Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns

Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns
Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/24/chinese-bakery-style-hot-dog-flower-buns

I have had the the whole apartment to myself aaaaaalllll weekend long! Reuben is away again for… you guessed it… a ski trip. He does love to ski, that man. He’s been in Montana with a bunch of other men, doing manly things. Man Mountain Ski Trip. It’s been nice to have the place to myself because I end up being super productive. You can get a lot of stuff done when there isn’t a person around trying to hug you all the time or get you to look at yet another adorable mini pig video. The upside of being alone is that I have a ton of great recipes to share with y’all in the next month. Downside to being left alone is that I turn into this weird workaholic and end up literally working from 7am to 11 pm, with maybe a few breaks in between to watch some Netflix while my bun dough is proofing. I also end up not eating any real meals…. I didn’t have another person around to feed nutritious meals, so I ended up just snacking on the recipes I developed or whatever I found in the kitchen. So I pretty much ate buns, more buns, a crappy frozen pizza, a few bites of tres leches cake (recipe is coming soon and it is INSANE), and a lot of popcorn. SO MUCH POPCORN. Wait. Am I turning into a college boy?!!!!! I need a vegetable. I did have an excellent matcha latte on Sunday though. That’s at least green. Oh! And there were scallions on the hot dog flower buns. That counts for something.

I wasn’t going to share these Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns (say that 3 times fast) for another few weeks, but I just loved them so much that I needed to share them with the world immediately! One thing that you may or may not know about me is that I LOVE hot dogs. And now that I’m thinking about it pretty much everyone that’s close to me also shares a love of the tubular meat. Or does everyone love hot dogs? During my sophomore year in college, I lived with 4 of my best girlfriends, and it was a great time! Just scratch out the crappy boyfriend I had at the time. All 5 of us shared a strange love of hot dogs (even Kate, who is like a health and beauty goddess!), so much so that we decided to celebrate Hot Dog Tuesday! Or was it Thursdays? I can’t really remember, but we definitely grilled hot dogs on Alex’s little George Foreman grill once a week. It was all hot dog dandy until one day we decided to also make corndogs as a sick play on dessert… because corndogs are a little sweet? IDK. That night we definitely over did it on the dogs, or maybe it was the sodium and nitrates? But after that we sort of lost the desire to eat hot dogs once a week. It was probably for the best. Huh, maybe I’ve just been eating like a college girl all weekend?? Anyways, the point is that I really enjoy hot dogs and like to figure out how to incorporate them into as many different recipes as possible. Reuben’s mom makes what I call a “lazy corn dog” and I am VERY into it.

Chinese bakeries are also something I’m very into! French bakeries get all the attention. They’re great, don’t get me wrong. I’d love to bite into a buttery and rich kouign amann everyday! But the first bakeries I remember going to were Chinese ones. They all had walls of plastic cases filled with fluffy buns, sponge cakes of all sorts of flavors, and tarts piled high with shiny glossy fruit. Cocktail Buns. Pineapple Buns. Taro Buns. Custard Buns. Hot Dog Buns. So many buns. I wanted to fill my plastic tray with as many buns as possible. Or as many as my mom would buy for me, I guess. The Hot Dog Bun (not like a traditional split bun for a hot dog) is so amazing because it’s a fully encased hot dog. Not like hot dogs could be even more portable and easy to eat. The salty hot dog is wrapped with a fluffy and slightly sweet milk bread and makes for the most perfect bite! The flower version taste no different than a classic fully wrapped Hot Dog Bun, but definitely makes for a more photogenic wiener. Sorry. It’s true though! Like look at these things! After the Rose Siu Mai, I think it’s my life mission to make as many foods in flower form as possible.


