When I was scheming up my favorite sort of recipe for fried dough, I knew I wanted it to be a bit more substantial, not something that evaporated once it hit my belly, but something that could take me through to lunch or even an early dinner. My favorite version is solid and flat, a canvas for whatever topping tempts me. I prefer piling on some freshly made ricotta cheese and maple syrup or honey. But powdered sugar works just as well. It’s not exactly like the fried dough from my Italian childhood – I don’t believe my parents used Italian sparkling water in the batter – but it’s enough of a throwback to make me smile. - eatboutique
The photos for this recipe were taken by Jill Chen for eatboutique.com. —eatboutique
Test Kitchen Notes
I am a sucker for fried dough. Eatboutique's recipe for homemade fried dough is so simple to prepare. The dough is soft and supple and rolls out beautifully (you have to use a considerable amount of flour as the dough is sticky). The addition of warm soda water (I used seltzer) worked with the baking soda to give a slight rise when it was introduced to the hot oil. The recipe didn't specify whether or not to use cold butter, I did and they turned out perfectly. Be sure to roll very thin in order to get that lovely crispness. The finished product was crisp and delicious, the perfect vehicle for any topping you might want to add. I chose to use powdered sugar but they would be equally delicious with jam or maple syrup. They would also be fabulous topped with cheese or vegetables. - sdebrango —sdebrango
With hands, work butter into dry ingredients until no large chunks are noticeable. It will look like small breadcrumbs.
Warm the sparkling water in pot over medium heat for 1 minute (or do it for 20-30 seconds in a microwave). Add the warmed sparkling water to the flour mixture and work into a loose dough. Cover with a tea towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Roll each piece out until very thin.
In a frying pan with tallish sides, add enough oil to go about 1/4 inch up side of pan. Turn on medium heat. When drop of water sizzles in oil, add 1 piece of dough. Cook 1-2 minutes until golden colored. Turn over and cook another minute. Place on paper towel and cook remaining dough one by one.
Serve immediately or keep warm in 150 degree oven. Top with your favorite topping like powdered sugar, maple syrup, jam, and/or ricotta cheese.