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Authentic Vietnamese recipes from the Motherland

Vietnamese Hollow Donut (Banh Tieu)

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. 

banh tieu vietnamese hollow donuts

Recipe for Vietnamese Hollow Donuts/Bread (Banh Tieu)

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the instant yeast, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  2. Add water and knead until the dough comes together.
  3. 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.
  4. Knead the dough into a log.
  5. Cut the log into 7-10 equal pieces and roll them into balls.
  6. Dip the balls into a bowl of sesame seeds.
  7. Dust the outside of the balls with a generous amount of flour. Shake off excess.
  8. Using a rolling pin or the palm of your hand, flatten each ball into a thin disk.
  9. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  10. Deep-fry a piece of dough at a time or as many as your pot can handle without overcrowding. 
  11. Constantly flip the dough for even coloring and cooking.
  12. Once you get a golden color, remove from oil and drain on a wired rack. 
Banh Tieu dough and sesame seeds

Banh Tieu dough and sesame seeds

This is the texture that you are aiming for after it has rested and risen for two hours.

This is the texture that you are aiming for after it has rested and risen for two hours.

Roll each dough piece into balls. Then dip each one into a bowl of sesame seeds.

Roll each dough piece into balls. Then dip each one into a bowl of sesame seeds.

Flatten the dough with a rolling pin.

Flatten the dough with a rolling pin.

Deep fry the dough at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The fun part is when it puffs up. Remember to constantly flip it for even cooking. 

Deep fry the dough at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The fun part is when it puffs up. Remember to constantly flip it for even cooking. 

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.