Updated: Oct 13, 2021
As you may already know that I am of a Malaysian Chinese descent and my cravings always stem from the food that I grew up eating and enjoying. And since I have left home quite young, a lot of what was left in my memory was probably really out to date but nevertheless something that brings me as close to home as my memory serves me.
One of the things that I think about a lot in the recent years since the pandemic was this pork floss Bakwa bread roll. The word "Bakwa" is actually a word from the Hokkien (fujianese) dialect that refers to dried meat. In case you don't know, Malaysia is a vast cultural country with the Malay, Chinese and Indian as our main nationalities. In the Chinese culture itself, there are divided descents from China and each descent has their own dialect and two of the most common ones are the Hokkien, also sometimes known as Teochew, and Hakka. My mom is from a Hokkien ancestors and my dad is a Hakka. Both my parents speaks their own dialect, which was something that was never passed down in my generation since both dialects are only spoken to older generation families and rarely used in the majority.
"Bakwa" is a Hokkien word that refers to dried meat in general. Very similar to the Western style beef Jerky, Bakwa is actually quite moist due to the way that it is prepared and are often sweet and salty and is something that you will see in abundance of during Chinese New Year. This dried meat are usually cut into a large square pieces and sold as per pieces and the best ones can actually be quite expensive.
Bakwa can either be enjoyed on its own or like in this post, made as part of a filling for a delicious bread roll.
This breakfast roll is often something you get from the morning markets that are made in small carts, very much like an American hotdog stand. It usually uses a really soft hotdog buns that is smothered with margarine and pan fried over a hot plate until they are crispy. The buns are then filled with crispy pork floss, Bakwa, cucumber and sweet chilli sauce. There are different variation on this Bakwa roll and one of the alternatives are adding fried eggs, which is what I will be doing in this post.
If you are not sure where you can find Bakwa and pork floss, they can be easily located in most Asian groceries. I have included some photos of the ones that I can find in Australia, although I know there are better ones, if only I am home right now. The pork floss that I have selected are the spicy ones, since I LOVE spicy food, but they also come in a non spicy version. You can even find pork floss that are tossed with sesame seeds and crispy seaweeds, which are common as well.
Yield: 8 x Bakwa Sandwiches
1 - 2 hours Bulk proofing
1 hour - 90 minutes Final Proofing
15 - 20 minutes Baking Time
Recipe by Christean Ng
SOFT BREAD DOUGH
40 g 12% Milk
8 g 4% Baker's Flour
Final Dough 280 g 96% Baker's Flour (12% Protein) 90 g 30% Full Cream milk - 35 3 g 1.1% Fine sea salt 6 g 1.5% Instant Yeast 25 g 7.6% Caster sugar 35g 11% Unsalted butter, room temperature 50 g 19% Large eggs
4 Large slices of Bakwa - cut to finger strips (use around four slices per roll or more)
8 Large Eggs
Sweet Chilli Sauce
1. Prepare the Tang Zhong by placing the milk and bakers flour into a saucepan and whisk over low heat until they form in to a sticky mass. This process is really quick, so ensure that you whisk continuously.
Transfer the Tang Zhong into a clean bowl and place a cling film on top touching the surface and leave to cool at room temperature.
2. Once the T.Z has cooled, Prepare the Final Dough. Start with heating the milk to 32C then place all the ingredients into a mixer bowl including the cooled Tang Zhong into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix over low heat for 3 minutes until the ingredients have come together to a rough ball of dough.
Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix for another 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough have developed enough gluten.
To check if the dough have developed enough gluten, pinch a small piece of dough and gently stretch it between your hands. If you are able to stretch it thin enough to see through, your dough is done mixing.
3. Transfer the dough onto your work bench and roll it to a tight and smooth ball. Place the ball of dough into a lightly greased bowl with the seam side underneath. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to bulk proof at room temperature or until it double in size. This process will take approximately 1 hour to 2 hours depending on the ambient of your kitchen.
4. When the dough doubled in volume, gently press the dough down to "knock it back", releasing some of the additional gas in the dough. Transfer the dough onto a lightly dusted work bench then divide to 8 equal portion.
5. Pre shape the portions of dough to a semi tight ball. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 20 minutes on the bench.
6. Working with each dough at a time, fold the ball of dough twice from one end while pressing down to create an elongated shape. With both palm of your hands, gently roll the dough to approximately 140mm long even log. Repeat the same process for each dough then place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper with approximately 20 mm gap apart.
For more visual on how to shape the sandwich roll, visit my page on "Finger Bread Roll".
7. Cover the rolls with a damp tea towel and leave to final proof for 1 hour to 90 minutes or until they double in size again.
Meanwhile, pre heat the oven to 175˚C.
8. Lightly brush the top with some egg wash then bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes and until the top have turned golden in colour.
Slice the bread rolls in to halves sideways. Brush both cut sides with some butter then fry the buttered side onto a hot pan until they turn crispy.
In a hot oiled pan, spread the egg over the fry pan then place 4 finger slices of Bakwa on top of the eggs in the centre. Drizzle some sweet chilli sauce on top of the Bakwa then trop with a tablespoon of the pork floss. Wrap the Bakwa and pork floss with the eggs.
When ready to assembly, place a few slices of cucumber on one side of the bread roll then place the Bakwa egg wrap on top. Top with more sweet chilli and pork floss then serve warm.