The biggest drawback to living so far away from home is getting a hold of food I use to take for granted. Take this cakwe – Chinese crullers for an instance, there are at least 2 shops within a hundred meter radius just around my home in Indonesia selling them from early morning till late at night. No one back home would think it is a necessity to even figure out how to make this. If you say you are frying up a batch of cakwe in your home, people will think that you must have too much time to spare. Not so when you live half way across the globe, suddenly there is a desperate need to scour and try every single recipe that you can grab, and tweak and experiment until you get the perfect result! And behold, I finally end up with cakwe recipe that I am quite proud of 🙂
All purpose flour or bread flour?
Most cakwe recipe will call for bread flour, but you can get away with using all purpose flour. If you are familiar with bread making, then you can tell that bread flour will give you a chewier and firmer result, while using all purpose flour will make the bread softer and tenderer. What I am trying to say is, even if the only flour you are stocking at home is all purpose, you will still get a good result! In fact, this batch is made with all purpose flour, and not bread flour.
Technique to shape your crullers
I don’t have step-by-step photo on how to shape the cakwe. I know I write it all out in the recipe below, but if you need a visual guide, feel free to hop on to this site to have a better feel 🙂 Okay, next I will share recipe for bubur ayam (Indonesian chicken congee) that goes really well with some cakwe.
- 200 gram bread flour (or all purpose flour)
- 1 large egg (~ 55 gram)
- 1½ tablespoon milk (~ 25 gram)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3-5 tablespoon water
- Mix all ingredients together (start with 3 tablespoon of water) in a mixing bowl, knead into a soft and smooth dough, adding more water only if necessary.
- Place dough in a mixing bowl, spray/brush the top with a thin layer of water, cover the bowl with a saran plastic wrap (or a wet kitchen towel), and let the dough rest inside the fridge for 4 hours (overnight is best).
- Return the dough to room temperature. Flour your work surface, then turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Roll into a rectangle of ⅛" thickness (~ ½ cm) by 6" long (~ 15cm), then cut into 14 long strips.
- One portion of the cruller consists of 2 strips stack on top of one another, so we will end up with 7 portions.
- To glue together 2 stacks of dough into 1 cruller, use one chopstick (or the dull part of a butter knife), press the two pieces right through the center along its length.
- Heat enough oil for deep frying in a wok/frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the crullers until golden brown. Drain over a wire rack to remove excess oil.
- Serve as is with soy milk, or cut into pieces and serve with congee.