How To Make Boba Dough

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How To Make Boba Dough

This article will teach you how to make a basic boba dough for tapioca pearls. It is a really easy process, but it is really easy to mess up. Here we will show you how to make it correctly, so you don’t experience the same problems we had when we first started out.

This article will teach you how to make a boba dough for white tapioca pearls and regular tapioca pearls. In order to make boba dough for black colored tapioca pearls, additional things need to be done. That will be covered in the black tapioca pearls section.

Equipment needed to make boba dough:

  • Non-stick pan.
  • Heat resistant spatula.
  • Measuring cup.
  • Measuring spoon.
  • A flat clean surface.
    • This is for kneading the dough after it is finished in the pan.
  • A stove top.

Ingredients for making boba dough:

  • Water of 1.5 ounces or more.
  • Tapioca starch of a little less than half the proportion of the water for cooking.
    • More tapioca starch is needed after the initial cooking is done. It is needed for kneading too.
  • Brown sugar of 3 tablespoons per 1.5 ounces of water.
    • You can use less than this if you like. Skip this if you are making white tapioca pearl boba dough.

1. Put 1.5 ounces or more of water in the non-stick pan.

Water in the pan.
Water in the pan.

Use the measuring cup and measure out 1.5 ounces of water. This amount will be more if you are making a large batch of tapioca pearls, or a bigger dough.

2. Heat the pan on the stove at medium-low heat.

Set the temperature to low or right in between medium and low setting. The heat is necessary in order for the boba dough to form correctly.

Heat must be used, or you will end up making boba dough that melts after it turns into a solid when it is time to knead it. This is called oobleck. If you came here to fix any dough that you accidentally made into this, then please refer to the guide to fixing bad boba dough.

Furthermore, the tapioca starch must be mixed and cooked correctly while in the heat, or you will also end up with oobleck dough. This is the easy to mess up part that we were talking about.

3. Put 3 tablespoons of brown sugar into the pan with the water. Mix it into the water.

Brown sugar in the pan.
3 tablespoons of brown sugar added.

Skip this step if you are making white tapioca pearls. No brown sugar will be added to white tapioca pearls. This is how white tapioca pearl dough is made.

For regular tapioca pearls, more or less brown sugar can be added to sweeten and darken the boba dough to make darker colored tapioca pearls later, when they are made into pearls. It is up to you. Also, other sweeteners besides the brown sugar can be used too.

4. Put half or less of the amount of tapioca starch to the proportion of the water into the pan. Thoroughly mix it into the water.

Tapioca starch for making a boba dough.
Tapioca starch added to the pan.

This is really simple here, just add in some tapioca starch now, so you can begin to form the boba dough. Try not to add in too much tapioca starch, else the mixture will be really dry. Aim for half the proportion of water or less. You can’t go wrong with a little less. The mixture needs to still be watery after it is mixed together.

5. Stir continuously on low-medium heat until it turns into a sticky paste.

Keep stirring on medium-low heat until the mixture thickens up and turns into a thick sticky paste. Be patient, as it will take some time. Try to keep the mixture stirred together, continuously bringing it back to the center of the pan. Eventually you will end up with this..

Sticky tapioca boba dough.
Sticky thick paste from cooking.

We continously stir and cook the blob until it becomes no more a wet blob, but a sticky paste. It is cooked a little further until it loses a bit of this stickiness, but not for too long. Just make sure that all the contents in the pan are stirred and moved around.

This will prevent an uneven boba dough with parts that are more cooked than others. Don’t let it sit in the pan, keep stirring it.

6. Add more tapioca starch to the sticky paste and knead it in using the heat resistant spatula.

Tapioca starch added to the boba dough in the pan.
More tapioca starch needed into the pan with the sticky paste.

We usually add in tapioca starch to the pan around the size of the sticky paste or a little less. Add the tapioca starch into the pan on the side of the paste.

Then take the paste and place it on top of the starch. From here, use the heat resistant spatula to continuously flatten and fold the starch into the paste until it can hold no more tapioca starch.

Keeping doing this until the paste is no longer sticky, and the paste appears to be unable to take anymore starch. If you are making a bigger boba dough, you may need a bigger spatula.

7. Remove it from the pan and knead in more tapioca starch as needed.

Kneading tapioca starch into dough to make boba dough.
Last part to making boba dough. More tapioca starch kneaded in.

The last step is to remove the dough from the pan, add more tapioca starch, and knead in more of the starch by hand. Simply knead in more starch into the tapioca dough until it is no longer sticky to the hands. A little more can be kneaded into it after this until it becomes dryer, but not crumbly.

The boba dough should look similar in texture to the picture at the top of the article.

If you have any problems making the boba dough, refer to the guide mentioned above for fixing boba dough that is messed up.

The dough can be stored in a sealed plastic container and placed into the refrigerator. Dry boba dough needs a little water to bring it back to life.

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