An incredibly popular street food and a daily breakfast staple in China and Southeast Asia. This gluten free Youtiao is savoury, crispy on the outside, soft and spongy inside.
Youtiao (Chinese Doughnut Stick) [Vegan]
- 225g (8oz) gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 270ml hot rice milk
For Preparing the Dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, sift in all the dry ingredients, whisk, and mix well.
- Make a well in the middle of the large mixing bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil and hot rice milk into the well. Use a spatula to mix the dry and wet ingredients together until you get bread crumb-like texture.
- Rub 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into the palm of your hands and start kneading the dough. The oil will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Add additional 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil gradually (1 tablespoon at a time) to the dough and continue kneading with your hands until it is combined into the dough. The resulting dough should be sticky and lumpy yet well mixed.
- Cover the dough with cling wrap and rest on the benchtop for 3 hour.
For Making and Shaping the Youtiao:
- Dust the work surface with some gluten-free flour.
- Place the dough onto the working surface, and gently pull with your hands to form a long rectangular shape around 10 inches wide.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until around 12 inches wide, 8 inches tall and 1/4 inch (0.6cm) thick.
- Lightly dust the top of the dough with some gluten-free flour.
- Using a knife, cut the dough into 10 strips, each strip 1.2 inch wide and space each strip around ½ inch apart.
- Scatter and lightly dust the cut dough pieces with some gluten-free flour, particularly the cut sides. This step is important because the flour will prevent 2 pieces of doughs from sticking when stacked together later.
- Make a vertical indentation for each piece of dough with a chopstick.
- Then wet each piece of dough along the vertical indentation with some water.
- Place one strip of dough on top of another (with the vertical indentation side facing down), until you have 5 sets of dough. Stack dough strips with the same length together.
- Press firmly on the centre of each set of dough with a chopstick to make a deep indentation vertically. Press all the way especially in the middle taking care not to break the dough. This will prevent the two pieces of dough from coming apart when deep frying.
For Cooking the Youtiao:
- Preheat a wok half-filled with rice bran oil to 200C or 390F. Measure the temperature with a kitchen thermometer before frying.
- Hold the two ends of each set of dough and carefully stretch the dough to 9½ inches long. Gluten-free dough cannot be stretched more than 1 1/2 inches. Do this just before you lower the stretched dough into the oil.
- Once the oil reaches 200C or 390°F, turn the temperature to medium-low. Then gently lower a set of dough into the oil. The youtiao will inflate quickly and float to the surface in less than 5 seconds.
- When the dough floats up, use a pair of chopsticks to continuously turn the dough every 3 seconds. This is to expand and fry the doughs evenly until golden brown, around 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove and drain the cooked youtiao on kitchen paper towel.
- Reheat by baking in the oven for 10 minutes at 160C or 320F.