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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Taiwanese Flaky Scallion Pancakes

Taiwanese Flaky Scallion Pancakes

2 hours plus 24 hour overnight rest

Free

These flaky scallion pancakes are similar to Malaysian or Indonesian roti and are rich in flavor yet light because of the many delicate layers. You'll need a large, smooth table or countertop for working. The pancakes are best when the dough is made and refrigerated a day ahead, but they can be shaped and frozen, then thawed and cooked just before serving. To do so, once the pancakes have been pressed into 8-inch ovals, freeze them in a single layer on baking sheets lined with lightly oiled kitchen parchment. Freeze until solid, then stack between sheets of lightly oiled parchment and place in a large zip-close bag. Seal and freeze for up to a month. When ready to cook, thaw on the parchment liners just until pliable, then cooked as directed.

1 large egg
580 grams (4¼ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
Kosher salt
2 sticks salted butter, 1 melted and 1 softened
1/2 cup peanut or canola oil, plus more for counter
1 cup finely chopped scallions
Ingredients
  • 1

    large egg

  • 580

    grams (4¼ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • Kosher salt

  • 2

    sticks salted butter, 1 melted and 1 softened

  • ½

    cup peanut or canola oil, plus more for counter

  • 1

    cup finely chopped scallions

Directions
  1. 01
    In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups water and the egg. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and 2 teaspoons salt; mix on medium until well combined, about 1 minute.  Add the melted butter to the water-egg mixture then, with the mixer running on medium, slowly add to the flour and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce to medium-low and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 7 minutes.
  2. 02
    Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured counter and divide into 8 portions (about 4 ounces each).  Shape each into a taut ball. On an unfloured area of the counter, roll each portion against the counter under a cupped hand until the surface of the ball is completely smooth.  Pour the oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place the balls in the dish and roll to coat with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. 03
    Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.  Using your hands, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in an even layer on a large area of counter (about 2 feet square). Working with 1 dough ball at a time, use your fingertips to push the dough gently out from the center until it forms an 8-inch round. Flip the round, adding more oil as needed to the counter to keep the surface slicked, and continue to push and stretch the dough until it forms a paper-thin round about 18 inches in diameter; you should be able to see through the dough. Shape the dough into an 18-inch square. If at any point the dough isn't moving easily, add more oil to the counter.
  4. 04
    Grease your hands with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter, then gently rub the entire surface of the dough with butter. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt.  Using your fingertips, lift the far edge of the dough square and fold the top third of the dough down toward you, then fold the bottom third up, as if folding a letter; align the edges as much as possible. The dough will spring back slightly as you fold, leaving you with a long strip about 4 inches wide.  Scatter 2 tablespoons of the scallions over the strip and gently press them in. Fold over 4 inches of one end of the strip, then continue folding the 4-inch area until you reach the other end.  Transfer to two oiled plates and cover with plastic wrap. Shape and fill the remaining dough in the same way using the remaining scallions.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  5. 05
    Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium until flecks of water instantly sizzle when they hit the pan, 3 to 5 minutes.  Place 1 dough square on an oiled counter and gently spread it into an 8-inch oval of even thickness; it's fine the oval is not perfectly shaped.  Transfer the oval to the skillet, reduce heat to low and cook, occasionally rotating the pancake in the pan, until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.  Flip the pancake and cook until the second side is golden brown and crisp, another 5 to 7 minutes. While the pancake cooks, shape another dough square into an 8-inch oval.
  6. 06
    Using a spatula, transfer the pancake to a cutting board and cover with a dry kitchen towel.  Using your hands, scrunch the pancake, pushing the edges together to help the layers separate. Flatten the pancake, then rotate 90 degrees, re-cover with the towel and repeat the scrunching process.  Unfold the pancake and place it on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the entire process until all the dough squares have been used. It's fine if the pancakes overlap slightly on the rack. Transfer the pancakes to the oven and bake until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Tip: Don't use all-purpose flour. Bread flour is essential for a dough that can be stretched paper-thin. Don't worry if the dough forms a few tears or holes as you stretch it; they won't matter in the finished pancakes. Don't skimp on the oil used on the countertop; a thin but thorough coating is required.
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Taiwanese Flaky Scallion Pancakes

Get Ready to Cook

8

pancakes

2 hours

plus 24 hour overnight rest

Tip

Don't use all-purpose flour. Bread flour is essential for a dough that can be stretched paper-thin. Don't worry if the dough forms a few tears or holes as you stretch it; they won't matter in the finished pancakes. Don't skimp on the oil used on the countertop; a thin but thorough coating is required.

