Crispy Bing Bread (家常饼)

4.58 from 7 votes
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Crispy Bing Bread (家常饼) - Crispy surface, creamy texture, as light as puff pastry! | omnivorescookbook.com

This bing bread is buttery-creamy in texture and crispy-crunchy on the surface. Simply seasoned with peanut oil and salt, it has such an addictive flavor that just makes you want more!

Chinese bing bread (家常饼, jia chang bing) should be known by more people around the world. It’s a humble food, of which you can easily get a dozen for less than two dollars at most small markets in Beijing. Its flavor is so simple and delicious that I consider it to be the best staple food.

To speak of stable foods in Chinese cuisine, there are countless varieties of them, including noodles, dumplings, rice, porridge, steamed buns, and so on. The bing bread is a bit more special than the rest. Although it doesn’t have any filling, it uses a technique to combine oil and salt to create a savory flavor and crispy, layered texture. It is delicious enough to serve by itself. If you have it at a restaurant or farmer’s house, the texture will be as light as puff pastry. Seriously!

However, the perfect bing bread is a bit challenging to make at home. To make a restaurant-style bing (like puff pastry), you need to make a super soft dough that you can barely lift by hand. You need to roll super wet dough out into a huge thin sheet and create layers from there. I tried it several times at home. Although I can still make it work (it tasted heavenly, by the way!), the cooking process can get quite messy.

Crispy Bing Bread (家常饼) - Crispy surface, creamy texture, as light as puff pastry! | omnivorescookbook.com

In this recipe, I altered the flour-water ratio to make a slightly drier dough, so you can easily cook it at home. It will still yield a super crispy bread with lots of layers and a creamy, nutty texture.

With this bread, you don’t really need anything else to serve it with. It tastes wonderful by itself. We usually serve simple porridge and stir-fried vegetables with it. However, if you want big flavor, you could top it with scrambled eggs and even sausage. Or, you could brush some sauce on the bread, such as fermented bean paste (dou ban jiang), but I rarely do that. The sauce is too strong and will cover the nice fragrance of the bread.

Crispy Bing Bread (家常饼) - Crispy surface, creamy texture, as light as puff pastry! | omnivorescookbook.com

Menu Ideas

{Vegan} bing bread + millet porridge + 15-minute okra stir-fry (or bok choy stir-fry with crispy tofu)

{Feeling fancy} bing bread + hot and sour soup + braised chicken with mushrooms (can be prepared ahead)

{Healthy dinner} bing bread + Thai Brussels sprouts salad

If you make this bing bread, don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #omnivorescookbook on Instagram. I love seeing your photos!

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Crispy Bing Bread (家常饼)

4.58 from 7 votes
Author: Maggie Zhu
Course: Side
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 breads

Ingredients

  • 500 grams / 17 ounces all-purpose flour *see conversion to cups
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup room temperature water *see footnote 1
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil or lard or chicken grease
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  • Add flour into a large bowl.
  • Slowly add boiling water and mix the flour with a pair of chopsticks (or a spatula), until water is fully absorbed.
  • Slowly add room temperature water, continuing to mix, until water is fully absorbed and there is no dry flour on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Dust both hands with flour and start to knead the mixture, until dough forms. The dough should be quite sticky and difficult to lift from the bowl.
  • Dust a working surface (or a large cutting board) with flour. Transfer the dough to the working surface and knead for another 5 minutes.
  • Dust the same big bowl with flour and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the dough with a wet clean kitchen towel and place a lid on the bowl. Let rest for 1 hour.
  • Dust both hands and the working surface again with flour. Transfer the dough to the working surface.
  • Knead the dough for another 3 minutes, until the texture becomes smooth.
  • Divide the dough in half. Divide each half further into 4 equal pieces (*see footnote 2). Transfer half of the dough into the bowl and cover with the wet kitchen towel, to keep it from drying out.
  • Work on the dough pieces one at a time. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a thin rectangular sheet, about the thickness of a dollar coin. Lift up the thin sheet once in the middle of rolling, to prevent the dough from sticking to the working surface.
  • Brush a thin layer of oil on the dough. Evenly spread salt on top.
  • Fold the dough accordion-style back and forth, until the dough becomes a long strip. Flip the dough to let it stand, oiled side up. Tug and roll the dough from one end like a swirl, until it’s shaped like a snail shell. Set aside.
  • Continue to work on the rest of the dough pieces in the same way.
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until warm.
  • Press the dough until it’s shaped like a disk, about 0.6mm (1/5 inch) thick.
  • Place the dough in the skillet. Grill each side for about 2 minutes, until both sides turns golden brown. If the skillet starts to get too hot, turn to low heat. Transfer the bing bread to a plate. (*see footnote 3) Continue to press and cook the rest dough pieces.
  • Serve warm as a side.

