15 April 2011

Jiaozi In Pictures!

I had myself a little dumpling session tonight, and I thought I'd take some pictures now that I have my camera kit all together. The dough is a cold water wheat/rice flour dough that I made the day before and kept in the fridge. I scaled the dumplings on the larger size, approximately a 2-3 biter (your mouth may vary). A United States quarter is included for scale (0.955 inches/24.26 mm in diameter). A key technique is letting the dough rest a little between forming steps. This keeps the gluten from getting all bucky and your dough will be able to easier to work with.

Here's my workspace set up. I'm sure it can be made more efficient. Have some damp towels or plastic to keep your dough and dumplings covered so they don't dry out. I've wrapped the tray in plastic to keep the dumplings from sticking to the metal in the freezer and for easier cleanup. That little tub of flour there is just my 'all purpose dusting mix'. When I have some odds and ends of flour I just dump it in there to keep my cupboards neat. Right now it's a mix of ap flour, rice flour, and, I think, some cornstarch.

Start by rolling and stretching your dough into a long snake and then portion the dough into lumps. The edges are a little squashed because I used a table knife to cut them. You can also tear off lumps by hand.

Next, neaten up your lumps so they will flatten evenly. Use your hand or a tortilla press. Lightly dip the bottom of the round in your flour so you can stack them.
 Time to roll. You will want to roll out the dough from the center out. Use your free hand to rotate the dough while your other hand rolls. The idea is to get a thin edge and a thicker center. Think of a fried egg. Only row a few at a time to keep them from sticking to each other, or drying out.
Put your filling payload on the wrapper, and pleat one side. Join the flat side with the the pleated side, and pinch gently to seal. Neaten up the shape, and you're done!

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