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Spiral tao Sar Puff (thousand layers puff)

Makes 6 Bun /cakes

Water dough
75g plain flour
20g shortening
10g (fine) sugar
35g water + 2-3 drops white vinegar

Oil Dough
65g plain flour
40g shortening

1. Water dough
. Rub shortening with flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
. Add in water and sugar and mix together to form a smooth dough. Cover and rest for 30 mins.
. Divide dough into 2 pieces.

2. Oil Dough
. Rub shortening gradually into the flour to form a soft dough. Cover to rest for 30 minutes.
. Divide dough into 2 pieces.

3. Wrap oil dough into water dough and flatten.

4. Roll out into a longish flat thin piece. Roll up like a swiss roll.

5. Turn 90deg and repeat step 4.

6. Cut each roll into 3 equal pieces with a sharp knife.

7. With the spiral side facing down, flatten and roll. Wrap with filling of choice.

8. Heat a pot of oil on high heat. Dunk the cake in 3 times in very hot oil. Reduce to medium heat and deep fry till golden brown or bake at 180C for 10-20 minutes until pastry is cooked.

Option B (baking): Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Arrange the pastry apart on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the puffs are golden brown in colour.

Tip :
1. When rolling into a round, roll the edges of the dough thinner to make it easier to seal.
2. If your shortening is hard, soften it in the microwave before using.
3. the secret to getting the cake to bloom like a snail shell....'dunking it in very hot oil 3 times'.

The Chinese flaky pastry is basically made up of two separate dough, one referred to as the water dough (水油麵皮), the other the lard or shortened dough (油酥麵皮). The basic water dough consists of flour, water and lard in the proportion of roughly 5 : 2-2.5 : 1-1.25 depending on recipes. In some recipes, a little bit of sugar or salt is added for flavour, but traditionally no flavouring is added. Although lard is the traditional fat used, nowadays shortening, butter or margarine, or even liquid cooking oil could also be used instead of lard, depending on recipes. The lard dough consists of flour and lard in the proportion of roughly 2 : 1.

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