Storage and reheating

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.
  • To reheat, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat until warm. Place the bread inside. When the skillet is hot, flip the bread. Add 1 tablespoon water and cover the skillet immediately. Turn to low heat and cook until heated through.

Notes

1. If you’re confident in your bread-making skills, try to make the dough as wet as possible, as long as you can handle it. Don’t worry if you add a bit more water. You could mix with a spatula until the dough forms and don’t need to knead by hand if the dough is too wet. When you start to roll the dough, grease the working surface with a thin layer of oil and the dough won’t stick too much to the surface. It will be a bit messy, but it yields even more fluffy and crispy bread.
2. In this recipe I made 8 small bing breads. The smaller dough is easier to work with. If you are confident in your skills, you could make bigger bread by dividing the dough into 4 or 6 pieces.
3. When you cook the bread, try to control the heat so that the skillet is neither too hot nor too cold. If it is too hot, the bread will easily burn. If too cold, the bread will lose moisture and dry out before cooked through.
Did You Make This Recipe?Don't forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 8 breads generated by this recipe.

Crispy Bing Bread Nutrition Facts | omnivorescookbook.com

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Kevin | keviniscooking says:

    5 stars
    Love the step by step images, I was envisioning how-to and was right! The chicken fat use would definitely be my pick if I had, but the bacon fat in my refrigerator would do wonderfully I think!
    I’m not afraid to try it out and thanks for the recipe Maggie!

    • Maggie says:

      I’m so glad you like this Kevin! Both chicken fat and bacon fat will work wonderfully! I usually use chicken fat that I saved from cooking chicken soup. When I really want to make the bread super delicious and unhealthy, I used lard 😉

  2. Lokness @ The Missing Lokness says:

    They look so flaky and crispy. Absolutely love to try some. I wish I could have a bowl of century egg and pork congee along with these bread. YUM!

  3. Healing Tomato says:

    5 stars
    Oh Wow! This is such a clever idea

  4. Claire | Sprinkles and Sprouts says:

    5 stars
    I love making bread so I can’t wait to try these! They are such an amazing shape!
    I love your idea of serving it with hot and sour soup. YUM 🙂

  5. Manal Obieda says:

    I am in when it is any kind of a bread recipe..this one looks so yummy and different…will be trying soon 🙂

  6. Sara | Belly Rumbles says:

    These look so comforting, and I agree with Kevin, bacon fat would be awesome making these.

  7. Kavey says:

    Oh it looks so good. And the step by step photos are superbly helpful!!!

  8. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits says:

    I can’t quite eat things with flour yet because I’m on the whole30, but I really want to make this once it’s over! This looks so tasty, Maggie! Reminds me of the bing I used to buy in Beijing!

  9. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    5 stars
    This bread is beautiful Maggie! And I love that you suggest pairings for meals– it turned out so flaky and light!

  10. Claudia | Gourmet Project says:

    They look like I could eat a dozen, in less Than a minute?

  11. Susan says:

    This bread sounds absolutely delicious. At some point I will probably try this, because I make my own tortillas and I used to bake bread all the time. I hope your move goes smoothly, and WELCOME TO TEXAS!!

