Frying Up – Beyond Fried Wupa


I don’t like frying stuff and am not a big eater of fried foods but today have this huge urge to do stuff like making Indian fry bread or Icelandic kleinur (a kind of cardamom-infused doughnut).

I will not do either but found a few recipes I might try when I have a willing taste-tester audience. Not sure I ever will – standing in front of a stove frying is not my idea of a good time.

Fry bread (Wupa bread, just for Naomi)
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cups milk
Enough water to get the dough to just come together
Vegetable shortening or lard (vegetable oil does not work as well) for frying

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Use a fork, mixing as you add the milk. Add just enough water to get the mixture to form a dough – but do not overmix. (You will probably need about ¼ cup.) Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for 45 minutes.

Get out a large skillet and heat about two inches of shortening/lard over medium-high. Make a medium-sized ball of dough in your hand and press it into a rough circle with your hands/fingers – start in the center on a clean surface, like a cutting board or countertop and press outward. When the circle of dough is the size you prefer, carefully put it into the skillet. Fry on each side until golden, about one minute. Carefully turn it over and fry the other side.

Move the finished fry bread to a paper-towel-lined plate and allow it to drain while you continue frying.

Serve warm with toppings of choice – cinnamon-sugar? Honey and butter? Powdered sugar? Taco ingredients?

Icelandic kleinur
1 kg flour
150 grams butter
250 grams sugar
3 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons powdered cardamom
a few drops of vanilla essence
250 ml buttermilk or cream

Many traditional recipes call for hartshorn/baker’s ammonia, but I have never made this with it – so can’t really say what difference it makes.

Mix dry ingredients and then mix in butter, eggs and milk/cream. Add cardamom and vanilla. Knead into a soft dough but do not overknead.

Roll out the dough until about 3 millimeters thick, cut into strips about 10 centimeters wide. Cut diagonally across the previous cuts to make diamond shapes. Cut a small slit in the middle of each diamond and pull one end of the diamond through the slit to make the twist in the doughnut.

Heat the frying fat – it needs to be extremely hot. Canola or coconut oil will work – or vegetable shortening. It needs to be hot enough to cook each in about 1:30 minutes to a deep tan/light brown color.

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