Fluffy flatbread studded with scallions and decked out in an umami-rich spice blend. # 205: Seven Spice Da Bing
Beware the dreaded baking rut. Where recipes don’t inspire you and you glower at your cookbooks, daring them to tell you to bake another loaf of oat bread or another layer cake. Luckily there’s a pretty easy fix: turning off my camera and baking a batch of classic chocolate chip cookies. They aren’t super pretty or impressive and I don’t need to plan out the timing to fit the daylight for the best photos. There’s really nothing like a one-bowl batch of cookies made at 10pm to remind me why I love baking.
- It makes something yummy you get to eat
- You get to play around with science! Mixed with magic. I can transform ingredients that are inedible on their own into something marvelous
- It’s a therapeutic and completely screen-free task in a world where screens demand most of our time
Several fresh-from-the-oven cookies later and I’m feeling ready to recipe dive again. There are SO many bakes out in the world that I’ve never even heard of, let alone tried!
I landed on this traditional Chinese flatbread called da bing. It caught my eye – the recipe looked like a scallion pancake and an English muffin had a bread baby. The result had the fluffy, light texture of an English muffin, and the rich sesame oil and scallion flavor running through it. YUM.
The recipe I found was a fun spin-off, coated in everything bagel seasoning (genius move.) I was going through my spice shelf to pull it out when I rediscovered a spice I impulse bought with our last Oaktown Spice Shop order: shichimi togarashi, or Japanese Seven spice mix.
It’s a zingy mix of white and black sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chile flakes, orange zest, citric acid, Szechuan pepper and seaweed flakes. A little sweet, a lot savory and nutty. There was juuust enough leftover in the bag from when I filled my spice jar so it seemed meant to be.
I’m having a moment with sesame seeds – have you tried this almond butter seed mix? Toasting the pumpkin and sesame seeds takes it to a whole new level!
Deflate the poof!
I’ve never been one to weigh out my dough portions, but I’m thinking I might try it next time. Otherwise there’s always gonna be one gigantic bun next to a tiny bun!
Prepping the sesame oil paint and scallion jewels.
I tried making scallion pancakes a few months ago and added way too much oil before rolling them up. Let’s just say it was a soggy mess and I need to redeem myself.
Tucking the scallions into bed with the help of my trust pastry scraper.
Ta-da! They like cute lil snails. The water is to help the spices stick to the outside of the dough.
A successful bellyflop.
Another griddle bread! As long as you use a non-stick pan, you don’t need to add any oil. One large difference between grilling English muffins and da bing is that you cover the da bing to help them cook all the way through. They’re a little on the thicker side so I was leaning towards over-cooking them instead of leaving it raw in the center. you can always use a meat thermometer if you’re a little nervous! Bread should be 190F inside once it’s fully cooked.
BRB, gotta go make some more. We’ve eaten half of them during the photoshoot alone!