Monday, March 12, 2007
I love fried dough. Truly. I don't think I have ever met a version that I didn't like. Indian Fry Bread. Donuts. Beignets. Sopaipillas. But the reality of making these things at home has always been a deterrent - after spending that much time with a vat of spattering hot oil, the end product is always somewhat less appealing.
Therefore, I was very intrigued when I found this recipe for baked sopaipillas in Beth Hensperger's Bread Bible. I attempted to follow it to the letter. I still become nervous whenever yeast enters the baking picture, and this recipe contained plenty of tidbits to intimidate a novice bread-baker (for example: "the dough can stay at room temperature for up to 5 minutes..." So, does that mean you will have hockey pucks rather than sopaipillas if they get into the oven at 6 minutes?) I'm sure my dough spent at least 15 minutes at room temperature while I attempted to roll the dough correctly, and then slice it into sopaipillas. But in the end, my clock-watching caused me to frantically slice my dough into haphazard looking rectangles, rather than a more traditional shape.
Preparing the dough (nothing unusual in the ingredients - yeast, flour, salt, an egg, and a little milk, butter and sugar) was pretty straight-forward, but there was an emphasis to not over-knead, and to leave the dough soft. However, I believe that I over-kneaded, and left my dough too soft.
But as for the results: I ended up with tasty, soft, puffy squares of doughy bread, that were quite lovely when brushed with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and served with honey. However, the thing that draws me to a sopaipilla in the first place is fact that it is FRIED DOUGH. These baked sopaipillas were more like tasty mini-dinner rolls, and even with all the additions I mentioned, my sweet tooth was never quite satisfied. I keep thinking they would make a good home replacement for naan, if left in larger pieces, then brushed with garlic and butter.