Making the dumpling dough and wrapper is an important part of making Chinese dumplings. Bad wrappers can cause the dumplings to come apart during cooking and ruin the entire dish. Many beginners get put off from making Chinese dumplings because they bought an inferior batch of wrappers at the grocery store which were difficult to fold and came apart in boiling water. A little time spent on learning how to prepare quality home-made dumpling dough and wrappers can ensure the success of your Chinese dumpling recipes. Here are a few tips that will help you make good home-made dumpling wrappers.
8 Tips for Making Dumpling Dough and Wrapper
1. Wrapper dough can be prepared with a variety of flours, including low protein flour, middle protein flour (all purpose flour), and high protein flour. Generally, it is best to use all purpose flour for most recipes, although a few special recipes may require special flour. For example, soup dumplings require wrappers made from high protein flour, which are tougher and better able to contain the liquid filling. Steamed shrimp dumplings require low protein flour, which are more delicate and turn transparent on steaming.
2. When making the dough, add some salt and egg to the dough. This makes the wrapper more durable and less sticky. Wrapper with a bit of salt and egg stretch easily and do not tear. They also taste better.
3. The ratio of flour to water should be around 1 cup of flour to 0.4-0.5 cup of water. Err on the side of slightly more water, which makes for a softer dough which is easier to shape and wrap.
4. After making the dough, let it stand for at least 10 minutes before use. This makes the wrapper more durable, and also makes them taste better. In addition, the dough also gets slightly softer after standing, making it easier to stretch and handle.
5. Room temperature water is used to make the dough for boiled or fried Chinese dumplings. Warm water is used to make dough for steamed dumplings and potstickers.
6. Vegetable juice can be used to add color to the wrapper. Spinach juice is used for green wrappers, carrot juice for orange wrappers, purple cabbage for purple wrappers, tomato juice for red wrappers, and egg yolk for yellow wrappers. See How to Make Chinese Dumpling Wrappers for details.
7. Home-made wrappers should be used soon after they are made. Do not stack them on top of each other, because they may stick together. Do not let them stand too long in the air because they will dry out and become brittle.
8. Vary the amount of dough based on how much filling you have to wrap. When in doubt, prepare more dough, because it is easier to fold dumplings with larger wrappers.