Chinese Bakery Style Hot Dog Flower Buns

makes 8 buns

milk bread recipe from A Common Table by Cynthia Chen McTernan from Two Red Bowls!

dough materials:
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour + more for dusting
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
2 tbsp unsalted butter - very soft

tangzhong (flour starter) materials:
6 tbsp water
2 tbsp bread flour

flower bun materials:

8 hot dogs
1 egg + 1 tbsp water - for egg wash
chopped scallion green - for topping
sesame seeds - for topping

1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup white sugar - syrup glaze (optional)

steps:

  1. Prepare the dough the night before or at least 2-3 hours before baking. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to a boil to scald the milk. About 1-2 minutes. Watch the milk carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Set milk aside to cool.

  2. To make the tangzhong, which is a flour starter that helps achieve a super fluffy dough, whisk together water and bread flour in a small saucepan over low heat. Continue to whisk until the mixture looks like a thick paste. About 2 minutes. Remove the tangzhong from the heat and scrape into a small bowl to cool to room temperature.

  3. In the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together instant yeast, bread flour, sugar, and salt. In another bowl combine the milk, tangzhong, and egg until evenly mixed. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the flour. Begin to knead on low and then increase to medium speed. Knead for 5 mins. Lightly dust with a bit of flour so the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

  4. Add one tablespoon of butter at a time to the dough while the mixer is still going. Sprinkle a bit more flour and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth .

  5. Place dough in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let dough rest in the fridge overnight (8-24 hours) or out in a warm spot for 2 hours.

  6. After the first proof, scrap the dough out onto a clean kitchen surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel while forming. Roll out 1 piece of dough and roll it out into a roughly 3”x7” rectangle or blog. Place 1 hot dog in the center of the dough. Roll up the hot dog in the dough and pinch the seams closed. Cut the hotdog into 6 equal pieces. Arrange the 6 pieces in the shape of a flower - 1 piece in the center with 5 petals. Place the hot dog flower on a parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with remaining buns. Cover hot dog flower buns with a damp kitchen towel and allow to proof one last time for 40-60 minutes.

  7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the buns with egg wash and top with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

  8. While the buns are baking, make your syrup glaze. Boil water and sugar for 1-2 minutes. Brush the sugar glaze on the baked buns as soon as they come out of the oven.

  9. Allow the buns to cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

notes :

  1. Buns are best fresh out of the oven. After a few hours or days the bread will feel a little hard. You can just microwave the buns for 20-30 seconds and they will be fluffy again!

  2. If you only have active yeast, you can add it to the warm milk with a pinch of sugar and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. It should be have a few bubbles on the surface.

Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts

Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food
Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts // Eat Cho Food

Gosh, it feels like time is moving at lightning speed and hurling straight into the holidays. How is it possible that Thanksgiving is only 9 days away?! We’re flying up to Portland for Thanksgiving and spending it with my best friend, Katie and her dude! I can’t wait for all the crunchy leaves, cozy vibes, cheese (Tillamook!), and the copious amounts of craft beer curated by Reuben. (Are you impressed with the level of alliteration in that last sentence?) Before we get on that plane to Portland, I have about 138,247,103 things to cross off my to-do list. I’m heading to LA/Bakersfield for a quick work trip tomorrow. So that will be a fun little break in the middle of a crazy work week. I’ll get to hug and squeeze my other best friend, Kate, in LA for a hot second. Can’t complain about some BFF time!

I made the conscious decision to just lay low and be lazy this past weekend. Reuben and I double teamed on the most amazing baked ziti on Friday that happily fed us all weekend long. On Saturday we spent the day celebrating the marriage of one of my dear friends, Jess! And then on Sunday we were a bunch of lazy blanket burritos. Reuben watched football all day (sorry, Eagles) and I got caught up on some photo editing and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I didn’t realize how badly I needed that lazy day! I had a recipe I was going to test, but I just wasn’t in the mood to stand in the kitchen for a few hours attempting to make whipped cream look exciting. Plus, my version for that recipe has change slightly over the last few days and I think it’s going to look a lot better when I made it this Sunday instead! Sometimes we just have to be patient with our creative process.

