Ding! Round 3 of the gluten-free pot sticker experiment. The second dough made of millet flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch was pretty darn good. The wrappers were easy to roll out, manipulate, and sturdy. They cooked up to a good chew without being overly rustic. But I was curious about tinkering with the dough. My goal this time was to achieve a little tenderness along with that chew.
After a bit of research, I decided to try Laura Russell’s approach in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen cookbook. What appealed to me was that she used tapioca starch, Mochiko sweet rice flour, millet flour, and xantham gum. If you’ve made any of the sticky rice dumplings from Asian Dumplings (e.g., onde onde from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore; banh it from Vietnam) you know that dough made from sweet (sticky) rice flour has an alluring natural sweetness and elasticity. So I gave it whirl.
This is the gluten-free basic dumpling dough that I devised based on Russell’s formula:
3 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) tapioca starch
3 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) millet flour*
4 3/8 ounces (3/4 cup) Mochiko Blue Star Brand glutinous (sweet) rice flour
2 teaspoons xantham gum*
3/4 cup just-boiled water plus 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
* See the Gluten-Free Pot Stickers: Trial 2 for information on these ingredients
The weight of the dry ingredients was more than my usual 10 ounces so it necessitated a little extra water. All I did was combine the starch , flours, and xantham gum in a bowl. Then I worked in the just-boiled water to create a crumbly moist mixture. Then I switched to mixing and kneading with my hand to work in the extra 1 to 2 tablespoons of cold water. The result was this soft, smooth dough:
After a rest in the plastic bag, this millet-and-rice dough was much softer than the millet-and-sorghum dough. Russell suggests flouring the dough pieces with lots of extra Mochiko sweet rice flour, which I found was more or less true. I had used a little less water than Russell so I didn’t need as much flour for dusting. Nevertheless, you see how much I used on the cutting board: (the filling is the pork and napa cabbage filling on page 31)
In terms of ease of rolling out wrappers, it was easy like dough 2. However, this gluten-free dumpling dough tended to stick a little more than the second one; there were more frequent dustings in between rolls with the dowel rolling pin.
On the other hand, the rice flour dough gave a little more to stretch and hug the filling. My guess is that it’s due to the use of sweet rice flour, which naturally sags a bit when used to make dough.
Because the millet-and-rice-flour dough was softer, I could not form as neat looking pleats as with the millet-and-sorghum flour. The dumpling below reminded me of Lisa Simpson's hair. Water was needed to wet the half of the edge and create a solid seal just like before. (See the post on dough #2 for other tips on working with gluten-free dumpling dough.)
This dough was just as tasty, if not slightly tastier than the second one. The rice flour indeed gave the dough a chewy-tender quality that was not rustic in any way. The resulting pot stickers were more refined tasting than the ones made from the second dough. However, dough # 2 had its earthy al dente charm and it was easier to work; there was less sticking.
Which gluten-free dumpling dough is for you?
Let your taste preferences dictate your decision:
- Combining millet, sorghum, and starches makes for dough that’s easy to work. The result is somewhat hearty in a nice way, like a good wheat bread.
- Combining millet, sweet rice flour, and starch creates tender-chewy dough that requires a little finesse. The result is refined, akin to a chewy white bread.
Also consider your pantry. What do you have on hand? For example, if you have an Asian pantry, chances are that you already have the Mochiko Blue Star Brand sweet rice flour and tapioca starch. All that you’d have to buy is the millet flour and xantham gum. If that is not your situation, you can do either one.
When all was said and done, I had a lot of dough and filling left. I tried different shapes, cooking techniques, and froze a bunch. I wanted to see how the gluten-free dumpling dough performed under different situations. Stay tuned for that final post in this series (saga).
- Gluten-free Asian Dumpling Dough: How to make the most of it
- Gluten-Free Pot Stickers: Recipe Trial 2 (with tips on working with GF dumpling dough)
- Gluten-free Pot Stickers: Recipe Trial 1 (on Asiandumplingtips.com)
- Guide to Building an Asian Dumpling Pantry
- Tolerance Test: Are Gluten-Free Asian Ingredients for You?
If you have the enhanced e-version of Asian Dumplings, these technique videos are included. Other wise, see the printed book for details and/or watch my videos below:
- How to roll out Asian dumpling wrappers
- Basic Asian dumpling shapes: Half Moon, Pea Pod and Big Hug
- Advanced dumpling shapes: Pleated Crescent