Tag Archives: flour

The Best Cornbread – Oklahoma

Oklahoma had to be special and designate a state meal (the only other one in the country is the state meal of North Louisiana). It consists of cornbread, fried okra, barbeque pork, squash, biscuits, sausage and gravy, black eyed peas, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, and pecan pie.

Cornbread - Oklahoma

We’ll eventually get around to cooking some of these dishes but we went out of our way to try to find THE BEST cornbread recipe. We’ve been using the cornbread recipe off the back of the cornmeal canister for years with no complaints. But then we tried a few different recipes. No offense back-of-the-canister recipe, but this, recipe, whoa! The cornbread that emerged from the oven was sweet, dense, and moist. One stick of butter, two eggs and buttermilk will give you the best dang cornbread you’ve ever had.

For a completely different experience, visit Oklahoma City’s Museum of Osteology.   With over 300 skeletons on display, this privately held collection is one of the largest in the world.

Best Cornbread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick butter, melted in microwave
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

In a medium sized bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda). Set aside. In a separate, larger bowl combine melted butter, sugar and honey. Add eggs and stir to combine, then add buttermilk. Gradually add dry ingredients until just incorporated into wet ingredients. Do not over-stir. Pour batter into greased 8×8 pan. Smooth top. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes and top is golden brown or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

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UP Pasties – Michigan

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is known for its pasties (pronounced pass-tee) which are meat pies, usually filled with potatoes, onions and carrots and sometimes rutabaga. The pasty

UP Pasties - Michigan

was brought to the UP by the Cornish who settled there to be copper miners. Much like it’s cousin, the pepperoni roll of West Virginia, the pasty was a quick, easy and filling meal that miners could pack for lunch. Bonus: it didn’t have to be heated to be delicious.

We loved this recipe, slighted adapted from one sent to us by reader Russell Primm. UP PastiesThe dough came together easily and the filling was delicious. Thanks Russ!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Munising hugs the shore of Lake Superior. With its dramatic sandstone cliffs and iconic sandstone feature called Miners Castle, this beautiful area offers all kinds of outdoor pursuits including hiking, fishing, swimming, and kayaking.

UP Pasties

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup ice water

For filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 1 cup grated rutabaga
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Instructions

For dough:

In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and blend with a pastry blender. Add the ice water, a bit at a time until the dough comes together. Divide dough into 6 equal disks. Place between sheets of waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For filling and finishing pasties:

In the meantime, combine potatoes, onion, rutabaga and carrots in a very large bowl. Add ground beef. Stir until well combined.

Roll out each pasty dough into a 7- or 8-inch circle. Add a heaping cup of filling. Sprinkle filling with salt and pepper and a teaspoon of butter. Fold the dough over, forming a half moon. Roll the edges closed, slightly crimping with fingers, making sure the dough is sealed. Repeat with remaining dough disks. Place pasties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pasty to vent steam. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake 20-30 more or until pasties are golden brown.

Huckleberry Handpies – Montana

We’ve just returned from a glorious week in Glacier National Park. This jewel in the national park system is one of the most beautiful places on earth. At every turn, you are met with a stunning vista  . . .

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

a gorgeous waterfall . . .

St. Mary’s Falls, Glacier National Park

. . . or a majestic mountain.

Mt. Oberlin (with Bird Woman Falls), Glacier National Park

And huckleberries. Mid-July to August is prime huck season. Stores and shops promote huckleberry flavored everything including ice cream, coffee, lemonade, chocolate and popcorn. They are a favorite of the black bear who roams these quarters and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bear by the side of the road, munching away on this delectable treat (we were safe in our car, thank goodness).

This handpie recipe is a real winner. It combines the taste of a full-on

Huckleberry Handpies- Montana

pie, with the ease of a handheld pastry. Don’t fret if you can’t find huckleberries — and you probably can’t unless you live in northwest Montana, they haven’t been successfully grown commercially — just use blueberries.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50-mile road (in fact, one of the only roads) that takes you from one end of Glacier to the other. Open only in the summer and often maddingly jammed with traffic, this route offers breathtaking views and passes the highest point in the park, Logan Pass.

