This another instance where yeast is supplemented with chemical leavening for a little extra…oomph. Interestingly it’s in Chinese formulas that I see this the most. Typically youtiao recipes call for baking soda, but I’m going to use baking powder because a.) I don’t have an acid reactant in this dough — oddly, many recipes don’t — and b.) I don’t want to lose my chemical pop before I get them all fried, and wet baking soda reacts faster than wet baking powder.
8.5 ounces ( 1 2/3 cups) bread flour
8.5 ounces (1 2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) cup warm water
peanut, canola or vegetable oil for deep-frying
If desired: 1/2 teaspoon baker’s ammonia added to the dry ingredients will make them crispier, more like the real thing
In the bowl a mixer, sift in the flours. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir them with the paddle to combine. Steadily add the water and stir about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are moistened. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough until it’s smooth, 3-5 minutes. Remove the dough to an oiled bowl and let it rise about 1 1/2 – 2 hours until doubled in size.
Set the oil on the heat while you shape. Roll the dough out into a thin sheet about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into roughly 1-inch strips. Run a wet finger down the length of a strip and lay another on top, pressing down lightly to seal (this will give the youtiao the dough shape they’re famous for). Let them proof about 15 minutes as the oil finishes heating to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fry for about one minute per side and remove to a rack to drain. Eat them warm!