Fried Dough



What's not to love about fried dough? It's greasy, crispy, chewy and often filled or covered with copious amounts of sugar. The world craves fried dough so much that almost every country has its own version-more than one in some places. France does beignets (as does New Orleans). Italy has perfected the zeppole. Spain and Latin America can't get enough of churros (some versions are even filled). And then there's the US: the land of state fairs, doughnuts and funnel cake. F&W's guide will help you appreciate all the creative ways humans have come up with to fry dough, plus pointers on the best frying methods and recipes from all over the world.

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Pon de Ring (Mochi-Tofu Doughnuts)

Silken tofu gives these strawberry-flavored mochi-tofu doughnuts (inspired by pon de ring doughnuts popularized in Japan) a chewy, springy texture, while mochiko (sweet glutinous rice flour) helps the doughnuts get an airy, crispy crust. The dough and glaze get their strawberry flavor from strawberry powder; to make your own, pulse freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until finely ground. This recipe can be adapted to make lemon-flavored doughnuts; read to the bottom of the recipe for instructions on how to make the lemon pon de ring variation.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Donuts

Rating: Unrated
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The first bite of one of these buttermilk donuts takes you from a super crunchy, craggy crust to a deliciously tender cake interior, all draped in a glorious lemonade-like glaze. A touch of nutmeg adds a touch of old-fashioned flavor. Be sure to drain the donuts twice—first on a wire rack and then again on paper towels—to remove any excess oil before glazing them.

Guyanese Gojas (Fried Coconut Turnovers)

Fried sweets prepared and shared with loved ones are a mainstay of Phagwah, or Holi, a holiday celebrated by many in the South Asian diaspora each spring. Alica Ramkirpal-Senhouse, founder of the blog Alica’s Pepperpot, learned to make these Indo-Caribbean coconut-stuffed fried handpies from her grandmother, Shelia. Freshly grated nutmeg and ginger are essential ingredients for the warmly spiced coconut filling. Serve them piping hot, soon after frying, for the best texture.

Jalebi

Anytime around Diwali, you'll find golden, translucent, crispy, sticky,  jewel-like jalebis in boxes stacked up high inside mithai shops and Indian grocery stores all around the world. Jalebi, a Persian-origin sweet that is popular in India, is a treat made from batter that’s drizzled into hot oil to deep-fry it, and then briefly soaked in a fragrant saffron- and cardamom-infused syrup. Typically, jalebi is made with a fermented batter, or attho, but in more modern times cooks have found a quick shortcut by using baking soda, eno (fruit salt), or lemons to acidify the batter. While making jalebi, the most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the syrup is warm and to immediately drop the deep-friend jalebis from the oil into syrup so that the jalebis soak it all up. If the syrup is too hot or too cold, the jalebi will not absorb the syrup and you'll end up with soggy jalebis, which will still taste good but won't give you the crispy texture you want. I highly recommend eating them fresh—there truly is nothing like fresh jalebi right out of the syrup!
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Tofu Doughnuts with Mezcal Condensed Milk

Rating: Unrated
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F&W Best New Chef 2017 Yoshi Okai, of Austin’s Otoko, makes these crisp fried doughnuts with a combination of silken tofu, sugar, flour and salt. The texture is not that of a traditional doughnut; instead, it’s more like mochi, with an appealing chew. The creamy, sweet and smoky mezcal sauce is a most excellent accompaniment.Okai’s crisp fried doughnuts have an appealing chew, almost like mochi. He says, “At Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan, there is a tofu shop where they’ve been making tofu for over 50 years and tofu doughnuts for 25 to 30 years. I was a teenager when I ate them, and I re-created the recipe later because I was kind of homesick. I don’t have a recipe for them from Nishiki, but I made them from memory, and I think they came out pretty good.” Slideshow: More Doughnut Recipes