Making Hoddeok (호떡) / Korean Sugar Pancakes
Hoddeok, or hotteok, is a popular Korean street snack that’s made out of balls of yeasty dough stuffed with a mixture of brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon. You then cook it as such so that the outside is brown and crispy while inside the sugar melts and mixes with the cinnamon to flood and coat each pieces of nut - which essentially makes every bite of it incredibly…well, I don’t even have the word for it. You’ll just have to make some and experience it yourself. Just be careful not to burn your lips while eating it.
HODDEOK (recipe from Globe Trotter Diaries):
[ 2 cups of all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar + 2 teaspoons of yeast + 1 cup of warm water + 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil + 1/2 teaspoon of salt ]
Mix water, yeast, sugar, salt and oil together until dissolved.
Add in the flour and mix with a spatula just until incorporated.
Cover the bowl, and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
While you wait for your dough to rise, make the filling:
[ 1/2 cup of brown sugar + 2 tablespoons of any nuts, chopped + 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon ]
Mix the sugar, chopped nuts and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.
This is what the dough looks like after the initial 1 hour rise. It will have doubled in size and will be very sticky.
Punch down the dough using your hands or a spatula and let it rest again for another 20 minutes.
This is what the dough looks like after the 20-minute rise.
Pour the sticky dough onto a floured surface and knead for a while with well floured hands until the dough comes together.
Roll into a ball and cut in half and then cut each half into four smaller pieces, so you’ll end up with 8 pieces of dough.
Again with floured hands take each ball of dough and pat it flat with your hand and fill the middle with a heaping spoonful of the sugar mixture.
Slightly push with the back of a spoon so the sugar sits nicely in the dough.
Fold each end up and pinch slightly together so it seals shut.
In a well oiled cast iron skillet/griddle (or any pan if you don’t have one) pour in a little vegetable oil so there is a thin coating and heat on medium flame.
Put the ball of dough pinched side down and cook for about 30 seconds until browned.
Flip over and carefully push the ball down into a flat pancake with the back of your spatula and cook for another minute. If it seems like you can’t flatten the ball anymore, then don’t force it - you might have put in too much filling and the sugar will just burst out.
Flip again and cover with a lid and cook for a minute until the sugar is nice and melted.
Keep repeating the cooking steps until all the dough-balls are cooked. Stack them in a plate and serve right away.
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