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14. Oven baked Chinese bread: Shaobing

 

烧饼 — Dianxin from North
how to make Chinese oven baked shaobing at home
Chinese shao bing


Chinese Shao Bing

Shao bing always been one of my all time favourite food. I just love those crunchy layers and the smell of sesame. However, I only just learnt how to make shao bing in very recent years. Since I could not get it  over here, and I was dying to have it, I tried very hard to recall how my auntie made it, then I came up with these ones. :)

Shaobing is one of the most popular ‘bakeries’ in China, or probably we say that it is a ‘dian xin‘ from North China. Here, you probably can see the difference between North Chinese food and Cantonese food.

I just noticed that in some English translations, shao bing is referred to as ‘flat bread’. Well, if it is just ‘flat’ ‘bread’, there are far too many flat breads in Chinese food.

Types of Shao bing

The most famous shao bing comes from Shandong Province. They come in different varieties and with different fillings, for example, sugar, red beans, spring onions… Normally, the surface is very crispy, and the inside has many different layers. And in different regions, people eat them together with different types of food. For instance, in the South, people might have it with soya milk for the morning breakfast, whereas in the North, we have the savory ones with soup, and sweet ones as side dish or just as snack. The one with sesames is the basic one. It takes probably 20 minutes to make around 10 of them after preparing the dough — fairly easy and quick… and tasty. Good for a weekend treat, and if you make some more, you will have good breakfast (much better than just having toasts) — for a change. :))

Shao Bing: The recipe

Ingredients:

Plain flour, dry yeast, (or self-raising flour) salt, sesame paste, toasted sesame

Preparing the dough:(if you are using plain flour and yeast to raise the dough, not self-raising flour)

The amount of flour needed depends on how many you want to prepare. I normally use four and half cups of plain flour, and 1 sachet of dry yeast (7g) for the making around 10 -12 shaobing, mixed with one and 1/3 cup of warm water, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
Knead the dough well, and leave for one hour or wait for it fully raised.

Preparing the ‘filling’:

Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sesame paste in .. probably 1 tablespoon of water and 2/3 teaspoon of salt — the sesame mix is supposed to be a bit salty, so it all depends on your taste. The mix should be neither liquid, nor very thick.

Oh, I have always been a bit lazy about dissolving the sesame paste, and lately, I found a lazy solution :)) The bottle of sesame paste sold in supermarkets always contains some ‘oil’ on the top, whereas the paste itself sinks down to the bottom. I use a small spoon of ‘oil’ mix into the paste first, it basically takes no time to mix it well, then add a some water to dissolve it further — way more easier than just adding water. —- Don’t tell this to my mum, otherwise she would ask, “how can you grow up and become more and more lazy?” — It is true, I remember that, when I was little, dissolving sesame paste was the only thing I could help my mum with when she prepared cool noodle dishes, and I was so proud that I could help, I whisked the paste so hard until my wrist got sore. And now…. I am trying to find the laziest solution. :))

Shaping Shaobing:

1) Divide the dough into smaller portions, around 4-5cm wide, around 7-8cm long, and about 3cm thick.

Chinese breadChinese shao bing

2) Roll the small dough into a flat sheet. (0.5cm thick, maybe)

Shao bing

3) Spread prepared sesame mix on the flat sheet.

4) Roll up the ‘sheet’ tightly.

Chinese shao bing

5) Place the roll ‘standing’ on the board, use both hands to hold each end of the ‘roll’, and twist as many rounds as you can (one hand should firmly hold the end ‘stand’ on the board, so the bottom is not moved).

Shao bing recipeChinese bread recipe

6) Use your palm to press the top of ‘twisted’ roll down the bottom.

7) Sprinkle toasted sesames on top of the ‘dough’, enough to cover the top surface, and press them well into it.

Chinese bread recipe
Adding toasted sesame

Baking:

Place well prepared shao bing into pre-heated oven. Unfortunately, I cannot tell exactly how many minutes you need to bake them — yes, careless me. I would say around 15- 18 minutes, but when the top surface turns a little bit brownish — they are done!

At home, we normally have them for breakfast with steamed eggs –  it is one of the authentic Chinese breakfast! :))

 

Oven baked Chinese bread: Shaobing
Author: 
Recipe type: Chinese bread
 

Ingredients
  • Plain flour
  • dry yeast
  • salt
  • sesame paste
  • toasted sesame

Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough as indicated in the main text of the post.
  2. Knead the dough well, and leave for one hour or wait for it fully raised.
  3. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sesame paste in 1 tablespoon of water and ⅔ teaspoon of salt.
  4. Divide the dough into smaller portions, around 4-5cm wide, around 7-8cm long, and about 3cm thick.
  5. Roll the small dough into a flat sheet. (0.5cm thick, maybe)
  6. Spread prepared sesame mix on the flat sheet.
  7. Roll up the ‘sheet’ tightly.
  8. Place the roll ‘standing’ on the board, use both hands to hold each end of the ‘roll’, and twist as many rounds as you can.
  9. Use your palm to press the top of ‘twisted’ roll down the bottom.
  10. Sprinkle toasted sesames on top of the ‘dough’, enough to cover the top surface, and press them well into it.
  11. Place well prepared shao bing into pre-heated oven for 15-18min.

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Culture Note: Spring Day in China and spring flatbread recipe
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