I’ve been binging Great British Bake Off lately, and there was this one episode where for the technical challenge, the bakers had to make bread, but it was on the stovetop. Naturally, all the bakers were very perplexed and didn’t know what to do. I just kept shouting at the screen “I. could. totally. win. this. challenge”. “Baking” bread on the stovetop (besides flatbreads) seems really strange at first, but I really like it because it cooks much faster and you have a lot more control during the cooking process.
One of my favorite bread is the sesame & scallion bread, in Mandarin we call it 大餅, which literally translates to big pastry. For those who’s never had it before, it’s basically a yeasted scallion pancake. The dough is a dream to work with and it all comes together, start to finish, in under 90 minutes. Perfect for a last-minute addition to dinner. Or breakfast, or lunch, or snack time. You do you!
Sesame & Scallion Bread
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, combine active dry yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand for 5-7 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cup water and flour. Using a dough hook, mix together the dough for 10 minutes on low. Alternatively, you can work this mixture by hand. The dough should be smooth and elastic, but not super sticky. Cover and let dough rest for 15 minutes.
- On a large floured surface, pour the dough out and divide into 2. Roll one dough out to a large rectangle, about 15 inches in length. Using a pastry brush, brush on about 1 Tb of vegetable oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of salt and spread 1/2 of the scallions on evenly. Start on one end, roll the rectangle up, length-wise. You should now have a long “tube”. Pinch the ends of the dough so the fillings don’t spill out. Coil this “tube” into a circle. Sprinkle 2 Tb sesame seeds on the work surface. Place the dough on the work surface. Gently flatten the coiled dough until it’s approximately 10 inches in diameter. Sprinkle 2 Tb sesame seeds on top and use the rolling pin, gently work the sesame seeds into the dough. Set aside and repeat with other dough.
- Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and heat up 1 Tb vegetable oil. Place finished dough on the skillet. Cover the skillet for 3 minutes, then lift the lid for another 3 minutes. Check the bottom to see if it’s golden brown. If it’s golden brown, flip the bread and repeat the cooking process on other side. Repeat cooking the bread with other dough.