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September 17, 2017

APPLE PIE FRIED DOUGH

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Enjoy the best of both worlds...apple pie and fried dough in one with this Apple Pie Fried dough. Brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, and covered with apple pie filling, fried dough doesn't get any better! 

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Guys! I have a bit of a teaser for you—I just made the most brilliant discovery. It is so earth shattering that I have to share it with everyone!! You're going to want to know about it because it might change your world too! Keep reading, and I'll clue you in. Promise. It's worth the wait, but I need to cover some things first.

One of the best parts of any amusement park, town fair, food festival, or beach boardwalk is the fried dough booth. The delightful sugar coated bread is one of my favorite sweet treats. And what's not to love?...the crispy golden brown exterior, the light and tender interior, the generous dusting of powdered sugar...it's a magical combination made in dessert bread heaven. 

With a string of fairs, food festivals, and food truck festivals around my area this time of year, I am seeing lots of fried dough eating opportunities. It has also inspired me, once again, to get in the kitchen to make my own. I have dabbled in fried dough before on this blog. If you haven't seen Steak and Cheese Fried Dough, or Banana Stuffed Fried Dough, or Almond Joy Fried Dough, or Birthday Party Fried Dough, you've got to check them out!


Apple Pie Fried Dough

As you can tell by the names, they are loaded and super tasty...definitely not the usual stuff you find elsewhere! Never had a savory one? The steak and cheese version is stuffed with shaved steak and melty American cheese. It's like having a fried steak and cheese sandwich. So, it's no surprise that it's the most requested type of fried dough at my house.

Today, however, I've gone back to the sweet variety. With apple season in full bloom, what would be more apropos than Apple Pie Fried Dough? Nothing, right? The buttery cinnamon sugar dusted fried dough, topped with sweet cinnamon infused apple pie filling, is a mouthful of bliss. Pure bliss! 



If you are hesitant about making yeast bread, please give it a try. This is worth it! By no means am I a master baker, but I don't find yeast bread difficult at all. What makes it easy is the stand mixer. It does almost all of the work for me. That's awesome, because the one thing I don't enjoy is kneading by hand. Besides, I am not interested in developing muscular forearms (haa haa).

Apple Pie Fried Dough

One of the most important elements to making yeast dough is to make sure you have fresh, viable yeast. Inactive yeast will result in dough that will not rise. The blooming process checks for its viability...yeast is added to warm water—if it forms a layer of foam, it's good to go. If it doesn't, I'm afraid you will need to buy new ones.

So here is how the whole thing comes together. The yeast is first bloomed in warm water in the stand mixer bowl that is fitted with a dough hook. Butter is added next, followed by the flour, salt, and sugar mixture. For the next 10 minutes, the stand mixer does most of the work, beating the dough. Once done, I knead the dough on a greased work surface for one minute for good measure. It then goes into a greased bowl to proof and double in size for about 1 hour. When the time is up, it gets deflated and shaped into rounds. 

To cook, the dough is fried for about one minute per side. Then it is topped with all the good stuff—melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and apple pie filling! Yum!!! 

Apple Pie Fried Dough

Alright! Alright! I can hear you all saying, Stop your rambling and tell us your earth shattering news, Thao. We are dying to hear about it (insert sarcasm)! 

Well, thank you so much for waiting! You are very patient! I'll tell you by asking you this: What tastes 10 times better reheated? Let me ask you another question: Have you ever had refried fried dough? Yeah, really..refried fried dough!

OMG!! It's the best thing ever!!! I never would have thought you could improve on fried dough, but it's possible! Here is how I discovered it: I had refrigerated day-old fried dough that had already been sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (it did not have the apple filling). Fried dough is a kind of food that is best eaten immediately. Leftover ones are never as good toasted. I find that they come out soft and chewy. I hate to throw out the extras, but I happened to have a pan of oil on the stovetop and decided to fry the dough a second time (it took literally 30 seconds). 


