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Yummy You Cha Kway

The puffy-crunchy-chewy hawker centre mainstay, you cha kway, or more commonly known as youtiao, is surprisingly simple to make. Just mix together a few ingredients, throw in a home workout as you knead the dough and enjoy pipping hot youtiao on demand! 

So make these delightful dough sticks fresh for a delicious homemade breakfast alongside fresh soy milk, or starring in a BRUNO Hotplate griddled Jian Bing. The BRUNO Multi Grill Pot with its high sides and ceramic heating element, is ideal for deep frying these delicious dough sticks with minimal splatter and easy clean up!     

Delving into the deets

Crispiness

  • Fry hot. The oil should be roughly 200 ℃ when you proceed to fry your youtiao. Use a candy thermometer, or an electric thermometer to ascertain the oil temperature.  
  • Expedite eating. Try to consume the youtiao as soon as it’s cool enough to eat for the crunchiest cruller experience.
  • You can save extra youtiao by storing them in a Ziplock bag and freezing them after they have cooled down. Heat them up again in a convection oven or air fryer at 185 °C for 2 - 5 minutes.    

Prime puffiness

  • A prolonged rest allows the gluten in the dough to relax, giving you larger air pockets upon frying, so be sure to make this dough well ahead of your targeted mealtime. 
  • Only fry room temperature dough, so make sure to let the dough fully warm-up to room temperature after retrieving it from its cold proofing in the fridge. 
  • This dough should be wet and elastic. If it feels dry when you are kneading it, amend it with a tablespoon of water, and knead that in. This moisture helps to activate the baking soda and expends upon cooking to create the coveted pockets of fluffiness in your crullers. 
  • To prevent the dough from drying out, try to reduce the time it spends exposed to the environment. Use cling wrap or a wet towel to cover any pieces of dough that you aren’t immediately working on, this minimises its exposure to air.       

Recipe (makes 6 youtiao)

Steps:

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the egg, milk, and the vegetable oil (20 ml) then stir it in with a spoon until a sticky dough is formed. 
  3. Knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes.  
  4. At this point, the dough should be wet and sticky, but it ought to still pull away from the bowl’s surface when lifted up. If it is not wet enough, add in the water and resume kneading for another 5 minutes. 
  5. After 20 minutes of kneading, roughly shape the dough into a ball and wrap it with cling film. Leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. 
  6. Remove the youtiao dough from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
  7. When you are ready to cook your youtiao, fill your BRUNO Multi Grill Pot with vegetable oil (~ 600 ml), and set the pot to heat up on MED heat to 200 ℃ (~8 minutes). 
  8. While the oil is heating up, dust a clean work surface with flour, unwrap the dough, and dust it with flour too. 
  9. With a rolling pin, press down on the dough and roll forward once, then give the dough a quarter rotation, then roll again. Repeat this 3 - 4 times so you achieve a roughly rectangular dough sheet approximately 1 cm thick.   
  10. Trim the sides of the sheet so you get a more uniform rectangle.
  11. With a sharp knife, divide the dough into 12 rectangular strips. 
  12. Using your finger, dab some water onto the top of a strip to moisten its top, then stack the strip next to it on top the wet one. Repeat this until you have 6 dough stacked dough pairs. Cover these with a sheet of cling wrap. 
  13. When your oil is hot enough (190 - 200 ℃), indent one of the dough stacks by pressing down on it lengthwise with a chopstick, then pinching both ends with your fingers, stretch it out (~ 20 cm long) and gently lower it into the hot oil.   
  14. With a pair of chopsticks, roll the youtiao over in the hot oil every few seconds so that it cooks evenly on all sides.
  15. The youtiao should puff up quickly and will be done when it is golden-brown on all sides (1 - 2 minutes). Remove the cooked youtiao with your chopsticks onto a plate lined with paper towels. 
  16. Repeat steps 13 to 14 until all the dough is cooked.
Serve your fresh and crunchy you cha kway while it is hot, and pair it with soy milk freshly brewed with your BRUNO Hot Soup Blender! Enjoy~  

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