Kkwabaegi Donuts. It's Korea's favorite donut! They're simple, delicious and irresistible. The dough is mixed with glutinous rice flour to give it a slightly chewy pull - perfect for tearing off!
As much as I like these donuts, they're getting harder to find in Seoul. The corner shops that used to be in my neighborhood are gone ... they can't keep up with the ever-rising property prices.
So today, I wanted to take a walk down memory lane with a classic Kkwabaegi recipe!
We haven't done too many baking recipes here on Future Neighbor. Partially because traditional ovens aren't found in single studios (more of an option for family-sized apartments). But also, because I find many baking recipes to be very intimidating (exact measurements, temperature gauges, proofing, equipment 🙈)
But this one is simple enough for any homecook.
When making the dough, simply use your hands - no need for any fancy machine. However, if you do have a stand mixer with a dough hook, that will work well!
When proofing the bread, rest the dough in a warm area like an oven (or toaster oven). Turn the light on in the oven for residual heat, and place a mug filled with boiling water.
After cutting the proofed dough, roll the dough in one direction (as shown in the video). This will keep the surface nice and smooth.
For the best look, try to fit in 3 twists - if you make more, the dough may crack!
Some shops in Korea mix in a small amount of cinnamon to the sugar. This makes it taste quite nice as well! Up to you ☺️
- 240 grams Bread Flour
- 60 grams Glutinous Rice Flour
- 30 grams Sugar
- 4 grams Salt
- 140 grams Milk
- 8 grams Instant Dry Yeast
- 40 grams Egg
- 40 grams Butter (Salted or Unsalted, leave out at room temperature)
- Few Tablespoons of Sugar
- Take out a large mixing bowl. Place 240 grams of bread flour through a sift. Then sift 60 grams of glutinous rice flour. Make two holes in the flour. Add in the sugar (30 grams) and salt (4 grams) into each. Then cover each hole up.
- Now briefly place your milk on the stove or in the microwave so that it turns WARM. Do not make the milk HOT - just warm! Then add-in the Instant Dry Yeast (8 grams) into the milk and give it a stir. Next, crack 1 whole egg into a separate bowl. Give it a thorough whisk and measure out exactly 40 grams. Pour the 40 grams of egg into the milk mixture. Give it another stir!
- At this step, if you have a stand mixer (with a dough hook) - use it! If not, we'll knead by hand. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the dry flour mixture and stir it around with the other hand. Once it's all poured in, continue to stir. The flour will start to crumble-up and lump together. At this point, use both hands to knead the dough until it doesn't stick to your fingers (~5-7 minutes).
- Next, you want to use butter that's been sitting out at room temperature - it's easier to mix in. Place 40 grams of room-temperature butter into the dough and mix it in with your hands. At first, it will feel quite nasty - but don't worry, it will get all mixed in! Keep kneading until you don't feel the stickiness of the butter on your hands and you see the dough changing colors to a faint yellow (~8-10 minutes).
- Now place the dough into a mixing bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. We will then allow the dough to rise in a warm area. If you'll use your oven to proof, turn the light on and then place-in a cup filled with boiling water. Let it rise for 40-50 minutes.
Make Twisted Donut Shape
- After 50 minutes, take off the plastic wrap. You'll see that the dough has risen. Release the gas by giving the puffed-up dough a few gentle punches with your fist. Then gently re-mold the dough back into a ball shape. Use a knife and quarter the dough in half. Then cut those pieces in half again. And those pieces in half once more. Then use a scale to measure out 60 grams of dough for each piece. You should end up with 8-9 equal pieces.
- Use your palm to roll each dough piece in one direction (as shown in the video) - into the shape of small cocoons. Afterwards, dip your fingers in some water and flick it over the dough so it doesn't dry out. Cover the cocoons with plastic wrap or a cheese cloth... so it doesn't dry out before you start the ext step.
- Now, let's make the donut shape. Grab one dough piece at a time and roll it back-and-forth with your palm. We want them to get around 25 cm in length (doesn't have to be exact). Then use both palms to roll one end, upward and the other end, downward. This will create some tension in the dough. Lift it up and bring the two ends together - and the dough should naturally twist into shape. (You can also use hand to help make the twist as well).
- Place the twisted donuts onto a sheet tray, lined with wax paper. Place into a warm oven and let it rise for a second time. Set a timer for 30 minutes for this last rise.
- After 30 minutes, take the donut out of the oven. You'll see that the donuts have puffed up! It's time to fry them.
- Take out a large pot or wok. Place in vegetable oil. Turn on heat and bring up to 180°C / 350°F. Once its hot, place the donuts into the oil and fry until both sides turn golden brown. Flip them as necessary while they cook.
- Place onto a cooling rack for 1-2 minutes.
- Take out a plastic bag and fill with sugar. Place the fried donuts inside and give them a gentle shake. Pour yourself a cup of milk and call a friend... you got yourself amazing Kkwabaegi donut!!