Makes: 24 wrappers
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
for boiled or panfried dumpling wrappers:
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup lukewarm water
1 large egg white
for steamed dumpling wrappers:
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup boiling water
1. Mix the dough: For boiled and panfried dumplings, add the flour to a wide mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Stir in the water and egg white with your fingers. The flour will look shaggy, like biscuit dough; as the dough comes together, run an open palm around the edge of the bowl and fold the flour into the center, spinning the bowl with your other hand as you go, until it all forms a rough clump. It's fine if there are still pockets of dry flour.
For steamed dumplings, Add ⅔ cup of the flour to a wide mixing bowl, then stir in the boiling water with chopsticks or a wooden spoon. Mix until the dough forms an elastic, slightly translucent ball. Fold in the remaining flour with your hands, as instructed above, until the dough forms a rough clump.
2. Knead the dough: Coat your work surface with a fine dusting of flour and turn the dough out of the bowl. Dust your hands with four and shape the dough into a fat log about the width of your hand. Knead the dough by pushing your hands and wrists into the log and rolling it forward. Then roll it back and push again. Repeat a few times until the log moves easily, adding more flour if it sticks, then spin the log 90 degrees, shape it into a horizontal log again, and knead a few more times, adding more flour if necessary. Use no more flour than you need to keep the dough from drying out.
As you knead, the dough will get firmer and tougher with a texture reminiscent of a gummy bear. It's ready when it's smooth to the touch, like the surface of a pearl, not tacky, with no cracks or pockets of dry flour. There may be some lumps. Put the dough back in your work bowl and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let it sleep for 15 to 30 minutes. While it relaxes, you can prepare your filling.
3. Knead again: Dust your work surface with a little more flour, then knead it as before. Work out all those lumps; after kneading about ten times you should have satin-smooth dough that forms a clean ball you can easily push into, like the gel of a shoe insert.
4. Portion the dough: Form your dough into a log, dust a dough scraper with a little flour, and cut the dough into four equal sections. Roll each section into a log and chop it into six pieces for a total of twenty-four balls of dough, each about an inch in diameter. Toss the balls with a light coating of flour and cover with a lightly moistened towel.
5. Roll the dough into wrappers: Gently smash the balls of dough into flat disks, then lightly roll an Asian-style rolling pin across them to flatten them out a bit more. Hold one disk by its edge and firmly but gently roll your pin from the disk's edge to its center. Roll the same edge a few more times, using more pressure at the edge than at the center. Use your other hand to turn the dough disk and reveal a new edge of the disk; roll again. Continue until all the edges are rolled out and the wrapper is about 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
Hold your rolled-out wrapper up to a light. If you can see through it faintly, your wrapper is ready to go. Otherwise, keep rolling.
For boiled and panfried dumplings, roll the edges to half the thickness of the center of the wrappers. For steamed dumplings, roll the edges until they're paper thin.
As you get faster, you'll notice that all your active hand needs to do is roll the pin back and forth while your other hand just rotates the wrapper. As long as your hands stay in these fixed motions, you'll easily make even, round wrappers through they don't need to be perfectly uniform. Place freshly rolled wrappers under a lightly moistened towel to keep them from drying out.
Reprinted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook. Copyright © 2017 by Helen You. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.