A friend told me that, at her home, hua yuan were the traditional Saturday breakfast. She remeber preparing them together with her mother and that she extremely enjoyed the process of letting the dough rise, waiting and, finally, eating .
Hua yuan are steamed “pretzels” made from yeast dough (with the addition of sesame oil) with scallion. The dough is prepared with wheat flour, which is characteristic of the cuisine of southern China.
Tales of Kim family breakfast in the kitchen filled with fragrant steam and efficient hands of her mother… I had to try.
I found a dozen recipes, tried out a few, and, of course, I have my favorite. This one I am presenting to you. The original recipes uses only wheat flour, but, for me, the taste was too bread(ish). I mixed different flours, but… besan flour proved to be a hit.
But, remember, that although hua yuan is easy and quick to prepare, this is a time consuming process. We wait till dough rise, we wait for buns to grow, we are waiting even longer for buns to cool down, so we can eat them. 🙂 A lot of time is spent on waiting. But it is worth it.
How to serve hua juan? They are delicious by themselves, but the steamed buns are perfect as a side dish with thick sauces. They are very absorbent, light, fluffy; much better with sauces than noodles or potatoes.
1 bunch of scallion
1 tablespoon sesame oil
0.25 cups almond milk (unsweetened) – we can use the coconut milk, rice or normal, but I do not recommend soy here
0.25 cups of apple juice – the best is squeezed in a juicer
15 g of fresh yeast
1 cup besan flour (chickpea)
0.5 cups of wheat flour
1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Warm almond milk and juice to room temperature. Mix and add the yeast. Put aside for a moment.
- Sift flours into a bowl, add yeast mixed with milk and juice, salt, sesame oil. Knead the dough. Leave it to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
- Chop scallions.
- Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan. When it is hot, take off the heat, add scallions and stir. Leave it aside to cool.
- Divide the dough into 16 parts.
- Form the oval cake. With pizza cutter cut in the middle three – four times.
- Spread the scallions, then wrap the cake. Turn and twist so you have a snake-shaped cake, fold into “pretzel” shape and hide ends under the bun.
- When buns are ready, cover them with a cloth, leave for 15 – 20 minutes to rise again.
- Wet lightly cheesecloth and put in the steamer. Cheesecloth must be only slightly moist, not wet. Arrange buns on the cheesecloth. Steam for 20 minutes.
- When cooked, take buns off the cheesecloth, if we do it ‘s too late – hua juan adhere to the gauze. Ready buns put aside on a plate (to eat) or back to the steamer (for later).