As you take a bite of the fluffy yet crunchy Shanghai sesame pancakes, you can’t help but appreciate the generous use of fat and scallions that make every bite bursting with flavor. It’s no wonder these pancakes are a beloved staple of Shanghainese cuisine.
This recipe for Shanghai da bing, often known as sesame pancakes, is no exception. Since butter is more commonly available than lard, I adapted the recipe to accommodate this difference in preference.
Overall, it’s still a cool product. Vegetable shortening is a great substitute for those who avoid animal products.
You may quickly and easily obtain a taste of familiar comfort food.
For the dough:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup of warm water
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
For the pastry dough:
- 4 tablespoons of melted butter or lard
- 3 finely chopped scallions
- ½ cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorn powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
- ⅓ cup of toasted sesame seeds
- Water and a pastry brush
Make the dough:
- Make a smooth and soft dough by combining all ingredients in an electric mixer (or by hand). For best results, cover and set aside at least 30 minutes to rest. Prepare the pastry dough while the dough is resting.
- Combine everything in a bowl and stir it with a rubber spatula. Always make sure the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Place the covered dish in the fridge and chill for 15 minutes.
Assemble the Da Bing:
- Start by setting the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
- The dough should be cut into 10 even pieces. Also, while the pastry dough is still cold, cut it into 10 pieces and roll each one into a ball.
- Roll the pastry dough ball out flat and enclose it in the flattened dough. Closing the outer layer with a pinch. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the dough, then roll it out to an oval shape, with a thickness of approximately a sixteenth of an inch. Roll the oval into a coil after folding it in half lengthwise. Flip the roll over, flatten it again with your palm, and roll it into a new oval. This process, known as “lamination,” produces layers of flaky dough in the da bing.
- Spread the da bing out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Water lightly, then evenly sprinkle over the sesame seeds and press them into the dough to make a thin layer.
- Da bing should be baked for 18 minutes or until it is just beginning to turn golden. Avoid overbaking them by a few minutes.
- Serve with tiao for the best effect. You won’t be sorry you tried this irresistible take on the classic carb-on-carb pairing. Reheat the leftovers in a toaster oven preheated to 350 degrees F using the same container they were stored in.