Kkwabaegi - Korean Twisted Doughnuts
So I was visiting my neighborhood Korean food store - actually, it wasn't in my neighborhood, it was a neighborhood away, about a 5 minute drive and is more like the Korean food superstore in the city, but anyways, I was visiting it to buy some furikake and kimchi.
I walked by the baked good corner and a cute little Korean lady flagged me down. I said hello in Korean (those Korean dramas my mom and I watch gotta be for some thing, right?) and she was quick to start a conversation with me. I had no idea what she was saying, so I shook my head bowed down and said "No, no, no, I'm sorry, I don't speak Korean." which she then rolled her eyes, laughed and said, "I'll give you a good deal for the kkwabaegi. 4 for $5 or 8 for $10."
It didn't really sound like a deal to me, but she was cute, and I wanted the doughnuts. So I bought 8 so I could leave a couple for my kids. I'd eat 5 and they could each have one. haha
The doughnuts are quite easy to make, and not as time consuming as some baked goods are. The tricky part is knowing how to twist the dough and getting the cinnamon to sugar ration just right. I like Maangchi's recipe and explanations and proceedures on how to make it. I modified her recipe a little bit, but not by very much.
3 cups all purpose flour for doughnuts, plus 2 tablespoons for dusting
2 tablespoons butter
1 packet of dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons: 7 grams)
2 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
corn oil for frying
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
KNEADING THE DOUGH:
Uncover the dough and knead it for a few minutes. Put 2 tablespoons of flour on the corner of your cutting board to use for dusting. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.
- Take a piece of dough and roll it out on your cutting board so it forms a rope 10 inches long and ½ inch in diameter. If it’s sticky, sprinkle some flour on the area you’re working in. When you roll out the dough, move one hand upward and the other downward so that the rope is twisted in between your hands as you roll it.
- Take the dough off the board, hold it aloft, and bring the ends together. The tension in the dough will twist it as it hangs. You can add as much tension as you like, but I think the best looking kkwabaegi has 3- 4 twists in it.
- Place the twisted dough on a floured cutting board or tray. Repeat with the rest of the pieces of dough.
- Let the doughnuts expand for about 30 minutes. 15 minutes in, gently flip each doughnut over with your hands so the bottoms don’t get flat and all sides expand nice and round.
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add milk, sugar, and salt. Mix until well dissolved. Add egg into pan and mix well. Then Add the yeast and stir gently, transfer to a large bowl and Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add 3 cups flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Use your hand to knead the dough for a few minutes after all ingredients are well mixed. Shape dough into a ball. Cover with plastic saran warp.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. approx. 1 to 2 hours.
- Deflate the gas with your hand and knead the dough for a few minutes until it’s soft and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap again and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour until it doubles in size again.
- Heat up 4 inches of oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat, until the temperature reaches 350° F. Lower the heat to medium heat, then gently set each doughnut into the hot oil by hand. Be careful not to get your hands too close to the oil. Add as many pieces to the oil as your skillet will allow, enough so the doughnuts can sit in the oil without pushing against each other.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, occasionally gently flipping them over with tongs, until they get crunchy outside and are evenly golden brown.
- Strain the cooked doughnuts. Put them in the brown paper bag with the sugar cinnamon mixture. Shake a few times until they are evenly coated. This is best done when the doughnuts are still warm. Repeat this with all the doughnuts until they are all cooked and coated.