This is a sopapilla.
It's just some fried dough.
But it has cinnamon and sugar and honey drizzled on top. And that makes it so much more.
If you cut them in half, there's a pocket on the inside so you can pour some honey right in the middle. That's right, I said pour!
This recipe comes from Silvia Galvan, the owner and chef at Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe in Houston, TX. She says this is a two-for-one recipe as you can make tortillas or sopapillas with, depending on the cooking method. I tried just that and I felt the sopapillas were superb but the tortillas lacked some flavor and I prefer my friend Mario's recipe for tortillas. I'll share that with you on another day.
As you'll see in the recipe below, this makes 12 sopapillas. Now if you have 12 people, that's fine. But if you have 2 or 3 people or even four? Well, you need to show some restraint! These are delicious and addictive but let's have some boundaries! So to that end, I tried freezing the dough balls and guess what? I took one out of the freezer a few days later, let it thaw on the counter till it was room temperature, rolled it out, and fried it and it tasted just like freshly made! Yes! I love it when that kinda thing happens!
And yes, that means we have sopapillas in the freezer right now.
I'm really excited about this recipe, even moreso that I normally would be, because I received a note from my friend Aviva from The Six O'Clock Scramble who said she was going to try this recipe for Rosh Hashanah! And don't you agree it's fantastic that a favorite Tex-Mex treat from our days eating in restaurants in Houston, a recipe said to have originated over 200 years ago in Mexico but with roots from old Spanish cuisine, is now being served for Rosh Hashanah?
adapted from Silvia Galvan of Teotihuacan Mexican Cafe in Houston Classic Mexican Recipes
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup Crisco (The sticks are really easy to measure.)
2/3 cup hot water
cinnamon & sugar
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut the Crisco into cubes and cut it in to the flour mixture with a pastry cutter (I'd love one like this with a thumb tab!) until the shortening is about the size of peas.
Heat the water in a saucepan to 160 degrees. Silvia Galvan says this is important so that's what I did. I used my candy thermometer.
Add the water a little at a time and mix well and form a dough ball. Don't over mix.
Divide into 12 equal sized pieces and roll into balls. If you have a kitchen scale you can measure the dough, divide by 12 and then portion out the dough on the scale til you have 12 portions. Or you can shape the dough into a rectangle and just eyeball it and cut it with a knife. You know how OCD I am, so you guess what I did.
On a floured counter, Silpat, or board, pat your dough ball into a 4-inch circle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it out thin. Fold the dough in half and roll it out thin again. At this point you can cut the dough with a knife or pizza wheel in whatever shape you want. I chose to make one big circle but pie shapes or squares or rectangles would be nice as well.
Heat your vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a deep skillet or a stockpot. I used a cast iron skillet and maybe only used 1/2 inch of oil. Place your dough in the oil and fry it for 1-2 minutes per side til golden brown.
Dust with cinnamon and sugar and drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.