Scallion Flower Buns (葱油花卷)
Scallion Flower Buns (葱油花卷)
These scallion rolls may look complicated, but they're actually so simple to make. When I made them for the first time right after quarantine started in March, the recipe reminded me of baking cinnamon rolls during the holidays with my family. The ideal folded scallion roll (congyou huajuan) is fragrant and savory with thin layers. They're meant to be eaten with a bowl of rice porridge, but I also enjoy them with a sunny-side up fried egg for breakfast. Enjoy!
500g (about 4 cups) — all purpose flour
5g (about 1 tbspt) — active dry yeast
260g (a little more than 1 cup) — water
1 bunch (about 8 stalks) — scallion greens
1g (about 1 tsp) — baking soda
2tbsp — salt
2tbsp — peanut oil
- Add yeast and room temperature water to a bowl, stir together, and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Measure flour into a large bowl. Slowly pour water and yeast mixture into flour while stirring.
- Once the dough is mixed well, place on a board or counter top and shape into a ball. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 teaspoon at a time and mix in until the dough can be formed into a smooth shape that's neither sticky nor flaky.
- Place dough ball in a large covered bowl and let prove until it doubles in size. The time it takes to double is affected by the temperature of your kitchen (about 1.5-2.5 hours). While the dough is proving, prepare the scallion filling.
- Wash and chop the scallion greens. The white parts may be put aside for use in another dish.
- Add baking soda to chopped scallions and mix together. Set aside.
- Remove the dough from a bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead well. By this point the dough will be heavier; about 750g.
- Cut the dough in half.
- Place one half of the dough aside and roll out the other into a large rectangle on a well-floured surface, about one eighth inch thick. Don't worry if the rectangle isn't perfectly regular; you can use a knife to cut the sides if need be.
- Brush one tablespoon of oil evenly across the surface of the rolled out dough. Spread one tablespoon of salt across the oiled surface. Then, top with half of the chopped scallion greens.
- Starting on the longer side, roll up the dough and lay the roll seam-side down.
- Cut off the ends of the roll and then slice into 1 1/2 inch thick pieces, like so.
- Repeat steps 9 to 12 for the second half of the dough.
- To form a finished roll, put one roll piece on top of another. Then, place a chopstick along the middle of the top piece, lengthwise, and press down firmly until the edges of the top piece surround the chopstick. Repeat until you have shaped all of the rolls.
- Let the rolls rest for 15 more minutes.
- Arrange as many rolls as you can in a steamer without letting them touch. Steam in batches for 3 minutes per batch and then remove onto a plate to cool. Do not remove the lid before 3 minutes is up.
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