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
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
  ck salt. i thought it was too much. next time, i'll put in
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. 
international recipes online 
on-line culinary discussion at 
(ID: 3851) Mirror: Sun, Jan 23, 2005

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