Ingredients
  • 1

    large egg

  • 580

    grams (4¼ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • Kosher salt

  • 2

    sticks salted butter, 1 melted and 1 softened

  • ½

    cup peanut or canola oil, plus more for counter

  • 1

    cup finely chopped scallions

Step 1 of 6

Make the dough

1
large egg
580
grams (4¼ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2
teaspoons kosher salt
2
sticks salted butter, 1 melted and 1 softened

In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups water and the egg. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and 2 teaspoons salt; mix on medium until well combined, about 1 minute. 


Add the melted butter to the water-egg mixture then, with the mixer running on medium, slowly add to the flour and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce to medium-low and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 7 minutes.

Step 2 of 6

Shape the dough balls and refrigerate

Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured counter and divide into 8 portions (about 4 ounces each). 


Shape each into a taut ball. On an unfloured area of the counter, roll each portion against the counter under a cupped hand until the surface of the ball is completely smooth. 


Pour the oil into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place the balls in the dish and roll to coat with oil on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3 of 6

Roll out the dough ball

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours. 


Using your hands, spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in an even layer on a large area of counter (about 2 feet square). Working with 1 dough ball at a time, use your fingertips to push the dough gently out from the center until it forms an 8-inch round.


Flip the round, adding more oil as needed to the counter to keep the surface slicked, and continue to push and stretch the dough until it forms a paper-thin round about 18 inches in diameter; you should be able to see through the dough.


Shape the dough into an 18-inch square. If at any point the dough isn't moving easily, add more oil to the counter.

Step 4 of 6

Add the scallions

2
sticks salted butter, 1 melted and 1 softened
Kosher salt
1
cup finely chopped scallions

Grease your hands with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter, then gently rub the entire surface of the dough with butter. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. 


Using your fingertips, lift the far edge of the dough square and fold the top third of the dough down toward you, then fold the bottom third up, as if folding a letter; align the edges as much as possible. The dough will spring back slightly as you fold, leaving you with a long strip about 4 inches wide. 


Scatter 2 tablespoons of the scallions over the strip and gently press them in. Fold over 4 inches of one end of the strip, then continue folding the 4-inch area until you reach the other end. 


Transfer to two oiled plates and cover with plastic wrap. Shape and fill the remaining dough in the same way using the remaining scallions. 


Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Step 5 of 6

Cook the pancakes

Heat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle position. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium until flecks of water instantly sizzle when they hit the pan, 3 to 5 minutes. 


Place 1 dough square on an oiled counter and gently spread it into an 8-inch oval of even thickness; it's fine the oval is not perfectly shaped. 


Transfer the oval to the skillet, reduce heat to low and cook, occasionally rotating the pancake in the pan, until the bottom is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. 


Flip the pancake and cook until the second side is golden brown and crisp, another 5 to 7 minutes. While the pancake cooks, shape another dough square into an 8-inch oval.

Step 6 of 6

Heat the pancakes through

Using a spatula, transfer the pancake to a cutting board and cover with a dry kitchen towel. 


Using your hands, scrunch the pancake, pushing the edges together to help the layers separate. Flatten the pancake, then rotate 90 degrees, re-cover with the towel and repeat the scrunching process. 


Unfold the pancake and place it on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat the entire process until all the dough squares have been used. It's fine if the pancakes overlap slightly on the rack. Transfer the pancakes to the oven and bake until heated through, about 3 minutes.

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