Molly Yeh is the exuberant voice behind the blog My Name Is Yeh. After growing up in Minnesota and attending college at Juilliard in New York City, she moved to North Dakota to live with her farmer husband. With her quirky taste in baked goods and her current Midwestern life, I thought she’d come up with something very fitting for a modern potluck. And she did. She says:
“When I got kicked off of the math team in 11th grade, I figured the next best way to pay homage to my Chinese heritage would be to eat a bunch of Chinese food and cook it for all of my friends. If I had to name one dish that has consistently been a hit among my friends, it’d be scallion pancakes. They’re best when they’re right out of the pan, so here’s a solution that’s more potluck friendly: a scallion pancake–inspired pull-apart bread. This impressive loaf will look good even after it’s been wrapped up and tossed in the back of your car/bag/bicycle basket, and its pull-apart nature will eliminate the need for a bread knife.”
Potluck Prep: You can cover the kneaded dough and refrigerate overnight; bring it to room temperature before rolling it out. The baked rolls are best the day they’re made but can be covered in foil and held at room temperature. Rewarm at 325°F.
1 8-inch round bread
- In a glass measuring cup, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let stand until it foams at the top, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir in the yeast mixture and the oil and mix to combine. Knead for 7 to 10 minutes, until smooth and springy. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Brush an 8-inch round cake pan with a thin layer of sesame oil.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a long rectangle that’s about 24 inches by 9 inches. Brush the dough with a thin layer of sesame oil, and sprinkle with the scallions, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. Roll the long side of the dough up like a jelly roll and brush the outside with more sesame oil. Cut the roll into 1½- to 2-inch pieces and arrange the pieces cut side up in the cake pan. Cover and let it rise for 30 more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds and a bit more salt. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Let cool briefly and serve.
Excerpted from “Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share” by Kristin Donnelly, copyright © 2016, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi.
Kristin Donnelly is a Brooklyn-based food and wine writer. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Prevention, EveryDay With Rachael Ray, Women’s Health and Cherry Bombe magazines. She is the author of the cookbook The Modern Potluck.