Strawberry Hotteoks or Hotteoks 2.0

I got the urge for a Jelly Donut.

Actually, that morphed.

I was thinking about trying my hand at making some proper donuts, yeast raised dough, a jelly filling, and probably was going to dust the outside with some brown sugar after frying.

I realized that I don’t really like to fry food, and I dislike waste.  Instead of wasting the oil in a big pan, I thought I could make a hotteok instead.

Hotteoks are Korean Street Food.  Basically you make a donut out of raw dough, toss it on a oiled or greased skillet or griddle, and press it flat.   It will cook basically like a fried egg omelette will, the bottom will crisp, the “down” side will cook, and when done, flip and repeat.

Skillet temp will easily get to the needed 375F to properly cook.

The Hotteok, traditionally, have a brown sugar filling that melts with the heat to make caramel, and is to be eaten warm or hot.

I didn’t want a caramel brown sugar filling, I wanted a jelly donut.  Just one would do.

That morphed as well.

If I only wanted one, I would have to bake the rest of the dough into rolls.   The freezer had just been crammed full of food the night before with a trip to the warehouse store.

May as well make a batch of Hotteoks.  I can wrap each leftover one in its own bag and slide them into nooks and crannies in the freezer so six months from now I can find the stray one that disappeared behind the frozen peas.

Jelly Hotteoks.  I am sure the folks in Seoul Korea will allow me this little change in recipe.

I had killed my bread machine a week before with making the jelly for the filling.  I actually had made a quart of Strawberry Jelly because I had a quarter flat of “B” Strawberries.  B Fruit are the ones I tend to get because they eat the same, but tend to be a little crooked or misshapen.  Clean them up, toss them in the bucket of the bread machine and an hour or so later you get jelly.

Except.

My bucket had been missing the rubber washer in the middle that makes the machine water tight.  So Partially cooked jelly worked its way down into the machinery of the bread machine.

Scratch one gummed up bread machine.  But I did have that jelly.  The strawberry jelly was thick enough that it didn’t leak. The cherry jelly that I made after was not, and that was what killed the machine.

Schedule one future trip to the thrift store for a new-to-me machine.

I made the dough in the stand mixer, allowed it a rise.  After the first rise, I rolled out 10 equal dough balls.  About 80 grams of dough a piece if you’re counting – 3 ounces or so.  Flatten the dough ball, spoon in 1 teaspoon of strawberry jelly, and a quarter to a half teaspoon of Cherry jelly.  Ends were pinched together like a Chinese Bun, and allowed to rise a second time.

When they were back to being big and round, I had heated my electric skillet out and cooked them to perfection.  Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

Since there were 10 of the things, I put the remainder in the freezer, save one for tomorrow.

Tomorrow ended up being a day or two down the road.   Weirdly enough, they turned into great “pop tarts” when dropped in the toaster oven for a cycle.   Even better then because the flavors melded, and I got a real crisp outside.

So THAT is what happens when you turn a white dude from the South Jersey Suburbs loose on a South Korean traditional Street Food.  You make the freezer bulge.

Hotteok 2.0 – Now With Sesame!

As entertaining as I find cooking, I try not to do this sort of thing too often.   It’s way too easy to blow off an afternoon making goodies for yourself and others and end up being big enough that you are a center of gravity.   It would get embarrassing if NASA called and said, stop you’re making the satellites orbit strangely, wouldn’t it?

But, I did have to bake this weekend.  I had finished off the last of the rolls in the freezer.  Off to the kitchen I went and made up a batch of Pat’s Pizza Dough bread.  That’s my Go To recipe when I want a nice, firm, and tasty loaf of bread or rolls.

When I pulled the dough out of the machine, I looked over at the collection of spices and flavorings and decided to get creative. 

Hey, want some Hotteoks?
Yeah!  I love Hottoeoks!  What Kind?
I’m going to try something different.   Just wait!
Ok… Looking forward to it!

Hotteoks (Ho-Ducks) are a dough ball flattened.  Drop a little sweet or savory in the middle, fold it up like a dumpling, and drop it on the skillet.   Press down with a spatula until it’s nice and flat.  Cook in a little fat until that side is toasted, flip and repeat.

That’s all.   It takes about 5 minutes to cook.

