Recipe for the Spring-pancakes (春饼chūnbǐng)
Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Around 10 pancakes (each unit will split into two)
1 cup of plain flour (around 250 gr)
¾ cups of boiling water
2 tbsp sesame oil (or any other oil)
In a bowl, sieve the flour and slowly add the hot water. While pouring the hot liquid use chopsticks to help incorporate both ingredients. Knead until dough becomes soft and elastic. It may still be slightly sticky, but that is not a problem.
Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 15-30 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, carve a hole in the middle and with circular movements slowly shape the dough into a circular log (about 2cm in diameter).
Over a lightly floured surface, cut the log in 2 equally long pieces.
With a knife, cut the dough into 2-3cm pieces, giving the log a half roll between cuts to stop it from getting flatter with each cut.
Sprinkle flour over the cut pieces and then flatten each one into a disc with the help of the palm.
With the help of a brush, spread a thin layer of sesame oil on the surface of each disc.
Assemble discs, two-by-two, making sure the oiled sides meet.
Over a floured surface, roll each couple of discs into a flat pancake of around 15 cm of diameter.
Heat a skillet and pour a little bit of oil. Maintaining a low degree of heat, place the first pancake on the skillet and wait until it starts to puff (about 1-2 min). When it starts puffing turn it over for a couple of seconds and then set aside. For the next pancakes there is no need to add oil to the skillet.
Once the pancakes are transferred to a plate, look for a sign of juncture (between the two discs) and pull apart until they split in two.