Whole Wheat Flaky Scallion Pancake

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Scallion pancakes are one heck of a delicious dish in China, and I can’t help but love eating it whenever I go to Asian restaurants. I’m always jealous that they can make it all flaky and mine turned out pretty normal, till I decided to do some research on the internet. I discovered from Serious Eats about the secrets to making pancakes flaky, and that was to use boiling water for the dough, and coating the surface with sesame oil so that the fat can laminate the pancake, making it flaky!

Wow, that really worked! First time I’ve had pancakes so flaky, though I have to say, the first one I made totally turned catastrophic because I added way too much scallions and the entire thing just broke. Well, luckily I had one more to work with, so it turned out fine.

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One important thing I’ve learned is often, it will save us far more time to just do a little research online before making something. It goes such a long way and will save you time overall. You may think that it’s easier just to guess, but sometimes spending that extra 20 minutes reading will save you hours of grief if you made a mistake. I remember in the past, I always wanted to make the perfect cookie or cake and I never bothered to research what the batter should be, which ended up with cakes with gooey middle and outside as hard as rock. I learned this time to really search on what makes these pancakes flaky, and I’m so glad I did because these were simply amazing.

I could’ve made these with white flour but I really wanted to keep the focus on this site as healthy foods, and I know that whole wheat is much healthier than processed flours, and I found my magic ingredient. Spelt flour! If you want whole wheat that tastes almost exactly like white flour, go for spelt flour! It’s the greatest thing I’ve discovered yet, and I love using it for just about everything!

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I’m amazed with just how soft spelt flour is compared to whole wheat. I can bake something with whole wheat and sometimes it feels as if I’m eating cardboard. Spelt flour is not like that at all, it has the texture and softness of white flour, yet it’s whole. That’s my heaven! The only downside is spelt flour do cost quite a lot and it can be hard to find them, though it is so worth it!

Whole Wheat Flaky Scallion Pancake

1 cup spelt flour, plus extra for kneading
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
1-2 bunches scallions
A few sprinkles Himalayan/Sea Salt
4 teaspoons extra light olive oil

Add a cup of spelt flour in a large mixing bowl. Be sure you have some metal measuring cups! Boil a small pot of water and once it’s bubbling, measure out 1/2 cup and slowly drizzle it with the spelt flour. Use a spoon or chopstick to slowly stir it to form clumps. Do this for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled enough to handle. Knead it for a minute just to help the dough form into shape, then move it onto a wooden surface with a bit of spelt flour sprinkled underneath. This will help the kneading process.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_Step_by_Step_001

Knead the dough with both hands and make sure you put some strength into it. The better you knead, the tastier the pancake will be! Try and push out as much air as you can. Once the dough has become smooth and silky (not sticky), transfer it back into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set this aside for about half an hour.

While you’re waiting, chop the scallion extremely finely! This is so crucial, because large pieces will break the dough! At the same time, also prepare the sesame oil by pouring the amount into a small bowl, and have a pastry brush ready. Have the salt close to you.

After 30 minutes, bring the dough back onto the wooden surface and divide it in half, evenly. Put one of them back in the bowl and cover it well, we will work with one at a time.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_Step_by_Step_002

Roll one of the pieces into a round ball, then flatten it with a rolling pin, into a an approximately 8 inch disk. Use the pastry brush to paint on a layer of sesame oil on the surface (no need to overdo it, and don’t add the scallions). Sprinkle a little salt and roll it up like the way a jelly roll looks. Twist the roll into a tight spiral and tuck in the ends so that it sticks. Use your hand to flatten it a little, then use the rolling pin to turn it back into a flat, round disk. This time, have it a little thicker and smaller. My experience is that thin layers will cause the scallion to leak everywhere.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_Step_by_Step_003

Repeat the process before by painting another layer of sesame oil and sprinkle a very small amount of salt across, then sprinkle a handful of scallions on the top, all spread out. Don’t put too much scallion as a messy, broken dough with scallions flying all over the place is NOT what you want to be working with.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_Step_by_Step_004