Thankfully, I busted my booty in the kitchen the last month and stocked up on recipes so that I could take a day off from the kitchen when I desperately need to. Sort of like a blogging sick day. I’ve been super antsy to share this donut recipe with you guys because it is just so freaking good! The donuts on their own are so tender and fluffy. I feel like I always say this, but they were also super easy to make. I’m not lying though. If you feel like you’re going to crave donuts tomorrow, all you have to do is throw some flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of your standmixer and let it go for a few minutes. Then tuck the dough in for a sweet sleep in your refrigerator and in the morning you’ll have the softest and dreamiest dough! THEN THEN THEN there is the vanilla pumpkin jam. Omg can I just put it on everything?? The jam was inspired by this incredible pumpkin jam we had while staying in Granada, Spain. I remember we were sitting outside of a cafe at this tiny table. I was being annoying and trying to take a cute photo of our coffee and toast, but as I sat down I knocked the table with my clumsy knee and spilled my coffee everywhere. Thankfully, my buttered toast with pumpkin jam was only slightly covered in coffee and tasted incredible. I went back inside and bought a jar of pumpkin jam to take home. I went through that jar way too fast and have been dreaming about it ever since. I’m super excited that I can make my own vanilla pumpkin jam now because it is such a lovely treat to have on good bread and fresh butter! I had it for breakfast this morning : ) The donut and pumpkin jam together is definitely the IT couple of this Thanksgiving season!

Okay, I gotta pack and finish designing this roof top bar and coffee shop! Where’s my terrazzo sample?


Vanilla Pumpkin Jam Donuts

makes 15 donuts

Vanilla Pumpkin Jam:

2 lb baking pumpkin/sugar pie pumpkin
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean

Donuts:

1 package of active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
2/3 cup milk - room temp
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar + pinch
2 tsp salt
3 eggs
7 tbsp butter - softened
Canola oil for frying + 1 tsp for greasing

1 cup sugar - for dusting
2 tsp cinnamon - for dusting
1/3 cup powdered sugar - for dusting

Make Vanilla Pumpkin Jam:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half. Leave the seeds in, they are easier to remove after baking. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes until tender. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool.

  2. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the seeds (discard or save for roasting) and the pumpkin flesh. Either puree the pumpkin in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth.

  3. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add the puree, sugar, juice of 1 lemon, and salt. Scrape the seeds from a vanilla bean with a paring knife. Stir the mixture frequently while it’s cooking to prevent it from burning. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the jam has thickened. Store the jam in glass jars until ready to use.

Make Donuts:

  1. Combine yeast, milk, and a pinch of sugar in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. Add flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and eggs. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and start adding your softened butter piece by piece. Continue to mix dough for another 5 minutes until the butter is incorporated and the dough is soft and smooth.

  2. Grease a large bowl with 1 tsp canola oil. Add dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can either proof the dough in a warm place for 2 hours or let sit in the fridge overnight for 12-15 hours. I let it proof over night.

  3. After the first proof, light flour your work surface. Roll out the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 3” biscuit cutter, cut out your donuts. Place donuts on a light flour baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and allow to proof for another 30-45 minutes. They should have doubled in size and feel super pillowly. You can also cut up your dough scraps to fry up as well.

  4. While the donuts are proofing, heat canola oil in a heavy bottom pot to 350 degrees. Make sure you have at least 3” of oil. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can test the temperature using some scrap pieces of dough. Once the dough hits the oil, it should sizzle but not get dark too quickly. It should gradually get golden brown on 1 side within 1-2 minutes. If it darks quickly, the oil is too hot.

  5. Working in batches, add donuts into the oil. Fry the first side for 2 minutes, until golden brown. Using tongs or chop sticks, flip the donuts and fry on the other side for another 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or a spider, transfer the donuts from the oil to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining donuts.

  6. While the donuts are still warm, toss them in sugar mixed with cinnamon until evenly coated. Alternatively, you could also dust them in powdered sugar.

  7. To fill the donuts, fill a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip with pumpkin jam. Poke a hole into the side of the donut and fill the donut with jam. Repeat with remaining donuts and enjoy!

Pumpkin Jam recipe adapted from this! And I used this donut dough base!

