|Deep-fried donut balls|
Then recalling an email from a reader (named Irene) who told me she loved my supersoft ensaymada recipe which she modified to include using tangzhong. And she asked whether I have tried tangzhong. Intrigued, I researched what it was. And when I did learn some about it, I made a mental note to use it sometime.
So when I had the urge to try to recreate at home these Chinese style deep fried donut balls, I thought about using tangzhong to see whether it would make the donut springy yet soft. And it did.
My family says my version is even better. So now after 3 batches of changing and trying variations in the recipe, here is my final recipe:
Ingredients & Instructions:
A: Tangzhong - made from 1/3 cup of bread flour mixed with 1 cup of whole milk, cooked on medium heat while constantly stirring. Use half of this mix for a batch of the donut mixture below. (Store the remaining in fridge and use up within 3 days).
B: Donut mix
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup tangzhong (about half of the above mix)
1 large egg
3 tbsp butter, cut up
2 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp milk powder (I use KAF)
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bread machine yeast
Prepare dough as per your bread maker manufacturer's instruction (mine says to place liquid ingredients at room temp first in the pan, followed by the dry ingredients, with yeast as last to be placed on top of the dry ingredients.) Set on dough cycle.
Once dough is ready (after 1 and 1/2 hours), start heating up the oil for deep frying on medium heat. Place dough on a surface generously sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough as well. Flatten with a rolling pin. Use either a round biscuit cutter or donut cutter.
C: Oil for deep frying (I use pork lard for deep frying any dough. The best!). You must have about 2 inches high to start with. Flatten the dough once more if you have to, before placing in the hot oil (you can try placing one first to see if oil is hot enough. Dough should be done on one side within two minutes ). Dough will puff up as the oil heats it up. Flip to cook the other side. Drain on wire rack and cool a bit.
D: Vanilla sugar for sprinkling(I have a quart jar of sugar with two pods of vanilla bean inside, and that has been sitting for several months now so that the sugar has imbibed the vanilla flavor). If you don't have this, plain sugar will do, or you might want to use cinnamon sugar instead.
Note: Special credit goes to Christine's Recipes for the idea on how to make the tangzhong and for the recipe on which I based mine on. I only changed the recipe after I got feedback from hubby that the first one was "too chewy but still soft" so instead of using bread flour, I tried the all purpose one, then changed the amounts of other ingredients. Now hubby says, "You got the consistency right this time." And my sons are saying, "It's official, Ma. Your donuts are better than those in ChinaTing."