Chinese Scallion Pancakes

Someone in my Facebook Group (Sourdough Baking Australia & New Zealand) reminded me the other day about Chinese scallion pancakes. I hadn’t made these for such a long time and she had tweaked her recipe to include sourdough discard, so I thought this worth trying. My usual go to source for Asian recipes, is to the fabulous Dumpling Sisters, I was introduced to them by Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial quite a few years ago and I haven’t bought a dumpling wrapper since! I had some spring onions (scallions) that needed to be picked, so this was a perfect opportunity for them to be put to use. I also had a fairly large amount of starter left over from yesterdays bake so all the more reason to try these pancakes using sourdough starter.

I adjusted the recipe , actually I pretty much threw it out, but this is what the Dumpling Sisters recipe turned into using sourdough starter (100% hydration). This would make enough for an army, so the recipe could be halved with out any problem, I also think rolling the dough out for its first roll using a pasta machine would work well.

  • 460g plain flour
  • 200g unfed sourdough starter (use up discard if you have any)
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 18g Sunflower oil (any neutral flavoured oil would work)
  • 150g warm water

Mix everything together until well combined then turn out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth. This pic is before the kneading! Cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

Once rested, break off ‘golf ball’ sized pieces. I rolled the dough into a log first then just cut bits off.

Shape the pieces into balls and roll into a squarish thin piece.

I did a pre roll first which gave the pieces time to relax a bit before I did the big flattening roll out. Brush the surface of the dough with oil and sprinkle sparingly with salt and scatter scallions over. I was warned that they may need quite a good dose of salt but I obviously went a bit too far with it!Roll the dough into a log,

Then depending on which way to final shape you choose (see Dumpling Sisters link), roll the log into a snail. Tuck the tail underneath, let sit to relax the dough for about 10 minutes.

Squash the snail with your hand then roll into a flat disc, the Dumpling Sisters suggest for crispy, roll thinly, for thicker to use as wraps or for a more chewy texture, roll a bit thicker. I wanted thin so they were rolled out to about 3 ml.Cook the pancakes on a lightly oiled griddle or in a pan, keep heat low so they do cook right though.  Cut into pieces and dip into sauce of your choice, I just went for simple old sweet  chilli sauce.These were good but I was a bit too heavy-handed with the salt, I actually think they would be nice with sour cream as well as the sweet chilli sauce. We enjoyed ours with a platter of goodies and some bubbles while we put up our Christmas Tree.

 I can’t really remember how they compare to ones made the normal way, but it was a great way to use up some things that would have been wasted otherwise.

I am also really pleased to say that I have a new computer, I had been struggling with my poor old Mac for several months which is part of the reason I haven’t posted much. I couldn’t upload pictures! Well, now I’m back up and running, I might get to actually post one of the several draft posts I’ve got sitting in the dashboard but couldn’t use.

Introducing Phoenicia!

When I started this blog I had intended it just be a diary account of renovations we did to this old home and what we were establishing in the garden and vegetable patch. Throw in a bit of preserving and foodie stuff and that was it. I had no idea it would lead to “meeting” some amazing people from right across the globe and learning so many different things from other bloggers who offer so much. It’s really like one big fat support group for whatever you do!

One of these delightful people is Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Celia’s blogs covers a wealth of subjects, some food related some not. She turns out amazing bread and meals like a machine (but they look and I bet, taste) way better than a machine had created them. She shows great compassion for those experiencing hard times and has a slightly wicked sense of humour from what I’ve gleaned.  Celia has been generously sharing her sourdough starter ‘Priscilla’, Queen of the refrigerator (named from the movie  Priscilla, Queen of the desert) to people and giving them advice on how to activate, maintain and use the starter to make bread. Well guess who’s a lucky old recipient? Yep, moi! Celia graciously offered me some and I wasn’t about to miss out on such a great opportunity. I’m keen to see the difference between starters. Here is the treasured packet of granules just waiting to be resuscitated. Not only is there starter, but also a detailed set of instructions for kicking life back into it ready to bake some bread.

Dried sourdough starter

One of Celia’s requests is to name the starter so the family lineage of Priscilla can be tracked. Now this was tricky….

My first thought was to use a name that tied back to the movie but all I could come up with was “Ping Pong”. Please don’t ask me to explain! I was a little concerned this could be a bit controversial so I’ve decided to name her Phoenicia (long lost relative of Priscilla) in honour of the ancient Phoenicians who are considered to be responsible for the first breads.

The following was taken from The History of Bread.

The Egyptian grammarian and philosopher Athenaeus, who lived in the third century A.D., has handed down to us considerable knowledge about bread and baking in those days. He wrote that the best bakers were from Phoenicia or Lydia, and the best bread-makers from Cappadocia. He gives us a list of the sorts of bread common in his time-leavened and unleavened loaves; loaves made from the best wheat flour; loaves made from groats, or rye, and some from acorns and millet. There were lovely crusty loaves too, and loaves baked on a hearth. Bakers made a bread mixed with cheese, but the favourite of the rich was always white bread made from wheat. In ancient Greece, keen rivalry existed between cities as to which produced the best bread. Athens claimed the laurel wreath, and the name of its greatest baker, Thearion, has been handed down through the ages in the writings of various authors. During the friendly rivalry between the towns, Lynceus sings the praises of Rhodian rolls. ‘The Athenians’, he says,

Thank you Celia, I will nurture her lovingly.