No Knead Green Onion Bread

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What day is it? Oh, it's Thursday? Thank the lord!! How has your week been? I should probably pour us some wine. I feel like I have been running a million miles a minute. My real job is well, taking a lot of work. The contractor for one of my projects has my personal cellphone number... which I really regret sharing now. But what has really been keeping me up at night is preparing for my very first craft fair this weekend! In case you didn't know, I also have a teeny tiny Etsy shop where I sell cute cards, illustrations, wrapping paper, and all sorts of hand-lettered things!  If you live in the Bay Area or want to impulse buy a plane ticket to San Francisco this weekend, I will be setting up shop at the Urban Air Market in Hayes Valley. Please come and buy all my things! I signed up early for my booth spot and I'm right in between Smitten Ice Cream and Biergarten. Good spot right? Reuben is tasked with delivering ice cream and soft pretzels to me so I don't pass out or cry if no one buys anything. Please stop by and say Hi!

I'll stop begging now. In preparation for the craft fair I have been forcing Reuben to build me things, photoshopping new products, printing a billion cards, folding lots of paper, and baking bread! No knead bread is so freaking easy. I really can't believe it has taken me 26 years to realize the magical joys of baking bread. This recipe is the perfect thing to make if you want to put in minimal effort and get a great return. You give everything a quick mix and then cover it up for 18 hours. You can get so much done in 18 hours! Or not so much if you're having one of those days where you just want to sleep a lot. Sleep, watch Netflix, climb a mountain, call your mom, build a craft fair booth. These are all great things to do while your dough proofs. You'll be rewarded with beautiful, crusty, moist, and fluffy bread that will forever change your life and make you consider your career path. I put green onions in it obviously, because they make everything better. This bread is amazing for avocado toast, dipping in soup, slathering with butter, or just eating straight up still warm from the oven. My next project is growing a sourdough starter, which is bringing up the anxiety I had when I had a tamagotchi. 

(Yaaaaaaawn) Ok, time to go to bed! So. Many. Things. To. Do. Happy almost weekend! Don't forget to come visit me in Hayes Valley this Sunday! I may or may not have cake for you when you get there...


No Knead Green Onion Bread

makes 1 loaf

Materials:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup bread flour

1/4 tsp rapid rise instant yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 5/8 cups warm water

wheat bran or more flour for dusting

1 cup chopped green onions

Steps:

1. In a large bowl combine flours, yeast, and salt. Slowly add warm water and stir until you have a sticky and shaggy dough. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit out at room temperature for 18 hours. Ideal room temperature is 70 degrees, if it's a little cold out put the bowl in your oven with the door left ajar.

2. After 18 hours your dough should have expanded and look like it is full of bubbles. Lightly flour your work surface and scrape out your dough. Dust it with some flour and gently pat it into a circle. Sprinkle some green onions into the center and fold dough over. Pat into a circle again and repeat adding green onions until fully mixed.  Form dough into a round ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Cover a cutting board with a clean kitchen towel and lightly dust towel with some wheat bran or more flour. Gently transfer dough onto the towel and dust again with some more wheat bran or flour. Cover the dough with the corners of the towel and let dough sit for a final 2 hours.

4. 30 minutes before the 2 hour proof is up. Preheat your oven to 450 degree with your Dutch Oven inside. Once preheated, safely remove hot Dutch Oven and remove the lid. Unwrap the dough and place a firm hand underneath the towel/dough. Carefully flip the dough into the Dutch Oven. You gotta commit! If the dough is slightly off centered, just push it around a little with a spoon, but it doesn't need to be perfect.

5. Cover with lid and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crusty.

6. Remove form oven and allow to cool on cooling rack. Cut a slice and enjoy!

 

recipe was based on the New York Times recipe!

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Bananas! Banana Bread

This morning I realized something odd... I have only been really cooking for 5 years. I mean, I've loved food since 4pm. July 25th, 1991. But 5 years just seems so short because food and cooking are so deep in my core code.

