Fried dough is an old-school treat that’s been around since the early days.
It was originally made by hand with yeast and flour, but nowadays, it’s usually prepared in large batches using a machine.
The batter itself is typically made from wheat flour, water, salt, sugar, eggs, and sometimes other flavorings such as vanilla.
However, no matter how it’s prepared, fried dough has always remained popular all over the world.
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make Fried Dough?
While there are many different recipes out there, most of them share similar ingredients.
So if you want to try your own homemade version of this classic snack food, here are the basic things you need to know about making fried dough.
- Flour – This can be either bread or all-purpose flour.
- Bread flour gives it more texture while all-purpose flour makes it lighter and fluffier.
- Water – You will also need at least one cup of warm water for every two cups of flour used.
- Water helps to create gluten which is what gives baked goods their structure so adding too much water would result in soggy dough.
- Salt – Salt adds flavor and enhances the overall taste of the finished product.
- If you don’t have a lot of salt on hand, you can use table salt instead.
- But keep in mind that salty foods tend to give off gas when heated so avoid heating up the oil directly after frying.
- Eggs – Eggs add protein and help to bind everything together.
- They also act as a binder because they contain lecithin, a fatty substance found naturally in egg yolks that acts like glue.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract is another flavoring ingredient that goes well with fried dough.
- And while plain vanilla extract isn’t necessary, it’s nice to have just in case.
How Long Does It Take To Fry The Dough?
You can fry the dough at home in just about 30 minutes or less if you have a deep fryer on hand.
If not, try frying it in oil in a pot of boiling water instead.
To prevent the dough from drying out during this process, add some extra liquid like milk, cream, or even beer into the mix before frying.
Step 1: Mixing the dough
- Boil approximately 2 cups (500 mL) of water until it starts to boil.
- Add 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of honey to the hot water and stir well.
- In another bowl, combine 2 ½ cups (625 mL) of plain white flour, ¼ cup (50 mL) of granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon (1.25 mL) of baking soda, ½ teaspoon (1.25 mL) of salt, and 1 egg.
- Combine these dry ingredients together with your hands, then gradually pour in the warm water while mixing continuously.
- Once everything is mixed together, let the dough rest for 5 minutes so that the gluten can develop.
Step 2: Frying the dough
- When your dough has rested for five minutes, use two forks to divide it into four pieces.
- Place one piece of dough at a time into a shallow container filled with 4 inches (10 cm) of vegetable oil.
- Heat the oil up to 350° Fahrenheit (180° Celsius).
- Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove each piece of dough carefully when it’s golden brown and crispy enough to eat.
The key to making good fried dough lies in having patience when cooking it.
You should expect certain parts of the dough to cook faster than others, which means you need to give them more attention.
For example, the edges of the dough will be ready first, followed by the middle, then finally, the bottom.
- If you want to get the dough done fast, put it directly into the hot oil without waiting for the sides to rise.
- To avoid burning the bottom part of the dough, make sure you don’t submerge it too much in the oil.
- For every batch of dough, keep a close eye on it after 10 minutes.
- Remove it from the oil immediately once it turns golden brown and crispy.
- It’s also important to allow the temperature of the oil to drop back down to between 180° and 200° Fahrenheit (82°C and 93°C) before adding more dough so that the next batch doesn’t burn.
What Is The Best Way To Ensure The Dough Is Cooked Through?
The most common mistake people make when making fried dough is not cooking it enough or overcooking it.
In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to know what temperature your food needs to reach before taking off the heat.
To find out exactly what temperature the dough needs to be at, follow this simple method:
- Measure the internal temperature (temperature) of your dough with a thermometer.
- Take the temperature reading of the dough after 5 minutes of heating.
- Compare the two readings and subtract one from the other.
- You will now have the exact time needed until the temperature reaches your desired level.
Is There A Specific Type Of Oil That Should Be Used For The Frying?
The most common types of oil to use are vegetable oil or shortening.
These oils provide the necessary moisture needed to keep the dough soft while cooking at high heat.
You will also need a deep fryer if you want to cook your dough properly.
