Chinese steamed sweet pastry (Bok Hong Tay)
OK, so I just posted a recipe for Mochi, which is a non-yeasted dough. This is "The Fresh Loaf," so I should also give a recipe that is at least yeasted. Here is my Mom's version of bok hong tay, a sweet steamed rice cake. Its name is literally "white sweet pastry" in Chinese. You sometimes see it in Chinese restaurants for dimsum. My Mom always made it on the thin side, but the restaurants tend to make a thicker version.
- 4 c long grain rice
- 1 pkg dry yeast (I've made this with regular and rapid-rise and they both work for this)
- 4 c and 1 tablespoon sugar
Wash the rice well and then drain all water. Add to it 4 c of water and let the rice soak overnight in the water (room temperature).
The next day, put the rice-water mix in a blender and whip it smooth (hint: do this in small batches, with a rice-water slurry that is about 80-90% rice. This allows it to blend very smooth. Add the remaining water after it is all blended).
In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 c of lukewarm water, the dry yeast and 1 tbsp sugar. Wrap bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot for approx 1 hr. Then add the proofed yeast mixture to the rest of the blended rice/water mixture and let stand at room temperature for 4-5 hrs.
In a separate bowl, mix 2 c water and 4 c sugar. If necessary, add heat to make all of the sugar dissolve. Be sure that the sugar syrup has cooled to room temperature before adding to the rice/water mixture. After adding the sugar syrup, let the mixture stand for another 1/2 hr before cooking the pastry.
To cook: Pour some of the mixture into a well-oiled cake pan (approx. 1/4 inch deep. Again, my Mom prefered to make this on the thin side, but if you like, you can make it thicker, just adjust the cooking time). Steam the mixture for 15 min (be sure that the water is vigorously boiling). After the pastry is done, brush some oil on the top (note: if the oil had be previously heated to near smoking temp, and then cooled to room temperature, the resultant oil would taste better for brushing on the pastry. I don't know why this is true, but according to my Mom that the way she always did it.). When the bok hong tay has cooled down, cut out wedges of the pastry and serve.
Enjoy, now I have to get back to work on my grant.