I was watching one of my favourite food channels and just by coincidence a couple of fried dough recipes were featured. It was interesting to note the names they are called in different parts of the world.

Funke Koleosho's Puff-Pops
Americans, Indians, Europeans, French, Mexicans, Greeks, Chinese, West Indians, everyone has a  form of fried dough dish. It appears to be the very simplest and basic flour recipe ever developed and quite frankly could be quite delicious and filling.

We are talking doughnuts, dumplings, biegnets, what ever you call them, they are made from the same basic ingredients; flour, sugar and water. Other ingredients such as flavourings, eggs, milk etc., are added for variation and this is the key to determining which name it will be called! These fried dough dishes are, as one would expect eaten in a myriad of ways, with a myriad of accompaniments like chocolate sauces, jam, syrups, sprinkles of sweets etc. and even savoury dips and sauces.

There are two main versions of fried dough popular in Nigeria. These are puff-puff and fried buns. In one of my previous posts, I demonstrated how to make super fluffy and soft puff-puffs which are less sugary but best served with a sweet and tart fruit based sauce. This was aimed to be served as a dessert just because of its soft texture.

However, the common puff puff sold on the streets of Nigerian cities has a more dense and doughy texture. This somewhat tough version is more preferred, am guessing because it is often eaten as a very filling snack or possibly in lieu of a proper meal......or just something to hold the stomach until one can get a proper meal! I have to admit; a couple of these with a drink is actually quite enough to hold hunger at bay!

Funke Koleosho's Puff-Pops

My recipe today attempts to get an in-between variation. Not too fluffy and not too dense and doughy. A proper snack, something you can pop in your mouth while watching your favourite movie or TV programme....something miniaturised, eating of which won't be overwhelming,.....I came up with Puff Pops. (Warning: Moderation please. All fried dough dishes are very high in calories from the sugar and flour used and also from the oil they are cooked in. Read my post on Facts About Sugar here). Stay away if you are on a calorie controlled diet. See recipe below:

What you need
  • 400g of plain flour 
  • 200ml of warm water 
  • 100ml of milk 
  • 200g of sugar 
  • Half a teaspoon salt
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg 
  • 4g of dry baker's yeast 

What to do
  1. Activate the yeast by adding to the warm water. Stir gently to dissolve and leave for about two minutes. 
  2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, nutmeg (if using ) and the milk. Mix together. Then add the water containing the yeast. You are aiming for a medium-stiff consistency. The batter should not be too runny. Cover with  tea towel and allow to proof for minimum 30 minutes. 
  3. The Puff Pops must be deep fried to get the perfect balls, so heat some fresh oil (that has not been used to fry anything else.) Check readiness by adding a small dollop into the hot oil. If it floats to the surface almost immediately, then the oil is hot enough. If not, allow oil to heat up. 
  4. With your bare hands, give the dough a good mix to break some of the bubble/air created during proofing. Add a dusting of additional plain flour to allow the dollops to hold together. 
  5. Mix dough further by pulling towards the side of the bowl repeatedly, for a few seconds. Then scoop miniature dollops into the hot oil. Repeat this until you get through the lot. 
  6. Fry the puff-pops stirring regularly to turn the balls around their sides for even frying. Don't leave them untended to avoid burning. They should come out is small round near perfect balls!   Remove them from the oil and drain off excess oil using a kitchen towel. 
  7. Serve hot or cold with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar or icing sugar.

Puff Pops

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