Easy Chinese spring pancake (春饼)
Tender, supple and very thin, Chinese spring pancake is made with only two ingredients. Perfect wrapper for any fillings of your choice.
- 360 g all-purpose flour about 2.5 cups
- 230 ml hot water 1 cup
- 2 teaspoon cooking oil for brushing
Make the dough
Put flour into a heat proof bowl. Pour in hot water (soon after being boiled). Stir with a pair of chopsticks or a fork until the flour turns into small lumps and no more water can be seen.
When cool enough to handle, knead the mixture into a soft, smooth dough (see note 1).
Leave to rest for 30 mins at room temperature (cover to avoid drying out).
Roll the pancakes
Knead the dough again on a work surface. Then cut it into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a cylinder then divide it into four pieces.
Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand into a small round disk. Brush the top of one disk with a little oil, then place another disk on top.
With a rolling pin, roll these 2 disks into a 18cm / 7inch circle (It’s better to roll both sides to make sure two disks are evenly rolled out). Dust the surface and the rolling pin with flour to avoid sticking.
Cook the pancakes
Heat up a frying pan on a medium high heat. Place the rolled pancakes into the pan. When you see air pockets appear, flip it over to cook the other side (see note 2).
Transfer the cooked ones onto a plate. Cover with a kitchen towel to keep them soft and pliable.
Repeat the procedure to cook the rest of the dough (See note 3).
Finally, gently separate the double pancakes while they are still hot. (See note 4).
1. The ideal flour water ratio may vary slightly depending on the brand of the flour and how you measure it (Measuring with cups is less accurate). You may also use a stand mixer to make the dough .
2. Cookers vary in temperature. Be attentive to control the heat of the pan. If the pan is too hot, the pancakes will burn easily. If it’s not hot enough, it will take longer to cook and the pancakes will be drier. It should take no more than a minute in total to cook both sides. Adjust the heat accordingly.
3. Recommended workflow: Have all the small disk-like dough oiled and stacked. Roll out the first one then put into the pan. While waiting for the first one to cook, roll out the second one. When the first one is done, the second one should be ready for the pan. Repeat the procedure.
4. Reheat the pancakes in three ways:
- In a microwave: Heat up 8 pieces at a time. Place them on a microwave safe plate. Sprinkle a few drops of water on top. Cover with microwave-safe cling film (pierce several times). Cook on full power for 1 minute.
- In an oven: Wrap the pancakes in tin foil (ideally in two piles). Put into a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F. Heat for 6-8 minutes.
- In a steamer: place the pancakes onto a plate. Steam for 4-5 minutes.