This device helps maintain a constant temperature throughout the process, ensuring that the dough cooks evenly and thoroughly.
If you prefer, you can try baking instead of frying.
If done right, this method results in a crispier texture than traditional frying.
In fact, baked dough tends to have more air pockets, which gives it a fluffier appearance when cut open.
To bake the dough, simply place the finished product on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake it until golden brown.
Then add toppings like powdered sugar or cinnamon before serving.
You don’t necessarily need anything fancy to prepare fried dough.
All you really need is some basic ingredients, including flour, water, salt, eggs, and sugar.
Once these items are combined, you just need to let them sit for about 15 minutes.
During this time, they will rise slightly and become fluffy.
At this point, you may start adding additional flavors, like vanilla extract, to the mixture.
Afterward, combine everything together into one big ball, roll it out flat, and then cut off pieces once it cools down.
Once cooled, you can dip each piece in a bowl filled with whatever topping you desire (or leave plain).
Deep-frying is another great option because it ensures that every single bite tastes fresh and flavorful.
But if you do decide to go with frying, you should first coat the dough with either cornstarch or breadcrumbs so that it doesn’t stick too much.
Just remember that food safety standards apply here, so follow the instructions below carefully.
How Can You Make The Fried Dough Crispy?
The most important part of making fried dough is choosing the right cooking method.
You will definitely want your fried dough to be crisp on the outside while still being soft inside so that it doesn’t break apart when you bite into it.
To achieve this, it’s best if you use deep fryers or waffle fryers instead of skillets or pans because they allow for more control over temperature, which makes them ideal for fried foods like fried dough.
You also need to ensure that the oil is hot enough.
If the oil isn’t at least 350°F (180°C), then your fried dough won’t cook properly.
In addition, you don’t want the oil to get too hot because it could cause the food to burn.
Instead, you want the oil to maintain its temperature throughout the entire process.
This means that you shouldn’t add more oil once the first batch is finished.
Once the oil cools down, you should drain off some of the excess oil and discard it immediately.
Then, refill the pan with fresh oil before adding another batch of dough.
Finally, keep an eye out for any signs of burning and adjust the heat accordingly.
What Is The Best Way To Shape The Dough Before Frying?
There are two ways of preparing fried dough: one method uses oil, while another doesn’t use oil at all.
You should choose whichever method suits your preference.
Method 1: Using Oil to Fry Fried Dough
- Put 2 cups (500 mL) of warm water into a bowl.
- Add 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of active dry yeast to the mixture.
- Mix well until dissolved.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave aside for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, sift together 4 cups (1 L) of plain flour, 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of salt, 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of sugar, 1/4 cup (60 mL) of vegetable shortening, and 2 beaten egg yolks.
- Pour the remaining 2 cups (500 mL) of hot water into a separate mixing bowl.
- Once the yeast solution has fermented, add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey to the liquid.
- Stir the solution until everything comes together into a smooth batter.
- Let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- Add the mixture to the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and mix them thoroughly so they become evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Divide the batter into 8 equal portions.
- Roll out each portion between 2 pieces of parchment paper on a flat surface, making sure they don’t stick to each other.
- Place each roll onto an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Heat up some vegetable oil in a deep fryer filled halfway full with oil to 375° F (190° C).
- Take the rolls out of the refrigerator, one by one, and dip them carefully into the batter, turning them to coat both sides completely.
- Carefully place them back into the batter, then turn them again so they get coated once more.
- Gently lower them into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook for approximately 6 minutes per side.
- Drain the fried dough on a rack placed over absorbent paper towels.
Are There Any Additional Toppings Or Ingredients That Can Be Added To The Fried Dough?
You can add more than just plain flour to your dough if you want — try adding nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut flakes… You could even try making a special variety of fried dough like “chocolate chip cookie dough” or “peanut butter cookie dough” (or maybe something else entirely) if you want.
- Flour – Plain flour makes up most of the dough, so this is what you’ll use when preparing your own version of fried dough.
- Butter/oil – If you want to make your fried dough taste better, consider using some oil or butter instead of plain flour.
- Milk – Milk makes the dough thicker and softer, which means it will hold its shape better while cooking.