The result was nothing short of miraculous! The fried dough was crispier than fresh fried. It was buttery and had a light and flaky crunch—the kind of crunch that produces the same type of satisfaction that only a potato chip or a cheese curl can give you. On the inside, it remained soft and fluffy. I am pretty certain the coating of butter and cinnamon sugar had everything to do with the out of this world transformation. All of that goodness melded with the dough the longer it sat, making an awesome fried dough exponentially better refried!


Apple Pie Fried Dough

So, you heard it here first, guys! Make Banana Fried Dough. Don't toast day-old ones. Do refry. They are the best thing EVAAAAH!! It has changed my fried dough eating world! My gang is addicted to them. I will go out on a limb and guarantee that this dough, refried, is going to be the best you have ever had! I am sure of it! One hundred percent!!

That's it for now, friends. Time for me to move onto the next thing on my to-do list: how to convince my play-it-safe-and-doesn't-like-to-take-chances husband that opening up my own custom fried dough food truck is a great idea! Wish me luck because I'm going to need it! 

Have a wonderful the week!

P.S. The recipe might seem, lengthy, but I'm trying to be thorough with the instructions to guarantee your success with this recipe. I've also include instructions for cinnamon sugar and apple pie filling, but if you decided to use store bought, then you can ignore those sections! :)




 APPLE PIE FRIED DOUGH  

Apple Pie Fried Dough


INGREDIENTS:

For the Dough: 
1 1//8 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup minus 2 tbsp. water (between 105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
2 to 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
vegetable oil for frying


For the Cinnamon Sugar:

2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted for brushing on fried dough



Apple Pie Filling:
4 apples, peeled 
1/4 cup water
1/3 - 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt



INSTRUCITONS:

Add water and yeast to a stand mixer bowl equipped with a dough hook. Allow to stand for at least 5 minutes. Yeast would "bloom" or form a foamy layer on the surface. 

In a small bowl, add 2 scant cups of flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk to blend. 

Add melted butter to the yeast/water mixture. Add the flour mixture. Mix on low to blend and gradually increase to medium (number 6 on Kitchen Aide). Stop the mixer, if needed, to scrape flour away from the side of the bowl. When all of the flour has incorporated, the dough should start to wrap around the dough hook. The dough is too wet if it puddles and sticks the side of the bowl (see Image A).


Image A: Dough is too wet.

To correct a wet dough, add more flour, one rounded tablespoon at a time, allowing it to mix on medium for 20 seconds after each addition. (The humidity affects how much flour you might need). Pause the mixer to scrape the dough away from the sides, if needed. Stop adding flour when all the dough pulls away from the bowl on its own and wraps around the dough hook. It should look smooth (see Image B). When you tap it with your finger, your finger should be clump free. Continue to mix on medium for 8-10 minutes after your last addition of flour. 


Image B: Dough at perfect consistency

While the dough is mixing, prep for the next step. Lightly grease the inside of a bowl that is   at least twice the size of the dough. Lightly grease a flat work surface.

After the dough is mixed, scrape onto the greased work surface. With slightly greased hands, knead the dough by pressing your palms into the dough using a downward and pushing forward motion. Fold the dough in half, rotate 180 degrees, and knead. Repeat steps for 1 minute.  

Form dough into a ball. Place into the greased bowl (see Image C). Cover with a plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm draft free area for 1 hour or until it has risen and doubled in size.

Image C: Dough ready to proof for 1 hour


Before shaping dough for frying, preheat 1-inch of oil in a skillet or saucepan to about 360 degrees F (medium on my stovetop). 

After the dough has risen, gently deflate it using your first. Scrape onto a greased work surface. Roughly shape into a log for easy portioning. Pinch of a small piece. Using slightly greased hands or small rolling pinch, shape into 5" to 6" round that is about 1/8-inch thick. Gently lift off round and place in hot oil. Fry until the bottom is golden brown (about 1 minute). Turn over and brown the second side for about 1 minute. Adjust heat level as needed if dough seems to take too long or cooks too quickly. Remove fried dough from oil. Place on a paper towel lined surface to drain. Repeat shaping rounds and frying of the remaining dough.

To serve, brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Top with a layer of apple pie filling.

