Food - Drink
Why Hot Water Dough Is So Common In Chinese Cuisine
By NICO DANILOVICH
Hot water dough, also known as scalded dough, is a simple mixture of flour, hot water, salt, and sometimes oil. Scalded dough is popular in multiple East Asian cuisines, but for centuries, China has made the most use of this kind of dough, which is favored for dumpling wrappers, pancakes, and buns due to its simple formula and unique texture.
When hot water is added to dough, it breaks down the proteins in the flour and prevents too much gluten from forming, creating dough that is stretchy, but not chewy or tough. Most recipes let the dough rest after kneading, so it can be easily shaped while maintaining a delicate texture that is essential to light and tender dumplings and buns.
Properly-made hot water dough is soft yet easy to roll, and its elasticity gives it a toothsome bite and makes it simple to shape around other ingredients without breaking, such as in potstickers. Scalded dough is considered a foundational recipe in most Chinese cuisines, and its master formula forms the base of many favorite dishes.