Introduction: Sugar Dough
Part of the fun of traveling is the exploration on the way to get there. Over the years of traveling with small children I have experienced many things that I would never have without children. I have visited many out of state hospitals--my youngest got an ear infection every time we left home???? There are hotels, right off the freeway, with their own water parks (Louisville, Kentucky). I still have nightmares about the bridge built out of tinker toys (near the naval academy), the tunnel that turned into a bridge in the middle of the bay (Virginia, I think), and the tunnel through the side of a mountain half way up the mountain (near the Virginia-West Virginia border).
One trip to the east coast took use through southern Delaware. We got off the freeway because we needed gas and the kids were hungry. We were not really in a town as far as I could tell. We found a small gas station connected to a pizza place--I think it was called Tony's. It was run by an old man who spoke no English and his son who spoke English and Italian.
My son was not going in because he suddenly was no longer hungry--that lasted until he got through the door. The place smelled amazing. I do not remember what we ate but we got a drink called birch beer--I have never seen it before or since. It was great.
I was reading the menu on the wall and had to ask the Italian guy's son--What is Sugar Dough? He did not even bother to explain what it was--"I make you some." The word 'sugar' in the name should tell you it was delicious.
Step 1: Ingredients:
1 Packet dry yeast
1/4 cup Sugar
3 cups Flour
2 tablespoons Oil
1 to 1 1/2 cup Water
Oil for frying
You can skip making the bread dough your self. You can buy frozen bread dough at the grocery store. It works just fine. I have a bread maker and love making the dough myself. I involves dumping everything in the bread maker and pressing the start button--be sure to set the machine so that it stops after the rise and before the bake step.
Step 2: Preparing to Fry the Dough
After the first rise, punch down the dough. Let it have another 15 minutes or so to rest.
Roll out the dough--they used pizza dough and had it about 1/2 inch thick. Cut it with your pizza cutter or a knife. Once my kids have used kitchen scissors. The pieces should be about bite sized. The Italian guy did this in about 15 seconds--it takes me considerably longer. Use enough bench flour to keep things from sticking.
Heat your oil--I do not have a deep fryer so I use a medium sized pot. Heat it until a drop of water sputters when it hits the oil--this was my grandmother's method of testing the temperature.
Step 3: Fry and Serve
Drop in the pieces of dough. Stir them around gently--don't splash. Burning yourself or others would put a damper on enjoying the final product. When they are golden, scoop out the dough puffs. Drain them for a few seconds on a paper towel.
I do not have the pretty white bakery bags so I use a brown lunch bag. Put 2 or 3 cups (yes it is a lot of sugar but they are called sugar dough) of powdered sugar in the bag. Drop in the still hot puffs. Close the bag and shake.
This is where I figured out that the old Italian guy was somebody's favorite grandpa. He handed the bag to my smallest child--the one who was not going to eat anything but had already devoured every bite of his meal.
It was messy but it was sooooooooo good. We ate most of them before they even had a chance to get cold.
My son's girlfriend just had her first taste of sugar dough. He only brought her one piece. She made him go back for the whole bowl.
This recipe feeds 8 to 10 normal people or 3 to 5 teenagers.