- Baking powder/baking soda – Baking powder and baking soda are both leavening agents that help the dough rise during preparation.
- They also give the finished product a nice taste.
- Egg yolks – Egg whites are often paired with egg yolks because they have different properties.
- Eggs whites tend to get cooked through quickly, while egg yolks provide richness and color to the final product.
- This is why you see many recipes that call for one or the other.
Other things to keep in mind
There are two main ways to cook fried dough: deep-frying and pan-frying.
Deep-frying involves submerging the entire piece of dough into hot oil at high heat, while pan-frying involves putting the dough on top of the stove and frying each side separately.
Each method comes with its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to learn them well.
Is There A Specific Temperature That Should Be Used To Fry The Dough?
The most common way of frying dough is simply in oil at high heat.
This method works best if you have a deep fat fryer, however, many home cooks prefer to use a wok on the stovetop instead.
Although both methods work well, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
When making fried dough, you want to avoid overcooking the outside of the dough because this will result in a tough outer layer while leaving the inside raw.
To prevent the outer shell from becoming too hard, some people add extra butter to the dough before frying it.
In addition to adding more moisture, the melted butter also helps spread out the dough when cooking so that the entire surface gets cooked evenly.
If you don’t like the idea of having excess grease leftover after frying, consider baking your dough rather than frying it.
Once baked, the dough becomes crispy without releasing much grease.
If you choose to bake your dough, make sure to keep track of time because the exact amount of time required for different types of dough varies depending on several factors.
For example, a thicker dough takes longer to cook, whereas thinner doughs are easier to control.
You may need to experiment with various temperatures when trying to figure out the ideal oven temperature for your dough.
One thing to note about frying dough is that it requires a lot of space.
Since you’ll be working with hot oil, you’ll need to prepare yourself ahead of time by wearing safety gear and keeping the area where you’re preparing the dough clean.
Also, make sure that you have enough room in your kitchen to move back and forth between the stove and the counter without burning yourself.
What Techniques Can Be Used To
The method of frying depends on whether you want a sweet or savory version.
For savory versions, oil is heated until it reaches 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).
Then, the dough pieces are dropped into the hot oil one at a time, and they get coated in flour before being fried.
After about 3 minutes, they will turn golden brown and crispy.
Sweetened versions of fried dough get their color from caramelization – when sugars react with heat to create different compounds.
Some common ingredients used to achieve this include honey, molasses, sorghum syrup, maple syrup, and corn syrup.
Once the batter is cooked, it gets dipped in the liquid and then rolled in confectioners’ sugar.
This process gives it its characteristic crunchy texture.
If you would like to have your own homemade fried dough, here is what you need to do:
- Combine the following ingredients together in a bowl:
- 1 cup (125 grams) plain whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Salt, if desired
- Sugar, if desired
- Stir well to combine everything thoroughly.
- Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let sit overnight while the rest of the house sleeps.
- In the morning, add the next two ingredients to the dry mix:
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
(Note: Cinnamon isn’t necessary, though I think it adds some nice aroma and taste.)
- Mix them together very well.
- Let sit for another hour, uncovered.
- Take out half of the mixture and form it into balls.
- Place them on wax paper and cover them with more wax paper.
- Repeat with the remaining portion of the mixture.
- Heat 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil starts to shimmer, drop the dough balls into the pan one at a time, allowing each ball to cook completely before adding the next batch.
- Cook for about 5 minutes per side, flipping once halfway through cooking, until golden brown.
- Remove the finished balls of dough from the pan and allow them to cool slightly.
- Serve warm or cold.
- deep pan
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- ⅔ cup milk
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Oil for frying
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the milk and melted butter. Mix with a fork, then transfer to a board and knead for 2 minutes with your hands.
- Form the dough into a ball and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Divide into 8 pieces and roll to a thickness of 38″.
- In a deep pan, heat 1 inch of oil over medium heat to 375°F (180°C).
- Carefully lower the rolled dough into the pan; fry the dough in batches, not all at once.
- Cook for 1 minute, then flip over and cook for 1 minute more on the other side.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.