Chinese breakfast "cake" 發麵燒餅

When I was visiting my parents last month, my dad showed me his newest hobbies -- making Chinese pastries! He has a bread maker, which makes the proofing of the yeast-risen dough much more controlled. I've been thinking about trying this myself for a while since I got back. It's not hard to buy this kind of pastries in Chinatown. But it is probably difficult to find a really tasty one that is not laden with weird food additives. Making this at home also gives me much more flexibility in the filling. I ended up making two kinds -- scallions, goose fat, white pepper, and sichuan pepper, and salt; black sesame paste, white sesame paste, sugar, and oil. The proofing of the dough turned out much better than I imagined. Without a bread maker, I was really worried about the temperature control. The conventional wisdom is to put the bowl in the oven with a pan of boiling water underneath. It works out fairly well. The yeast dough will generate heat as it is proofing. The ideal temperature for using active dry yeast in this kind of general yeast-risen dough is 26-28C (78.8F-82.4F) for 2 hours. That is a pretty narrow range. but I think the dough itself and the bowl is at a higher temperature. It just shouldn't lose heat too quickly. I had to refill the water pan several times to keep the oven temperature in this range. I also think I kneaded the dough a bit too much. The finished product is a little bit tougher than I would have liked. Other improvements would need to include -- rolling it to be a bit thicker for thicker layers so that each bite would be more chewy; also if I had made fewer but bigger pieces, there would have been more chewy dough; the filling can be decreased, especially the goose fat -- it got everywhere!

Basic recipe: 7 g active dry yeast, 350g all purpose flour, 182 g water, some sugar
Sprinke yeast into part of the water. After ten minutes make sure it bubbly and floated to the top (sign of active yeast). Add everything to kitchen aid and knead into a smooth dough. Place into the oven for proofing for 2 hours.
dough should be baked at 350F for 20-25 minutes

Dough after proofing for 2 hours -- note the indentation made with a finger stays depressed, a sign of successful proofing

Rolling the dough out and spread with the filling with choice. Then roll it up.

Glaze with egg wash and top of sesame seeds

Same thing but with scallions, goose fat, salt, white pepper, sichuan pepper

Ready for the oven!!


charles said…
Wow that looked delicious. Did you end up liking the savory ones better or the sweet ones? From the looks, I think I would've liked the sweet ones more because I LOVE black sesame.

Oh that place you and your Mom went on top of Yang Ming Shan looked amazing. Such quality and refined food for only $30/person is a steal that you can probably only find in Asia. If I get laid off, I think I'm moving back to Asia. The food alone makes it worthwhile!
Albertitto said…
I liked both. I think if you like the goose fat taste (or lard, kind of similar) you will like the savory one. But the dough should have been softer...

Well you're pretty busy now, so I don't think you'll be on the lay-off list!
Anonymous said…
I usually like to eat sweets for breakfast because I seldom have the appetite for savory things so early in the morning -- don't know why.

In this economy, everyone is on the layoff list. Sorry to be pessimistic, but I'm sure most of the laid-off associates were pretty busy not too long ago before the recession hit. I really hate the stealth layoff or forced attrition or whatever you wanna call it because it shows that firms and partners only care about $$$ and nothing else.
Albertitto said…
Mmm I love savory things for breakfast. when I was back home, I had things like 鹹飯團, 燒餅油條, 蔥抓餅, 小籠包, 肉包, 菜包, 麵線, 蛋餅, 蘿蔔糕, 火腿蛋三明治 for breakfast. but I would drink sweetened soy milk or 米漿

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