Vietnamese Sesame Hollow Donuts (Bánh Tiêu)

Bánh Tiêu (Vietnamese Hollow Donuts) is a deep fried delicacy that always caught my attention when they had fresh batches near the front of the Vietnamese grocery stores by the cashier lines. More often than not, I’d find myself coming out of the store with one or two of these donuts to snack on.

This treat is airy and subtly sweet from vanillin sugar and has some nuttiness from sesame seeds. The coolest thing about them is that they inflate and become hollow once deep-fried, which makes them a perfect vessel for ice cream, fruits, or other sweet add-ons!

Ingredients (for approx 25 donuts)
Dry Ingredients
-1020 g all purpose flour + more during rolling
-370 g sugar
-48 g rice flour
-14 g baking powder
-11 g table salt
-24 g vanillin sugar (solid)

Wet Ingredients
-2 tsp distilled white vinegar
-570 g water
-Corn oil for deep frying

Toppings
-Sesame seeds
-Powdered sugar (optional)

Useful Equipment
-Food scale
-Rolling pin

Procedure
1) Add all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together.
2) Add white vinegar and water into the bowl.
3) Mix together until it becomes a dough and knead until it is stretchy.
4) Allow dough to rest for approximately one hour.
5) Dust work surface and rolling pin with all purpose flour.
6) Form dough into tennis ball-sized spheres, and press ball-shaped dough into a bowl of sesame seeds so seeds cling onto the dough. Flip the dough on the other side and coat with sesame seeds as well. Use flour-dusted rolling pin to roll the dough into flat 1/4 inch thick circle donuts.
7) Heat oil in a deep-frying pot to about 375F (about medium to medium high heat).
8) Carefully add flattened dough into the heated oil. The dough should inflate and float. Use the side of chopsticks or a spatula to gently tap the donut into the oil so that it inflates fully and evenly; about 10-15 seconds.
9) Flip donut to the other side and gently tap for another 10 seconds or until golden-brown in color.
10) Remove donut onto a paper-lined dish or drying rack to remove excess oil and allow to cool.
11) Optionally shake on powdered sugar and serve as is or with fruits and/or ice cream.

Observations
-Make sure to dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour so that the dough does not stick
-While frying, be careful not to poke a hole into the donut when tapping.

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