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Susan, I would like to try to make my own tortillas too! The fresh ones are so tasty.
      Many thanks for your kind words. I’ll be traveling tomorrow and I’m too exited to fall asleep tonight! lol

  12. Immaculate says:

    5 stars
    Oh My! I make Chapati this way too! And it really comes out with lots of flakes. Just love all the flavors you got going on here on your blog. Can’t wait to give it a try!

  13. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says:

    Oh Maggie, once again you have introduced me to something totally new that I had no idea I could find in China. I just LOVE this! I love that it’s got just a few ingredients in it, how pretty it looks when you make all the folds, that it’s CRISPY and that you can serve it with sausage and egg …. mmmmm! Definitely pinning this one! 🙂

  14. Prash @ YummilyYours says:

    OMG! Our cuisines are so similar! This is called a lachcha paratha in India 🙂 Yum! love it 🙂

  15. swayam says:

    LOVE this Maggie! Gorgeous pics…We do this in India too..and its so so good with curries and dals. Kind of perfect rainy day dinner 🙂 Thanks so much for bringing this to #SaucySaturdays 🙂 It definitely warmed us up .. Pinning !!

  16. Jennifer A Stewart says:

    I love how beautiful this bread is! I would have never thought to fold it accordion style and then fry it! I have never seen anything like it! Thanks for sharing it with Saucy Saturdays!

  17. Evelyn says:

    I will really try to cook this Bread it seems that very nice Bread. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Godbless you.

  18. Priya says:

    The bread looks so scrumptious! So much similarity to how we Indians make lachha parathas!

  19. sandy says:

    I’ve had this bread at a restaurant, it is so good it is worth the effort. I am going to try. I would use the bread to get every last bit of the garlic sauce they served with shrimp. Now I need to see if you have a Garlic Shrimp recipe to go with the bread.

      • sandy says:

        Thank you, these are being added to the Must Try list. I had found the Sichuan All Purpose Chili Garlic Sauce was can’t wait to try that. I’m finding all your recipes irresistible, loving your food.
        I found you from CenterCutCook just recently. So glad to have found your page

      • Maggie says:

        Thanks for your kind words Sandy 🙂 It’s interesting to hear you find my site via CenterCutCook. I like the chili garlic sauce too, because you can use it in so many dishes. Hope it’s not too spicy for you!

  20. Isobel says:

    Dear Maggie,
    I don’t know how I found your blog, but boy, am I happy I did!
    Everything sounds so phantastic and doable… The vast variety of techniques and tastes of Chinese cuisine(s) kept me in awe and at a distance, because I thought myself too amateurish to give it a go.. But you make it sound so approachable, I already bookmarked a ton of your recipes but have a question though concerning this one: in the intro to this recipe you write about sesame oil and in the ingredients list only peanut oil is mentioned, so the sesame oil is just drizzled on the bread after being cooked as a seasoning? Is it optional?
    Best from Berlin,
    Issy

    • Maggie says:

      Hi Issy, I’m so glad to hear you like my recipes and would like to try them out! Chinese cooking might look complicated, but once you try out a few recipes, you’ll find them totally doable 🙂
      To answer your question, it’s my mistake to mention sesame oil in the intro. Oops! Yes, the recipe only requires peanut oil. In fact, restaurants usually use animal oil (especially chicken fat) to make this bread to make it even tastier.
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out 🙂

  21. sam says:

    2 stars
    The words I would use to describe these are dense and heavy. If I knew what they were supposed to taste like, I might try again with less flour… but not at all motivated at this point.

  22. Disa says:

    5 stars
    Wow, I’m so glad I found this blog! I love how you provide so many recipes to authentic Chinese dishes (i.e. dishes that my relatives in China would recognize). I’m Chinese American and this is a wonderful way for me to connect to my Chinese heritage. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to start cooking!

  23. Annie says:

    Hello, where can I find the step by step pictures for the recipe? I see that other comments have mentioned them, but they don’t show up for me.

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