Pan-fried Scallion Bread

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by International Recipes OnLine, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Pan-fried Scallion Bread

    ... submitted by rcoen

    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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