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Author Notes: Hua juan are steamed buns flavored with scallions and twisted to look kind of like a flower (hua juan means "flower twist" in Mandarin).
It is a yeast dough recipe, so you'll have to plan ahead to allow time for the dough to rise and then for the shaped buns to proof. Also, you'll need a way to steam the buns; I use my stock pot with the pasta insert and steamer insert for two layers of steamy goodness. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
Makes 12 buns
For the dough:
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 cup milk, heated to 90-95 degrees F
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the scallion-sesame glaze
- 3 tablespoons chopped scallions, green parts only
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- Turn on oven to lowest setting. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Mix in the rest of the ingredients for the dough and knead. Cover with a moist cloth or seal tightly and place in oven for 1 hour.
- Mix together the ingredients for the scallion-sesame glaze and allow to macerate at room temperature. Cut out 12 squares of parchment paper, about 4" x 4".
- Knead the dough again after it has doubled in size and then separate into 12 egg-sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long oval and cut into long strips, leaving a 1/4" section attached at one end. Brush lightly with the glaze.
- Pick up the dough with both hands, twist, and tuck the ends underneath to shape the buns and place on a square of parchment paper. (Here's a small video to show you how: http://bit.ly/1iixL9A)
- Place the shaped buns into baking pans (I have to use 2 pans to fit all 12 buns) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the pans in the warm oven for another 40 - 60 minutes to proof.
- Steam the buns for 13 minutes. Using my stock pot with my pasta insert and steamer basket, I can steam 6 buns at a time (3 on each level).
- If not not eating immediately, transfer to a freezer bag once it has cooled and freeze. To reheat, wrap with plastic wrap or put in a fold-and-close sandwich bag and microwave for 45 seconds.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Family Recipe, Part 2
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Scallions