When I was scheming up my favorite 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.
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 a bit 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. Using soda water also results in a crunchier texture when fried. The recipe didn't specify whether or not to use cold butter—I did and they turned out perfectly. The rest of the ingredients, such as flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg, are easy to come by, and you may have everything to go already. There's also no fancy equipment required, so you'll find yourself making this recipe whenever the craving for homemade dough strikes.
Be sure to roll very thin in order to get that lovely crispness. The finished product was crunchy and satisfying and delicious, the perfect vehicle for any topping you might want to add. If your dough is thin enough, you can roll up your fillings for a delightful snack or treat. 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. This recipe makes eight pieces, but you can easily double the ingredients if you want to serve this fried dough to a crowd (and who wouldn't!). —sdebrango
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Makes 8 pieces
unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
sparkling water, preferably Italian
Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Using your hands, work the butter into dry ingredients until no large chunks remain; the mixture will look like small breadcrumbs.
- In a small pot over medium heat, warm the sparkling water for 1 minute (or heat for 20 to 30 seconds in a microwave). Add the warmed sparkling water to the flour mixture and form into a loose dough. Cover with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. On a work surface, roll each piece out until very thin.
- In a large frying pan with tallish sides, pour in enough oil to go about one-quarter up the sides. Heat over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles in the oil, it's ready. Fry one piece of dough at a time for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden. Turn and fry for 1 minute more, until golden. Transfer to paper towels and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Serve immediately or keep warm in a 150°F oven. Top with your toppings of choice.