Youtiao is also known as Chinese oil stick or Chinese cruller is a traditional Chinese breakfast. Youtiao in fact is deep-fried Chinese breadstick.The perfect match with Youtiao is soy milk. Once the breadstick soaks in the soy milk, the bouffant texture will absorb the soy milk and thus creating a very special taste.
Since Youtiao is deep-fried, so it is not so popular as the old days. But it can always bring happy memories. We ate youtiao and soy milk almost every day when I was still a high school student.
I start my journey by using a yeast version, but soon or later, I find it is quite hard to handle the yeast youtiao dough. So after reading several “academic” papers about how to make youtiao, I turn my option to baking powder version. This is the new version and it is quite easier to handle.
Let’s start with my conclusions after testing and reading: the inflation of youtiao is due to carbon dioxide and ammonia released by the agent (there is specialized youtiao agent, but we are using baking powder) after chemical reactions. When the gas is generated, the dough expands based on the elasticity and ductility of the gluten. So we need to overlay two pieces together and press a mark in center. When heated by the hot oil, the outside get settled quickly. While the inner part is still cooler and soft, so the dough can continually expand with the effects of gas.
Before you start, there are several important tips for a success homemade youtiao using this recipe.
- The dough should be well-kneaded until elastic (the gluten should be well formed).
- The dough need to be set aside until the gluten is well rested (overnight resting)and make sure the dough is back to room temperature and quite soft before frying.
- If you feel the dough is sticky, slightly dust the operating board with flour. But use as less as possible. Do not use oil as it separates the two strips and hinder the inflation.
- The deep-frying temperature should be around 200 degree C (around 400 degree F). We gives the gas enough time to expand the dough. And use enough oil!
- Do not twist the youtiao dough into any shape, do not hinder the inflation.
- Press the two ends together and make sure the two strips will not separate during deep-frying.
- 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5) baking soda
- 1 small egg (60g)
- 100g milk
- 20ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- oil for deep-frying
In a stand mixer, add all the ingredients together and then knead with hook on low speed for 7-9 minutes until the dough is quite elastic. Shape into a ball and then cover with plastic wrapper and set aside in fridge overnight.
In the next morning, bring the dough outside and set aside for around 2 hours until it is returned to room temperature.
Slightly dust your operating board and then shape the dough into a long log and then further to a rectangle. Cut the rectangle into strips around 3cm wide. Lay one stripe over the other one and press a mark in the center (lengthwise).
Heat the oil to around 200 degree C (400 degree F). Then hold the two ends and slightly stretch the strips to around 18cm (or slightly adjust the length according to your frying wok). Press the two ends so they can stick together.
Place it to the wok and turn quickly.
Until slightly golden browned.
The shake off extra oil and then cool on paper. The whole deep-frying process may need 1.5 to 2 minutes.
The successful youtiao should have crisp shell and large holes in center.
- 240 g all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 small egg
- 100 g milk
- 20 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- oil for deep-frying
In a stand mixer, add all the ingredients together and then knead with hook on low speed for 7-9 minutes until the dough is quite elastic.
Shape into a ball and then cover with plastic wrapper and set aside in fridge overnight.
Heat the oil to around 200 degree C (400 degree F).
Then hold the two ends and slightly stretch the strips to around 18cm (or slightly adjust the length according to your frying wok). Press the two ends so they can stick together. Place it to the wok and fry until slightly golden brown.
The best serving ways includes serving with a warm soy milk. I love to deep youtiao into soy milk. It presents a totally different taste and texture after absorbing soy milk or congee.