Chinese Fried Bread
Youtiao(Chinese fried bread), is a long golden-brown deep-fried strip of dough commonly eaten in China and in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines. Who doesn’t love fried bread. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, and light and fluffy on the inside. Enjoy with your favorite hot beverage or soup.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons softened (NOT MELTED) unsalted butter
about 1/3 cup water (the exact amount changes based on the humidity in your kitchen; the dough should be very soft, but not sticking to the mixing bowl)
Step 1: In a large bowl, add all the ingredients together and then knead until the dough is quite elastic. Shape into a ball and then cover with plastic wrapper and set aside in fridge overnight. In the next morning, bring the dough outside and set aside for around 2 hours until it is returned to room temperature.
Step 2: Slightly dust your operating board with oil (the dough is quite sticky and oil helps a lot) and then shape the dough into a long log and then further to a rectangle. Cut the rectangle into strips around 1 ch wide. Lay one stripe over the other one and press a mark in the center (lengthwise).
Step 3: Heat the oil to around 200 degree C (400 degree F). Then hold the two ends and slightly stretch the strips to around 18cm (or slightly adjust the length according to your frying wok). Press the two ends so they can stick together. Place it to the wok and turn quickly. Until slightly golden browned. Then shake off extra oil and then cool on paper. The whole deep-frying process may need 1.5 to 2 minutes.
The successful youtiao should have crisp shell and large holes in center.