This is a recipe for the slightly sweet, nutty, fried sesame hallow bread. They are usually made a little sweeter and eaten like doughnuts. I am not too fond of the sweetness level of the typical hallow bread you may find at the markets and have toned down the sweetness a little in my recipe. This gives it flexibility to be stuffed with a savory filling.
I was taking inventory of the pantry and found three bags of sesame seeds and this was the first thing I thought to make. You may have seen these in bags for sale at the Asian Market. I would pick up a bag now and again, but when I have time, I think it is worth making at home. They are much fresher and you can adjust the sweetness to taste.
Here are a few notes:
• Yeast dough – making yeast doughs can be intimidating to some, but it should not be a deterrence. You can proof your yeast in a little bowl with water and sugar, but I do not find that necessary. More fuss and just another step to complicate things. Just mix the ingredients as I did and make sure you get your dough to rise twice. The first is the initial rising in the greased bowl and the second rising is the resting after they’ve been rolled out.
• Puffing – the key to getting the bread to puff when you fry them is turning them frequently. If you let one side cook completely before turning, they may not puff much. You will end up with a fried bread, but it won’t be hallow.
Sesame Hallow Bread
Time: 2 hours
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant dry or active dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup lukewarm water
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Cooking spray or oil to grease bowl
Oil for frying
• In the bowl of a stand mixer, add flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix ingredients.
• Then assemble the hook attachment. Set on low speed and slowly add water. Turn up to medium speed and allow to knead for 5 minutes until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and is soft and not tacky to the touch. If you knead by hand, this will take 10-15 minutes.
• Turn the dough into a greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for an hour until it has doubled in size.
• Punch down the bowl and turn onto a floured surface. Knead by hand for a minute. Then cut into 8 pieces. Press the dough into a bowl with sesame seeds, making sure to cover both sides of the dough with the sesame seeds.
• Using a rolling pin, roll the sesame seed covered dough into ¼ inch thick round disks. Do not worry if they are not perfectly round. Cover the rolled-out dough with a clean towel and let it rest and rise for another 20 minutes.
• Heat pan with oil to 350F. Drop dough rounds into the hot oil and let it cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Make sure to turn the dough frequently to help it puff. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
• Serve warm or at room temperature.