I did say I got creative.   The last four dough balls out of the 10 that I made were going to be standard Cinnamon Sugar Hotteoks.  I rolled them in Sesame Seeds and let them rest on the plate as I put a thin film of Sesame Oil on the non stick skillet.

The house immediately filled with a Sesame perfume both nutty and earthy.   The smell was strong enough that it drew the dog out of hiding and Oscar the Parrot started calling out to me.   I guess they were hungry.

One of my simple pleasures in life is that when I get a bag of Sesame Bagels, to munch on the leftover seeds in the bottom of the bag.  It’s not something that happens often, but when I do get them I do enjoy those seeds and the leftovers on the “rolling plate” didn’t go to waste either.

So snacking on Sesame Hotteoks was going to be a treat.   They were just as good the second day, cold out of the refrigerator.   Hotteoks, or Korean Donuts, simply don’t last around this house.   The Yeast Risen Dough was flavorful and gummy, the filling melted nicely and formed a gritty caramel for the second day, and went down as a prized snack.

As a benefit I did have 6 rolls for this week in the freezer.  They should run out just in time for next weekend.  If I have the free time, there may be more Hotteok in our future.

Korean Donuts – Hotteok

It really started with a long arc of watching strange videos on YouTube.  I started looking around at some science videos, stumbled into strange sushi restaurant videos in Seoul Korea and that opened the door to the Korean Donuts.

Strictly speaking, by an American Standard, they’re probably more like a Pancake than a donut, and they’re dead easy to make.

Like they say, anything’s easy if you’re taught how, so after watching a video of a woman making these things in a shop, I thought it would be fun to try.

I purposely made them small, even doubled I’d be hard pressed to call this more than around 200 calories.

I know the calorie count because I used my sister Pat’s Pizza Dough Recipe for the batter.   It’s a batter, or dough really, that makes up 1500 calories of some of the best bread I have had since moving to Florida.  When I make the dough, I break it into 10 equal parts, and roll each part into a ball.   Allow to rise for 2 to 4 hours and bake at 450F for about 10 minutes.   Check at 9 minutes and every minute past that.

Pat’s Pizza Dough Recipe is here.

If you take one of those dough balls, and split into two pieces, you have the basis for your donuts.

Flatten each half into a small pancake that will be about the size of your palm.

Add 1 teaspoon of Brown Sugar to the center and spread out somewhat leaving a little bit of open dough near the edges.

Add a few pieces of chopped nuts – literally about a tenth of an ounce.

Dust the brown sugar and nuts with cinnamon.

Pinch the edges together to form a ball.  The ball should have the filling mixture enclosed inside.

Place the ball on a skillet that has been oiled and brought up to medium heat.  I used a non stick skillet that has been wiped with safflower oil.  I didn’t want a strong tasting oil interfering with the sweet filling that would be the result of all that brown sugar melting inside.

Cook the ball until the bottom is beginning to turn golden brown.  Using a spatula or similar flat object, press down firmly but slowly on the top of the ball until it flattens.   You will end up with a pancake shape and roughly the “usual” pancake thickness.

Continue to cook on the first side until it looks “done”.  I went for a golden brown and it was perfect!  

Flip the Hotteok pancake and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Repeat until you’ve made all your hotteoks.  Serve hot.

The result is a small pancake donut that tastes like a cinnamon bun.  That is to say… amazing.

The filling will turn from brown sugar into a wonderful syrup.  Trust me it’s easier than it sounds.   The history of this is that it is a street food served as snacks all over Korea and China.   It’s made and served in different ways, such as fried in fat like a french fry resulting in a more familiar donut shape.

I took liberties with the recipe and the process because my sweet tooth is WAY too strong.  Just wanted the right amount.  In fact we liked it so much that we made it again the next day.  It’s a recipe that will be made when I am making rolls.  Since I’ve already gone through the effort of making all those rolls I can take two of them and make two large Hotteok as treats.

The interesting thing is that like any “street food”, Hotteok are made with a lot of different styles of filling.  You can always use the method to make a hot sandwich or a savory treat like a Cornish Pastie.  I’ve already started experimenting with this versatile method of cooking, and I am liking the results.

The Video below is a short that shows you all the steps in about 50 seconds.