Huckleberry Handpies

  • Servings: 8 pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup cold water

For Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh huckleberries or blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt, pinch

For Topping:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar 

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture is a coarse meal. Add water and pulse until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and place in refrigerator until chilled.

To make filling: In the meantime, make the filling. Place berries in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Heat on medium until mixture begins to simmer. Allow mixture to thicken, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Set aside to cool (mixture can be made a day ahead of time).

To assemble handpies: Roll the chilled dough into a 12” X 12” square. Cut out 16 squares. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on 8 of the squares. Place pastry on top and crimp edges with fork tines. Brush tops of handpies with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place each handpie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pie to allow steam to vent. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Blueberry Dutch Baby – New Jersey

Blueberries are the state fruit of New Jersey and have a long history in the state. The first commercial crop of blueberries was harvested in New Jersey in 1916, thanks to Elizabeth White, daughter of a

Blueberry Dutch Baby - New Jersey

cranberry farmer, and Frederick Coville, a botanist, who teamed up to cultivate the wild plant. In terms of nutrition, blueberries are a good source of fiber and vitamin C and are antioxidant powerhouses.

We have been making Dutch babies for years but just recently found a recipe for a blueberry dutch baby. This oven baked pancake is easy to make will delight the breakfast lovers in your life. You can whisk the batter by hand but a blender does a better job of getting rid of any lumps. Also note that the addition of blueberries prevents the dutch baby from puffing up as much as it normally does sans fruit.

Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange includes both his lab and residence, the Glenmont and are well worth the visit to glean a bit of knowledge of this creative genius.

Blueberry Dutch Baby

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)
  • Maple syrup (optional)

Instructions

 In a blender or food processor bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, flour, and cinnamon. Blend quickly until lump free, 30-45 seconds. Let batter sit for 20-30 minutes on counter or until room temperature.

In the meantime, heat oven to 400. Using cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan, add 2 tablespoons butter. Put pan in oven to melt butter. Remove pan from oven and swirl butter until it completely covers bottom of pan. Add blueberries. Slowly add batter so that it is evenly spread over the bottom of pan. Return pan to oven and cook for approximately 20 minutes (do not open oven during baking) or until it is puffed and edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Czech Kolaches – South Dakota

We’ve talked before about how kuchen is South Dakota’s official state dessert, but you might not be aware the close runner-up were kolaches (koh-LAH-chees). This tasty pastry was brought to the

Czeck Kolaches - South Dakota

Mount Rushmore State from immigrating Czechs around the middle of the 19th century to the southern part of the state. In fact, tiny Tabor (population 413), holds Czech Days every year and kolaches are a huge draw.

Kolaches can be made with a variety of fillings including cream cheese, poppy seed, prune and even savory elements like sausage and cabbage. We tried our hand at apricot and cherry as we thought those were the real crowd pleasers and we were not disappointed. Great with a cup of coffee or tea, we found ourselves sneaking just one more . . . and then another.

If spelunking is your thing, check out Wind Cave National Park, located in the southern part of the Black Hills National Forest. With over 143 miles of winding passageways under only 1.2 square mile of surface area, and housing a unique cave formation known as boxwork, this cave system is not to be missed.

Czech Kolaches

  • Servings: 24 pieces
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1¼ cup warm milk, divided
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For Apricot Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

For Cherry Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • ¾ cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup milk, sugar, yeast and ¼ cup flour. Let stand for 15 minutes or until mixture becomes frothy. Add remaining flour and milk, then butter, egg and lemon zest. Mix with a dough hook on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, about 4 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To make fillings: While you are waiting for the pastry to rise, make the fillings. For the apricot, in a small sauce pan, add orange juice and dried apricots. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until apricots are very soft. Remove from heat and add sugar. Let cool. Add to bowl of food processor, along with rum and process until well combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

For the cherry filling, in a small saucepan add cherry juice, sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat. Add cherries. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

