I was making some Asian-style pulled pork yesterday for sandwiches and realized that I didn’t want to just go out and buy rolls, I wanted to make them. The only problem was that I wanted to keep it somewhat authentic… Why have Asian pulled pork and a bok choy salad with an Asian inspired dressing, only to have a rustic Italian bread or a rye, which is what I normally make. It just doesn’t fit. So I decided to try my hands at tradition Korean rolls called ppang, and they came out fantastic! So here’s my recipe.
Makes 4 large rolls for sandwiches, or up to 8-10 dinner rolls.
2 1/4c All Purpose Flour + flour for kneading
2tsp Active Dry Yeast (1 envelope)
4tbsp Unsalted Butter
1c Milk (Whole or 2%)
2tbsp Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg
1tbsp Olive or Vegetable Oil, to grease the baking dish
1 Egg White
In a medium sized pot heat the milk, butter, salt and sugar at low heat until melted and dissolved, stirring regularly. Do not bring the mixture to a boil, this must be done on relatively low heat because you will be adding your yeast to this liquid and if it’s too hot it will kill the yeast and your batch is ruined. Your ideal temperature is around 105F, or if you don’t have a cooking thermometer, slightly hot when you put your finger tip in. Remove the mixture from heat and add the large egg (not the separate egg white, that’s for later) and mix. Once the egg is stirred in add the yeast. Set in a warm place for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate, you should see the yeast cells start to expand on the surface of the liquid (known as the “bloom”).
Put the 2 1/4c of flour in a mixing bowl. Add your liquid & yeast mixture and mix on low with the hook attachment until your dough is formed, it should be slightly tacky to the touch. Do not turn it out to knead the dough, simply cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and set in a warm, draft free place until it doubles in size, approximately 1 hour. I preheat my oven at 350F and use the stovetop to rise my dough, as it gets warm without getting hot. However this method won’t work for everyone as some stovetops get quite warm and could begin to cook the edges of the dough. If that’s your situation you’ll need to find another spot for the dough to rise. Once the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, then return it back to the bowl, cover, and put back in a warm draft free place to rise again, this time for 30 minutes. Turn the dough back out onto the lightly floured surface and gently press down on it with your fingertips to release some of the air. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts (or more if you’re making smaller rolls) and roll them into ropes, roughly 1″ thick and 8″ long. Coil the ropes and press the end into the middle through the top, or if you prefer simply roll them into balls. Place the rolls into a lightly greased deep baking dish (I used a ceramic lasagna dish), cover with a towel and allow to rise one last time for an additional 30 minutes. Brush the tops with the egg white and bake in the oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting or serving.
There you have it, authentic Korean rolls!