Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ting Momo: Tibetan Cloud-Shaped Bread Buns

It took me a few tries to get these right and they're absolutely worth it.  The first time I made the dough too wet and held it overnight, ending up with shapeless blobs.  The second time I forgot to dip them in the turmeric sauce before steaming, and they were good, but not as good as the third time when I got them right.

The dough is a simple mix of water, sugar, yeast, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and baking powder.  No fat or salt.  After the bulk rise, I cut the dough into strips and bundled them, four at a time, into little knots.  They don't have to be perfect and it's okay if they break in places - just reshape them and they'll be fine.  I dunked each one in a glaze of olive oil, turmeric and salt.  They don't need a second rise, but it doesn't hurt to give them a short rest while the water comes to a boil.  Pop them in the steamer for fifteen minutes.  That's it.

The turmeric glaze seeped into all of the little nooks in these delicious clouds, providing unexpected bursts of flavor in an otherwise bland bun.


John Daniels said...

Do you have a recipe for these that you could share?

Deborah said...

All of the recipes I'm making this year are from 'The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide' - I'm just cooking straight through it. I really love this recipe in particular.

For the dough I used 1 cup warm water, 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast, 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (10.67 oz), 2/3 cup white flour, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. You might need more or less flour - just enough so that the dough doesn't stick to your fingers. Cover it and let it rise until doubled (1 1/2 - 2 hours).

To make the glaze, mix 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 Tbs oil (I used olive) in a little bowl.

After the dough rises, punch it down, knead it a little and divide it in two pieces. Shape one piece at a time into an 8x12," 1/8" thick rectangle. Cut the rectangle into 16 strips.

To shape each roll, pile four strips on top of each other. It's ok if the strips break or don't line up perfectly. Then tie them in a knot. You may want to tuck the ends underneath or fan out the strips for effect. Next dip the top of the roll in the turmeric oil and set it aside. Repeat with all of the dough - you should have 8 rolls total.

Coat a steamer basket with oil and arrange the buns in it. Steam them over 2 inches of boiling water for 15 minutes.

Hope this helps!