduce heat slightly and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. (Mine was 2 min. on the other side, too). Shake the pan occasionally. There is condensation on the lid from all that steaming, and when you check the bread there is quite a lot of spattering going on. Check quickly, keep the lid relatively close to the pan, and use the lid as a type of shield for yourself. Do check the bread every 30 seconds or so so you don't burn it. Use a spatula to take the bread out to a cutting surface. Slice into wedges and enjoy! Do not blot off any excess oil. She says if you want to fry a second bread, use fresh oil.

Pan-fried Scallion Bread


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(posted January 22, 2005)

Makes 1 10 inch or two 8 inch flatbreads, enough to serve 4-5 people. (Since I was making it for 2, I did as she suggests and cut the recipe in half to make 1 8-inch
bread. Mine was more like 7 inches. Next time, I'm making the whole thing because it disappeared).

Cold water
dough:

*1 cup unbleached
flour
*2 tsp
double-acting baking powder
*1/3 cup cold water

Hot water dough:

*1 cup unbleached
flour
*1 tsp
coarse
kosher salt
*1/3 cup boiling water

*additional
flour, for kneading and rolling out dough
*1/4 tsp Chinese or Japanese
sesame oil

Seasonings:

*1 1/2 tsp. Chinese or Japanese
sesame oil, or rendered chicken fat (I
used the
sesame oil)
*1 1/2 tsp
coarse
kosher salt (since I was making half, I used 3/4 tsp
c.k.
salt. I thought it was too much. Next time, I'll put in about
3/4 tsp for the whole recipe).
*2-3 medium whole scallions, cut into
thin green and white rings

about 1/2 cup fresh
corn or
peanut oil, for pan frying

Making the
dough:

I used a
food processor. This is what I did: Put a cup of the flour and the
baking powder into the work bowl with the steel knife. With the machine running add the cold water through feed tube steadily until the dough forms a ball. Add a little more water if you don't get a ball. This happens very quickly, and you don't want to over knead. Remove the dough and any smaller balls on the edge. Using the blade again, add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp of the c.k. salt, and add the 1/3 boiling water in the same manner as the cold water. The water should be fresh boiled.

As soon as you get a
dough ball, add the cold water dough to the work bowl. Process them together for 15 seconds and then knead it on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes until it is "ear-lobe" soft. It should not stick to the board when it's at the correct elasticity. It will spring gently back when you press on it with your finger. If you add too much flour, it will be tough when you cook it.

If you don't have a
food processor, basically do the same thing as I wrote above, only you'll knead the doughs together for about 10 minutes or so. I can post/email more details if necessary.

Put the 1/4 tsp of
sesame oil in a bowl, put the dough in, turn it over, and cover for 30 minutes or o/n in a refrigerator. I let it sit for 30 minutes because I was hungry, already! If you do put it in the fridge, let it come to RT before shaping. She says you can leave it up to 2 hours at RT.

To shape the
dough:

Turn rested
dough onto a *lightly* floured board and knead until smooth (mine was already quite smooth, but I kneaded it a bit anyway). Divide dough into 2 equal portions if you want 2 breads. Form into (a) smooth ball(s). Cover one ball while you shape the other.

On a lightly floured board, roll
dough out into a 1/4 inch thick circle or 1/8 inch for the smaller breads. Dust if sticking. Spread the sesame oil or chicken fat over the surface with your fingers. *Evenly* (my salt wasn't very even--oik!) spread the c.k. salt and scallions over the surface. Melted chicken fat should be only slightly warm, not hot, if you use it.

I'm going to quote the shaping verbatim so it's very clear:

"Roll the
dough up like a carpet, neither too tight nor too loose, and pinch the top seam shut. Place the cylinder seam side down, then grasp one end of the dough gently between your thumb and first finger to anchor it to the board. This is the "head" end. Next, grasp the other, the "tail" end, of the cylinder with your other hand and wind this neatly around the head into a coiling, flat spiral ... The coils of dough should be touching at every point, so there are no holes in the spiral. Finally, tuck the tail end under the spiral. Extract your pinned fingers by pressing down gently on the dough around them with your free hand so that the coil remains in place on the board."

In the book, there is an illustration available.

Press on the shaped dough with your closed palms and roll it out until it is 10 to 11 inches in diameter or 7 to 8 inches for the smaller breads. Do it gently, so your scallions don't all pop out. A few will break the surface here and there, but you can't help it. Let the dough rest for 5 or so minutes if it is really stubborn about rolling out. If you have another bread to roll, do that while one is resting. It's best to cook the bread immediately after rolling. She says you can freeze them at this point and let defrost partially in the fridge and
pan-fry for a longer time on a lower heat.

Pan-frying:

Here's the magic-wheeee! part of this. Use about a 12 inch
heavy frying skillet. Heat it over high heat until you can evaporate a drop of water on contact. Add enough oil (*not* the sesame oil) to coat the bottom of the pan to a depth of about 1/8 inch. Swirl to coat the sides and reduce the heat to medium. When oil will foam a pinch of flour...add the bread and adjust the heat so the oil bubbles around it. Cover the pan and cook over moderately low heat until the bottom of the bread is golden brown. Shake the pan now and then as this encourages steam, which will help the bread puff up. Mine took 2 minutes (again, I halved the recipe). Flip the bread over, dribble in more oil if necessary (I didn't), shake the pan gently, cover, reduce heat slightly and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more. (Mine was 2 min. on the other side, too). Shake the pan occasionally. There is condensation on the lid from all that steaming, and when you check the bread there is quite a lot of spattering going on. Check quickly, keep the lid relatively close to the pan, and use the lid as a type of shield for yourself. Do check the bread every 30 seconds or so so you don't burn it.

Use a
spatula to take the bread out to a cutting surface. Slice into wedges and enjoy! Do not blot off any excess oil. She says if you want to fry a second bread, use fresh oil.


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