To make the cinnamon sugar:
Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

To make the apple pie filling:
Peel and core apples. Cut into 1/8-inch slices. Chop slices roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Add apple, water, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt to a small sauce pan on medium heat. Stir to blend. Cover. Cook until juices bubble and simmers (about 4 minutes). Stir. Continue to simmer, partially covered, until apple is tender but retains its shape. Stir occasionally. This should take about 5 - 8 minutes, depending on the type of apple used. Remove from heat.



Makes about 8-10 fried doughs.



Recipe Notes:

1) When shaping the dough, I like to keep the outer 1/3-inch border of the rounds slightly thicker than the center, like a pizza crust, to help contain the apple filling. This is optional.


2) Fried dough is best eaten immediately. Keep left over fried dough refrigerated. They get soggy at room temp.

3) To reheat day old fried dough, fry for a few seconds in hot oil. Toasting is not recommended.

4) Keep leftover fried dough refrigerated, especially if you plan to refry.

5) The dough can be made ahead. I have made them three days ahead and they fried up perfectly. After the dough doubles in size and has been deflated, shape into a log. Place in a lightly greased plastic wrap (don't wrap too tightly as the dough will expand slightly) and refrigerate until ready to use. Allow to come to room temperature 1 hour prior to frying.

6) Apples may differ degrees of sweetness. Adjust the amount sugar to suit your taste.

7) If all the liquid evaporates and apple sticks to the pan while cooking, add water, 1 teaspoon at time, being careful not to add too much. The finished sauce should be thick and syrupy so that it does not make the fried dough soggy. It should thicken slightly when cooled.







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September 06, 2017

BACON MONTE CRISTO SLIDERS

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Easily throw together a delicious appetizer for game day or any event with these turkey, ham, bacon, and Swiss cheese sliders. Coated in seasoned egg wash, topped with jalapeño slices for a zesty punch, and baked to ooey gooey goodness, they will disappear fast!

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Hi friends! How was your Labor Day weekend? I hope it was good, whether you celebrated it with friends and family or just kicking around at home.

Now that another major holiday is behind us, it's time to seriously focus on the next task at hand, and for many of you, it's armchair quarterback! My husband and I are not huge sports spectators but we are willing to participate in the celebratory festivities associated with them (don't hate us, we come with lots of food)!

August 30, 2017

CREAMED HAMBURGER BREAD BOWL

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If you're looking for comfort food, Creamed Hamburger Bread Bowl is what you need. It is ground beef in creamy white gravy and served in a mini boule. And it will satisfy any meat and carb lover's appetite.

Creamed Hamburger Bread Bowl
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I hate to admit it, but the unseasonably cool August weather in New England has put me in a fall state of mind. The recent stretch of cool and crisp nights are reminiscent of late September / early October climate, which are perfect for sleeping. Lately, I have enjoyed drifting into a deep state of slumber under warm layers of blankets as the open windows fill the bedroom with a nighttime chill.

And have you noticed that the daylight hours have gotten shorter? I realized the sad reality when I looked out my kitchen window at 8pm last week and noticed that it was already dark! What's that all about?! Only weeks ago, there was daylight at 9pm as I went for my evening walks. Can't take advantage of that anymore. Today, I just want to get into my comfy jammies after dinner because it looks like bedtime.

August 17, 2017

STRAWBERRY GRAPE-NUTS YOGURT BREAKFAST POPSICLES

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Plain yogurt, fresh strawberries, grape-nuts cereal, honey, and mini chocolate morsels are in these light, healthy, and nutritious popsicles. They are full of goodness and are a perfect guilt-free summer breakfast or snack for children and adults.

STRAWBERRY GRAPE-NUTS YOGURT BREAKFAST POPSICLES
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If you have been following this blog, you know that I am enjoying a little R&R this week. I was going to skip a post, but this little blog and you are always on my mind, so much so that I'm taking a little time off from my little time off to share a new post. But after this blogging business, I will immediately be getting back to relaxation, spirited beverages, highly caloric food, and good company. 🙂