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Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}

by Shirley

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Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}

Chinese Flower Rolls, or Hua Juan {花卷}, are soft steamed buns shaped like a flower. Infused with salt, spices and scallions, Hua Juan is so fluffy and yummy. They are one of the most loved traditional food in China, which is especially popular as a breakfast item.

Freshly Folded Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}
Freshly Folded Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}

Ingredients required for Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan}

For the dough, all you need is all-purpose flour (organic preferred), active dry yeast powder, avocado oil, Himalayan pink salt, organic unrefined cane sugar and water.

Ingredients for Easy Fluffy Dough for Chinese Buns
Ingredients for Easy Fluffy Dough for Chinese Buns

For the filling, you will need salt, which I usually use Himalayan Pink Salt, freshly ground black pepper and cooking oil. Avocado oil is my go-to healthy, tasty oil for baking.

Filling for Chinese Scallion Pancakes and Hua Juan
Filling for Chinese Scallion Pancakes and Hua Juan

Tips for fluffy dough – dissolve active dry yeast powder in water beforehand

Active dry yeast works great for an easy and fluffy dough. I usually buy a one-pound package and store it in an air-tight glass jar in the freezer.

Remember to dissolve the active dry yeast powder in room temperature water. Mix well until the mixture turns into a smooth paste. Make sure no lumps. Do not skip this step, which is essential to the fluffy dough.

Make a smooth active yeast paste for a fluffy yeast dough
Make a smooth active yeast paste for a fluffy yeast dough

How to make Hua Juan {Chinese Flower Rolls}?

It is super easy to make a fluffy, tasty and healthy Hua Juan {花卷} as long as you learn a few tips.

The first is to prepare fluffy yeast dough and scallion filling

To make Hua Juan, you will need the yeast dough, the finely chopped green onions, and the scallion black pepper paste as a filling.

Yeast Dough, Chopped Green Onion and Scallion Paste for making Hua Juan
Yeast Dough, Chopped Green Onion and Scallion Paste for making Hua Juan

You can use the same easy healthy yeast dough for steamed buns. Read here for a detailed guided recipe.

As for the scallion black pepper paste, I use the same simple healthy yummy version used for the iconic Cong You Bing, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes.

The Second is to fold Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan}

I use a super quick easy way of folding Hua Juan which deals with one Hua Juan at a time and involves very little rolling. Read here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.

Fold Hua Juan {Chinese Flower Rolls} Quick Easy Way
Freshly Folded Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}

The Third is to steam Chinese Flower Rolls

A 14-inch wok paired with a 12-inch bamboo steamer is my go-to steamer set. Add about 6 cups of water into the wok or the steamer of your choice. Bring it to a boil first and then add Hua Juan and steam for 15 minutes.

Once it is done, turn off the heat. Wait for about 2 minutes before uncovering the steamer.

Enjoy a fluffy and delicious Chinese Flower Rolls.

freshly steamed Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan}
freshly steamed Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan}

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Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷}

Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan 花卷} Recipe

Yield: 16 rolls
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 3 minutes

Chinese Flower Rolls, or Hua Juan {花卷}, are soft steamed buns shaped like a flower. Infused with salt, spices and scallions, Hua Juan is so fluffy and yummy. They are one of the most loved traditional food in China, which is especially popular as a breakfast item.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 660 grams all-purpose flour, about 4 cups, organic unbleached
  • 25 grams avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 15 grams organic cane sugar
  • 12 grams active dry yeast
  • 370 grams water, about 1 1/2 cups, approximate, see notes

For the filling:

  • 4 tbsp avocado oil
  • 4 tbsp organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 4 stalks of green onions, finely chopped

Instructions

    Prepare the Dough:

    1. Read here re on how to make an easy yummy yeast dough for Chinese buns.
      Yeast Dough, Chopped Green Onion and Scallion Paste for making Hua Juan

    Prepare the Filling:

    1. Read here on how to prepare a tasty scallion filling. This is the same filling used for the well-liked Chinese scallion pancakes.
      Cong You Bing Filling

    Fold Hua Juan:

    1. Read here on how to fold Hua Juan quick and easy.
      Wrap twisted dough strips into a bun for Chinese Flower Rolls

    Steam Hua Juan:

    1. Add about 6 cups of water to a 14-inch wok, cover the lid, turn the heat to medium-high and bring it to a boil.
    2. Add Hua Juan and steam for 15 minutes.
    3. Turn off the heat, wait about 2 minutes to uncover the lid.
      Freshly steamed Chinese Flower Rolls {Hua Juan}

Notes

  • I use metric unit gram for easier and accurate measurement.
  • Use a kitchen scale with the "TARE" function to easily measure ingredients in an incremental fashion and add to the mixing bowl.
  • The humidity level in the environment plays an important role in determining the ultimate amount of water required to form a soft dough. Most likely you may not need the entire 370 grams of water. I only used entire 370 grams of water during extremely dry Chicago winter time.
  • Go slow adding additional water after having added half water from the measuring cup. Add a bit of water at a time and then knead the dough to allow the flour to absorb the water. Do not add water too much too fast.
  • If the dough appears to be dry after you have added most of the water, patiently break down the dough to expose inner side, and then press together. Do this a few times to help the flour absorb the water faster. Go extra slow adding water toward the end, few drops at a time.
  • I use bamboo leaves as a coaster for the bun to sit on during the steaming. You can also use the unbleached parchment paper.
  • I found it is easy to roll and cut the dough sheet on a pastry dough mat. The dough won't stick to the mat so that you can easily pick it up for folding the Hua Juan.
  • Hua Juan is freezer friendly. You can store the cooked Hua Juan in a freezer zip lock bag for up to 3 months. Make sure you squeeze the air out first. It is even better when you vacuum pack for the freezer.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 347Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 247mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 8g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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