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Dim Sum: A Flour Forward Approach

by: Wong, Janice and Mar Jian Jun.

Singapore : Gatehouse Publishing Pte. 2013, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-981-07-7854-5

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2016 Issue: 23(1) page(s): 14

Heavy Paper that does absorb grease are the pages in this volume. It comes with pictures by Kelvin Koh and they are lovely. The dim sum delights are in chapters with thirty-two dumplings made with eight different kinds of dough, another type with twelve recipes called Buns, and twenty-two that are titled: Not flour, and nineteen called Pastries.

Before any of them, there is a Foreword, two pages about dim sum, and eighteen called: On Flour. many of them use a basic flour recipe with quite a few variations; the one we selected used the dough called: Plain Steamed Buns and it is quite creative, as many are.

Each is named in English and Chinese, had a color photograph of the dough and the completed dumpling, and while most are ones you have seen in eateries serving dim sum, a few are very creative and never seen before.

The Plain Steamed Buns dough, and all recipes are written in standard style, their measurements in weights. The dough for Flower Buns below is that recipe said to steam them for twenty minutes at 28 degrees C, then for four more minutes at 100 degrees C.

The Flour buns use half a recipe of this dough with one hundred grams of scallions, five grams of salt, and 20 milliliters of scallion oil, the latter we assume is purchased as the book has no recipe for this oi. It says they steam for six minutes at 100 degrees C; the pictures show how to twist them before steaming them.

The taste of these and two others we made were terrific, the pictures easy to follow, the recipes were, too. The only problem for many folk is to transfer the metric measure to American ones. A chart of many of these numbers would have been most helpful; but this book does not have one.
Flower Buns
Ingredients for the bun exteriors:
250 g low-gluten flour
80 g granulated sugar
5 g dry yeast
5 g baking powder
20 ml (35Ășt) cream
60 ml coconut cream
Preparation of the dough:
Put the flour, dry yeast, and baking powder in the bowl of a mixer with a paddle instrument, and mix well on medium speed; then reduce speed to low and slowly add the cream and the coconut cream with the mixer running.
Keep mixing until the dough becomes shiny. Flour the work surface, and turn the dough out on the table, and roll it into a rectangle 0.3 cm thick.
Brush the top with water and roll starting with the edge closest to you. Cut the dough into twenty portions (each will be 25 g).
Arrange the buns at least 4 cm apart on a tray with a cover, and steam for two minutes at 28 degrees C, then stem another 4 minutes at 100 degrees C.

For the buns themselves>
1/2 plain steamed bun recipe, above.
100 g scallions, chopped
5 g salt
20 ml scallion oil
Preparation of the buns:
Use the pictures to guide these instructions rolling the dough into a long rope.
Cut into 25g portions, then using your palm, press the dough down as much as possible.
Next, roll it into 0.3 cm thick rectangle, and brush the surface of the dough with the scallion oil and evenly sprinkle it with the chopped scallions.
Next, starting with the edge facing you, roll up the dough like a Swiss roll and cut it into 20 pieces of 25 g each.
Place one finished roll on top of another.
Point fingers end to end with finger tips touching, and press to create a line across the middle. Then pick up the dough and twist wrapping it around your thumb to create petal-like folds. Steam for six minutes at 100 degrees C.

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