To be honest, I was pretty spoiled growing up because the first 10 years of my life I spent my afternoons at my family's restaurant where I would go up to my sweet grandpa and persuade him to make me an egg roll as an afternoon snack (reason #19 for my childhood chub). Then there's my parents, who were always concerned if my brother and I had enough food to eat (#8), resulting in a consistently stocked fridge of snacks and ready-to-microwave leftovers. Thankfully my mom taught me the importance of flavoring with oyster sauce and how to use a knife correctly! I've never cut myself... knock on wood. Once I left the nest, my freshman year self was kept alive by the salad bar, grilled cheeses, and breakfast biscotti at the Center Court dining hall (UC!).

So when did it click? When did I decide that I rather test out recipes than work on diagrams for studio? Ironically, I think it was while I was interning at my dream office in NYC. Not because I was having the time of my life and spent each weekend scouring the city for the best donuts, dumplings, or ethnic hole in the wall. My experience there was actually quite the opposite. I was 20 years old, I knew no one in the city, I sadly got takeout from Ollie's like once a week, and I was in a pretty terrible and emotionally draining relationship. Without getting too too serious, I often look back at my time in New York and wish I was in a better mindset so that I could have taken full advantage of my time there. My heart does smiles when I remember running around the city with my mom looking for dim sum or when BFFs Katie and Jeff and I had a surprise 2 hour reunion and we looked at Christmas lights : ))))))

Anyways, how does this relate to Banana Bread???????! Well, at one of our all staff breakfast meetings we had nearly a dozen distinctly different Banana Breads delivered, and I remembered just being blown away by each flavor. Flavors that I didn't even know went together. That was probably the day I learned what cardamom was and started to like dark chocolate. I cannot for the life of me tell you where those loaves where from. I was most likely concerned with stuffing my face with all 12 banana breads before I had to go down into the non-ventilated basement to build an annoyingly huge model. This was towards the end of my internship and I remember thinking how I wanted to figure out how to make banana bread that good once I went back to Ohio.

I know this is kind of a ridiculous story... but that banana bread was the catalyst for my cooking journey. Okay, it wasn't really the catalyst but it was the very small moment where I really started to care and become curious about the possibilities of food. I made Banana Bread when I went back to Ohio and I continued to experiment and refine my base recipe. At one point I made alien-esque muffins with bulgy blueberry eyes. I would leave a slice on a friend's studio desk if they were staying all night to work. I chopped up my favorite Cleveland Chocolate into the batter and almost died from how decadent it was. Try it sometime! I made it for my now boyfriend before he was my boyfriend and it's still one of his favorite treats.

So I've been developing this recipe for 5 years now and it is full of so much love. This is my go-to recipe if I want to bake a gift for someone. This is what I would have given our new downstairs neighbors if they weren't terrible and didn't break windows. This is something you should make soon and start to make it your own.


BANANAS! BANANA BREAD

one loaf

Materials : 

2 C All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C (1 stick) Butter - room temperature

3/4 C Brown Sugar

2 Eggs - beaten

5 Super Ripe Bananas + 1 Ripe Banana for Topping (optional)

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Steps :

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

  3. In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Once creamed, mix in beaten eggs.

  4. Pour creamed mixture into flour mixture. Mix until just combined, do not over mix.

  5. Mash 5 super ripe bananas and add to Banana Bread mixture. I like to leave a few large chunks of banana for texture. Mix until combined.

  6. Grease your loaf pan and pour in mixture.

  7. If adding the sliced banana topping, thinly slice up a just ripe banana. If the banana is too ripe it will be a little difficult to work with. You'll end up only needing about 2/3 of your banana. Arrange your slices in a crescent/banana shape on top of your loaf.

  8. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar to help the banana caramelize and pop in the oven for 70-80mins*. The area beneath the banana topping will be the last to bake. Insert toothpick and if it comes out clean it is ready to come out of the oven.

  9. Set out to cool and then enjoy!

* 40 minute cooking time for 9x9 pan. 25 minute cooking time for muffins.