To assemble kolaches: Punch down dough. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape with hands into flattened balls. Place dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. Cover with tea towels and let rise until puffed, about 35-45 minutes. With your fingers, make a deep indentation in the center of the ball leaving a generous lip so the filling does not ooze out. Drop mounded tablespoons of filling in the center of each pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

 

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread – Kansas

Kansas is the largest wheat producing state, growing almost one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States. An acre of Kansas wheat produces enough bread to feed nearly 9,000 people for one day which is why the Sunflower State is sometimes called the

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread - Kansas

“Breadbasket of the World.” We decided to bring you this Parmesan Basil Beer Bread as it features both beer and flour, both of which are wheat products. This bread is a quick bread (no yeast) so it comes together quite quickly and easily. Use whatever beer you like to drink as the flavor will come through in the bread. The StateEats kids gobbled this bread down one sunny Saturday morning with just a slathering of butter.

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark is off the beaten path about 25 miles outside of Oakley, Kansas, but is worth the drive to see chalk formations rising out of the prairie. Some formations are over 70 feet high and contain fossilized sea life.

Parmesan Basil Beer Bread

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of beer
  • 1 ½ cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl add flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Add beer, mix until combined. Add cheese and basil and stir until incorporated. Drop batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing – Connecticut

Connecticut’s unofficial nickname is the Nutmeg State. This comes from the alleged practice, in the 18th and 19th centuries, of shrewd Yankee peddlers who sold unsuspecting customers wooden nutmegs instead of real ones. Then again, some claim that certain less

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

culinary-inclined customers might not have realized that whole nutmeg (which indeed looks like a little wooden bead) needed to be grated to be used. Swindlers or not, the moniker stuck.

We consider ourselves to be cookie connoisseurs but we had never even heard of these Nutmeg Logs until a few weeks ago. They use a generous amount of nutmeg and make your house smell like all kinds of Christmas when you bake them. And nothing goes better with nutmeg than eggnog, thus the eggnog icing. The fun part is running the fork tines over the icing before it sets to create a log effect.

Visit the Mark Twain house in Hartford, a terrific example of American High Gothic style, where Twain lived from 1874 to 1891. One writer has described this house as “part steamboat, part medieval fortress and part cuckoo clock.”

Nutmeg Log Cookies with Eggnog Icing

  • Servings: 3 dozen
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For cookies:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

For icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons eggnog
  • Ground nutmeg for topping

Instructions

For the cookies:

In the bowl of the electric mixer, add butter and sugar. Mix on medium speed until fluffy and light. Add egg and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Add flour. Mix until incorporated. Take batter and divide into thirds. On a lightly floured surface, form dough into three logs approximately ½ inch in diameter. Cut each log into 3 inch pieces. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown.

For the icing:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and confectioner’s sugar. Mix on medium speed. Add vanilla, then 1 tablespoon eggnog. If icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of eggnog until desired consistency is reached.

Once cookies are completely cooled, spread icing on cookies. Run the tines of a fork over the icing to make the “log.” Top with grated nutmeg. Let icing set before packaging cookies.

Dems and GOP Vote for Hartford Election Cake – Connecticut

We’re reprising our Hartford Election Cake because no matter if you vote Democrat or Republican, this cake is a huge electoral win. This very old recipe dates back to colonial times, when the cake was

Hartford Election Cake

made to feed hungry militia during training days. After the Revolutionary War, Election Day was almost like a holiday. Historians are not sure if this cake was baked in celebration of the right to vote, or just to feed weary travelers who traveled long distances to get to polling places.

For this election season, we were delighted to discover that Old World Levain Bakery in Asheville, NC created a Make American Cake Again! project with election cake as its centerpiece, to raise awareness about our culinary heritage. If you make this cake, be sure to use #electioncake and #MakeAmericaCakeAgain on social media.

Full of nuts, raisins and spices, including cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg (very appropriate for the Nutmeg State) this cake rises twice for a total of two and a half hours. We can’t think of a better dessert to serve as you watch the returns roll in.

Nathan Hale is Connecticut’s state hero. He was an American soldier and spy for the Continental Army. He was captured by the Brits and before he was hung he stated “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Check out the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, built in 1776, with Hale-family furnishings and period antiques.

