The Bay Area is experiencing a major storm. Schools are cancelled. Roads are flooded. Most people are tucked away safe and sound in-doors. It's time like this when frying up some Vietnamese Hollow Donuts or Banh Tieu sounds like a really great idea. It warms up the belly while I listen to the pitter patter of rain against my window pane and watch my neighbor's trash can fly down the street.
Recipe for Vietnamese Hollow Donuts/Bread (Banh Tieu)
- 1 teaspoon active dry instant yeast (for regular yeast, hydrate with 2 teaspoons of water for 5 minutes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup for dusting
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying; amount varies depending on the size of your pot
- In a large bowl, mix the instant yeast, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
- Add water and knead until the dough comes together.
- Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place (the oven with the lights on) for two hours. The dough should double in size.
- Knead the dough into a log.
- Cut the log into 7-10 equal pieces and roll them into balls.
- Dip the balls into a bowl of sesame seeds.
- Dust the outside of the balls with a generous amount of flour. Shake off excess.
- Using a rolling pin or the palm of your hand, flatten each ball into a thin disk.
- In a large pot, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Deep-fry a piece of dough at a time or as many as your pot can handle without overcrowding.
- Constantly flip the dough for even coloring and cooking.
- Once you get a golden color, remove from oil and drain on a wired rack.
I had to insert a video to show you how fun and cool it is to see the dough puffs up. Sorry for the shakiness. Deep-frying with one hand, recording with the other hand and dodging hot oil spatters at the same time was tricky.