Ooh la la meet hola: Sopapillas

January 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

Like good Texans, when our friends were over for dinner the other night, we served up brisket with all the fixins.  And, because we eat Mexican food like it’s a sport down here, we topped off dinner with sopapillas.  My dad worked his way through college at a number of jobs, and one of them was at a Mexican joint–this is the recipe they used at that hole-in-the-wall in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  Note, mine were quite tasty although not all of them fluffed up–or as Granny would say, they squatted but they forgot to jump.  I’ve put a few notes in here to help you keep that from happening, but if it does, don’t sweat it, just eat it–still tastes fabulous. 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 rounded teaspoons shortening
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup scalded milk (You’ll only add about 3/4 to your dough, but you’ll need to use 1 – 1 1/4 cups to end up with that amount.)
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
  • Cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar to taste


Scald milk on stove top over low heat.  If you’ve never done this, you want to stir occassionally (you’ll feel the milk start to form a glaze on the bottom of the pan), and you’re looking for the milk to start bubbling around the edges of the pan.  Once it starts to look like it’s simmering at the edges, remove from heat.  Place the milk in the freezer for approximately 8 minutes, or until it’s lukewarm/room temperature.  (I just clear a space and put the whole pan in there, but if you need to transfer it to something smaller you can.)

While milk is cooling, add your shortening and baking powder to flour and using a pastry cutter, cut the ingrdients into the flour.  You want to work this together until you end up with pea sized pieces. 

Slowly add in cooled milk to the flour mixture.  I do this about 1/4 cup at a time, and I use a fork to work the milk into the dough.  You want the dough to be stiff, so I only added about 3/4 cup of the milk total to make the dough. 

On a well-floured surface, roll out your dough to 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness.  Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into 3 x 3 inch squares.  (You can make them as big or small as you want, this is just the size I usually end up with.)

On the stove top, heat approximately 2 cups of vegetable oil to fry your bread in.  This is the tricky part.  If the oil is too hot, the bread won’t rise and get a nice puff in it, and if it’s not hot enough, your sopapilla won’t rise and will kind of fry limply.  (Apologies, I don’t know what the magic temperature is, but that’s what you use little scraps of your crust for–just test it.)  Place your dough square gingerly into the hot oil and allow to rise–when you see the edges turning brown and the rising ceases, flip the bread over to darken the other side. 

Remove from oil and place on a paper-towel-lined plate.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar to your liking–you can also use powdered sugar for this if you prefer.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and serve with honey.



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