 

The Ins and Outs of the weekend.

The in’s- In the kitchen.

This weekend’s kitchen round up includes, jerusalem artichoke Trial #3, new test for cooking sour dough, delicious breakfast in the (what may be one of the last opportunities) beautiful morning sun.

Jerusalem artichoke Trial number 3.

My nieces partner who just happens to be a damed fine chef, graciously shared a couple of recipes for JA’s. I was hesitant to share them but I saw the recipe for this on the website of Jones the Grocer as well, so figure it mustn’t be too secret! Link for recipe-

Jerasulem Artichoke Soup Recipe

This recipe has L’Orto di beppi marinated garlic in olive oil as a major ingredient. Jones the Grocer are the most likely to stock this, but the closest  store, Chadstone, is about 2 hours away from me and no way anyone down here is likely to have any marinated garlic in any shape or form so I improvised and roasted a full head of my garlic and mixed it with some olive oil and white wine vinegar. I love roasted garlic, it adds a really deep, mellow dimension yet still gives a good garlic taste.  No idea of the comparison to the listed ingredient but it tasted good to me! Other improvisations I made to the recipe are: I used my stock which is mostly vegetable based and darker, so the soup will be darker.  I made some ‘chips’ from a bit of JA as a topping garnish, I also toasted some beautiful, freshly picked walnuts my friend gave me (thanks Richard) and sprinkled these, some thyme and freshly ground pepper on top for serving. Toasted some of yesterdays sour dough, rubbed with oil and garlic and yummo! We have a winner! Still a bit flowery for me but really nice. Thanks Bec & A!

Jerusalem artichoke soup.

Playing with sour dough.

I have been fortunate to find a blog by an amazing woman who posts the most delightful, informative and practical ideas regarding everything she does with preserving, making bread and baking. Every post of hers I read, makes me feel like I want to jump up and give it a shot. Well Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, I have jumped up and given this a crack! With only having my ‘toy oven’ to use for bread baking I found the top was sometimes getting a bit dark due to the frequent kicking in and out of the top element. Celia mentioned she used a Falcon Enamel Cooker for cooking her high hydration (wet) doughs. My niece had also mentioned a couple of weeks ago she used an enamel pot for cooking her ‘faux sour dough’, synchronicity at large here, better get one! I divided the dough in half,Sour dough Proved the dough and one went into the silicon bread tin and the other into the new enamel pot.

IMG_4314 IMG_4322

I wasn’t that confident that the pot would actually fit in the oven, perhaps I should have tested that first! Breathe easy, it fits! Interesting, the pot loaf is actually darker and flatter than the tinned loaf. Haven’t cut the tinned loaf yet but the pot one is fantastic!

Sour dough

Breakfast in the sun.

What better way to start the day than a yummy breaky consisting of everything bar the bacon & mushrooms coming from our kitchen and garden. The mushies did at least come from Gippsland Mushrooms. I discovered them at the last Warragul Farmers Market. Mushrooms were cooked in a little butter, added some garlic, white wine vinegar, p&s and a little stock. I also threw some kale in with them to take on the flavour. Couple of poached googies, toasted sour dough toast and a cuppa. All is good on the world! Should have wiped the dust off the table though.

Breakfast

The Outs.

Plantings:

I flew into the Yarragon market on my way to Melbourne yesterday hoping that John from ‘Herbalicious‘ was there, even though it was a bit before opening time. I was in luck, grabbed some borage I want to plant for attracting bees and use as decorative garnishes. Those blue borage flowers are beautiful, no wonder the bees want to stick their heads in them! I was very impressed with the quality and great range  of John’s stock, so hoped I would be back in time to have a better look. I was, also picked up some ruby mustard, miners lettuce (winter purslane) and chervil. Think I might just be getting quite a few plants here.

HerbaliciousAlso planted some spinach, leek seedlings, carrot and kale seed and stuck a few garlic cloves into some gaps in the garlic bed. This photo shows the dibber I use for helping plant so many things. It belonged to Mr ATMT’s grandfather and is beautiful in the hand. Every so often I give it a light sand and soak in oil and it jumps back to looking like new. I love using it and it is really nice thinking of Grandpa Cray, he has been dead for many years now and the blue lake beans I plant are direct descendants of seed I saved from his at least 20 years ago. Love that!

DibberThe broad beans are going ok but broad beans tend to flop and need support. I have placed some stakes at the corners of the bed and slipped some 100ml spacing wire over the stakes. The broad beans can grow through the wire and I can just move it up or add another level if needed as they grow. Especially good to prevent wind damage which broadies are prone to.

Broad Beans support Broad bean support

The cuttings I took from some sweet potato and the ginger root I’m trying to sprout are beginning to look more like they will work. The tiny little speck of green in the bottom right is the ginger.Sweet potato and gingerSomeone pointed out to me that you can take panorama shots on your phone. Well I’ll be danged, gave it a go and here’s my panoramic view around the patch. Might have to play a bit more with this function!Panorama