Bánh tiêu is one of those comfort snacks that I enjoy during a cold, rainy day. Once a dough ball , covered in sesame seeds, is rolled out into a flat disk and dropped into a pot of hot oil, it pops up like magic, creating a hollow bun. The golden brown bánh tiêu, slightly sweet and crispy on the outside with a mildly chewy texture, carries a wonderful aroma when the sesame seeds burst in your mouth , making it so addictive. I wonder what it would be like with poppy seeds!
Bánh tiêu is fairly easy to make. You just need four basic ingredients (flour, milk, sugar and sesame seeds ) to produce a big bowl filled of delicious banh tieu within a short amount of time. Now you have the recipe, make these bánh tiêu to show off your culinary skills on your next weekend get together.
RECIPE: Bánh Tiêu
3 cups Self Rising Flour
1 cup Milk
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup White or Black Sesame Seeds
Canola Oil, for frying
In a large mixing bowl combine flour and sugar, mix well.
Add milk and mix well using a spatula.
Dust the surface of your work area with flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough to the work area and knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes until you get a nice smooth round ball. You can also knead the dough in the same mixing bowl if preferred.
Place the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover with a lid if it has one or cover with a clean damp kitchen towel to prevent the dough from drying. Allow to rise in a warm place until its size is doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour. To speed up the rising process, I usually turn on the oven at 350 degree for a couple of minutes just to keep the oven slightly warm then turn it off. I then place the bowl of dough in the oven.
When the dough is ready, remove from the oven. Smash down the dough to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into about 25 balls. Continue covering the dough balls with the damp towel to keep them from drying out.
Rolling The Dough Balls
On the work area, sprinkle some sesame seeds then place a dough ball on top of the sesame seeds. Sprinkle some more sesame seeds on top of the dough and roll it out flat into round disk. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, dust the rolling pin with flour. The thinner you roll it out the more hollow the bread gets when frying it.
You can start to fry the dough as you finish rolling out each one or roll all the dough balls out and fry them all at once.
Frying Bánh Tiêu
Heat up the oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium. You can tell when the oil is hot enough by inserting a wooden chopstick into the oil and you should see the oil bubbling around the stick.
Carefully drop a dough disk into the hot oil to prevent splashing. Use tongs or chopsticks to push the dough down into the oil to help puff up the dough. As soon as the dough starts to puff up, flip it quickly back and forth until it's golden brown and evenly puffed. The dough turns brown really quickly and burns easily if you don't pay attention .
Place bánh tiêu on a couple pieces of paper towel so that the excess oil can be absorbed into the paper towels.