Sunday, June 1, 2014

Recipe: elephant ears

I don't know about you, but I have a serious sweet tooth which makes fried bread covered in sugar almost irresistible. Unfortunately, these sugary treats are sometimes hard to come by, unless you happen to live next to a year round fairgrounds - which I don't. Fortunately, I found a recipe. My sweet tooth is happy with this discovery, my waistline is less so. Make these at your own risk.

Elephant ears

1 1/2 cups milk  (3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon salt  (1/2 teaspoon)
3/8 cups (6 tablespoons) coconut oil  (3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons sugar  (1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons yeast  (1 tablespoon)
4 cups flour  (2 cups)
1 quart of oil for frying

Melted butter/margarine (at least 1/4 cup)
Cinnamon sugar: mix sugar and cinnamon to achieve the desired (this amount will depend on the amount of topping you want - probably 1 cup at least for a good layer of sugar)

Put the milk, salt, sugar, and coconut oil in a small saucepan and combine over medium heat. Heat until the coconut oil melts and the sugar is dissolved. Take it off the heat and let it cool until it is about 110 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit for a couple minutes before stirring in the yeast. Wait for the mixture to proof, becoming foamy. Pour the mixture into a larger bowl and stir in the flour until a dough forms. Flour a surface and knead until smooth. Cover it and let it sit for at least 30 minutes while it rises. 

In a large saucepan or heavy skillet, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Keep an eye on the oil - you don't want to overheat it. Meanwhile, roll out small balls of dough into thin sheets. The size of the sheets will depend on the size of the pan the oil is in: the sheets need to be smaller than the pan, with room to flip them. Place the sheets, one at a time, into the oil and let cook until the underside is a light golden brown (this will not take long.) Use tongs to flip the sheet and let the other side cook. Once the sheet is cooked, put it on a plate and brush it with the melted butter and sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar. Do the same for the other side. Repeat for the rest of the dough. Best served right away.

Some notes: The amounts in parentheses are the amounts you would use for a half batch, which is what I suggest making unless you have a large number of people that are going to help you eat the results. Even with the half batch you should have help: it makes approximately 10 ears 6 to 8 inches in diameter. You can wrap extra dough and store it in the fridge for a day or two if needed. Let it warm up again when you are ready to use it. If I don't feel like melting butter I will sometimes use that spray margarine stuff, it seems to work just as well.

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