Once again, roll it up like you did before into how a jelly roll looks, though be a little more careful this time. Twist it into a spiral again and this time, flatten it very gently with your hands. Finally, use the rolling pin to gently flatten it into a disk that’s about the same size as before.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_Step_by_Step_005

Repeat this for the other piece of dough. Now, it’s time to fry those pancakes. Add two teaspoons of extra light olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and turn the heat on medium high (5). carefully place the pancake on the oil, let it cover the side completely, then immediately flip it over to allow the oil to coat the other side. This ensures equal amounts of oil covering each side. Fry for about 7-10 minutes, check often to see if the bottom has browned. If so, flip it over and fry the other side for another 5-10 minutes. You may want to flip over 5-6 times and cook each side for 2 minutes each, it’s completely up to you!

Serve with soy sauce or a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce/tabasco and such.

Whole_Wheat_Flaky_Scallion_Pancake_Recipe_005

Whole Wheat Flaky Scallion Pancake
Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup spelt flour, plus extra for kneading
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1-2 bunches scallions
  • A few sprinkles Himalayan/Sea Salt
  • 4 teaspoons extra light olive oil

Instructions
  1. Add a cup of spelt flour in a large mixing bowl. Be sure you have some metal measuring cups! Boil a small pot of water and once it’s bubbling, measure out ½ cup and slowly drizzle it with the spelt flour. Use a spoon or chopstick to slowly stir it to form clumps. Do this for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled enough to handle. Knead it for a minute just to help the dough form into shape, then move it onto a wooden surface with a bit of spelt flour sprinkled underneath. This will help the kneading process.
  2. Knead the dough with both hands and make sure you put some strength into it. The better you knead, the tastier the pancake will be! Try and push out as much air as you can. Once the dough has become smooth and silky (not sticky), transfer it back into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Set this aside for about half an hour.
  3. While you’re waiting, chop the scallion extremely finely! This is so crucial, because large pieces will break the dough! At the same time, also prepare the sesame oil by pouring the amount into a small bowl, and have a pastry brush ready. Have the salt close to you.
  4. After 30 minutes, bring the dough back onto the wooden surface and divide it in half, evenly. Put one of them back in the bowl and cover it well, we will work with one at a time.
  5. Roll one of the pieces into a round ball, then flatten it with a rolling pin, into a an approximately 8 inch disk. Use the pastry brush to paint on a layer of sesame oil on the surface (no need to overdo it, and don’t add the scallions). Sprinkle a little salt and roll it up like the way a jelly roll looks. Twist the roll into a tight spiral and tuck in the ends so that it sticks. Use your hand to flatten it a little, then use the rolling pin to turn it back into a flat, round disk. This time, have it a little thicker and smaller. My experience is that thin layers will cause the scallion to leak everywhere.
  6. Repeat the process before by painting another layer of sesame oil and sprinkle a very small amount of salt across, then sprinkle a handful of scallions on the top, all spread out. Don’t put too much scallion as a messy, broken dough with scallions flying all over the place is NOT what you want to be working with.
  7. Once again, roll it up like you did before into how a jelly roll looks, though be a little more careful this time. Twist it into a spiral again and this time, flatten it very gently with your hands. Finally, use the rolling pin to gently flatten it into a disk that’s about the same size as before.
  8. Repeat this for the other piece of dough. Now, it’s time to fry those pancakes. Add two teaspoons of extra light olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and turn the heat on medium high (5). carefully place the pancake on the oil, let it cover the side completely, then immediately flip it over to allow the oil to coat the other side. This ensures equal amounts of oil covering each side. Fry for about 7-10 minutes, check often to see if the bottom has browned. If so, flip it over and fry the other side for another 5-10 minutes. You may want to flip over 5-6 times and cook each side for 2 minutes each, it’s completely up to you!
  9. Serve with soy sauce or a combination of soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce/tabasco and such.

 

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