Hartford Election Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Adapted from Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, by Patricia Bunning Stevens, www.ohioswallow.com, used with permission.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1½ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour (divided in two parts: 1½ cups, then 1¾ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup chopped raisins (soaked overnight in brandy or bourbon, optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk. Add 1½ cups flour gradually, until mixture is smooth. Cover and let rise in warm place until very light and bubbly, 30 to 45 minutes.

Mix together 1¾ cups flour, salt and spices and set aside. Chop raisins, mix with nuts and set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. By hand, blend in yeast mixture. Gradually add dry ingredients, beating until smooth after each addition Add raisin-pecan mixture and mix well.

Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan or large Bundt pan. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough almost reaches the top, 1½ to 2 hours. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cake until golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan, then loosen cake from edges with a knife. Turn out onto a cake rack and cool completely.

For glaze: In a mixing bowl, whisk confectioners sugar, vanilla and milk until desired spreading consistency. Glaze should cover top of cake and drizzle down the sides.

 

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping – Indiana

If you’ve never had a persimmon you’ve been missing out. Their flavor is often described as a cross between a guava, an apricot and an avocado. Southeastern Indiana has an abundance of wild

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping - Indiana

persimmon trees and if you are lucky enough to live nearby, the delicate fruit will be showing up in farmers markets and farm stands in the next few weeks. Nutritionally, persimmons are a great source of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. We did a little experimenting and used our family zucchini bread recipe but replaced the zucck with persimmons. It worked beautifully and the pecan topping lends a bit of crunchy sweetness.

Mitchell, Indiana, hosts a Persimmon Festival each year with arts and crafts, a persimmon pudding contest, entertainment and the crowning of Persimmon Festival Queen.

Persimmon Muffins with Sugared Pecan Topping

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Muffins:

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 -3 very ripe persimmons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

 Instructions

To make topping, in a small mixing bowl combine melted butter, flour, sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon and ground ginger). Whisk a bit until fully mixed. Set aside.

Remove stems from the persimmons then slice into eighths. Remove any seeds. Working in 2 batches, place persimmon sections in the bowl of a Foley food mill. Process until 1 cup of pulp is extracted and only the skin remains.

To the pulp add sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla. Stir until fully incorporated. Add dry ingredients and stir just until batter is mixed, being careful not to overmix.

Add batter into lined muffin tins, filling about three quarters full. Distribute pecan topping equally over all muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Fry Bread – South Dakota

Fry bread is a scrumptious puffy, chewy carb that is associated with state fairs, powwows and fun. Although it’s the official state bread of South Dakota, fry bread has a complicated and painful history. In

Fry Bread - South Dakota

1864, the U.S. government forced Native Americans in Arizona to relocate to an internment camp 300 miles away in New Mexico. Called “The Long Walk,” the government gave them canned goods, sugar, white flour and lard to prevent starvation. Native Americans created fry bread with these staples and it caught on with many tribes in the plains and southwestern states. Many North American Indians now regard fry bread as a symbol of both persistence and pain.

Lots of variations of this recipe exist, some using yeast and some not. We went with a traditional, no yeast version that uses baking powder as its leavening agent. While fry bread is not going to win any nutritional awards – it’s basically fried dough – it’s a delicious once-in-a-while treat that can be either sweet (drizzled with honey, topped with jam, dusted with powdered sugar) or savory (topped with ground beef or turkey and other taco fixings for fry bread tacos).

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills. Standing 641 feet long and over 500 feet high, this still-in-progress monument accepts no federal funds. Its mission is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

Fry Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup warm water
  • Crisco (for frying)

Instructions

 Place dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and mix with a fork. Add water a little bit at a time and mix just until the dough comes together (do not overmix!). Cover with a tea towel and let sit 30 minutes.

Heat Crisco in an electric or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Pinch off an egg sized piece of dough. On a work surface dusted with flour, flatten and stretch the dough, working out from the center, until it reaches your desired size. Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip dough over and fry on the other side. Remove to paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.