Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Recipe #3 - Doughboys!

Hello everyone and welcome back to Cooking With Chaos!

Cissa here; Well Easter, just passed, and here in Virginia the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. It's summer weather, and when I think Summer, I think of doughboys!

But alas, I am in Virginia now. And yet, every summer, I think of the deliciousness of doughboys. So, determined to make this cooking blog truly Rhode Island-esque, I found a recipe for doughboys and shared it with Cira!

Cissa's Attempt:

I have fond memories of going to Oakland Beach back in the 80's with my family and getting doughboys and grape soda in long neck bottles from the food stand there, Mrs. Gus's. It was my heaven as a little girl, and though now Iggy's is there in it's place (bigger and with more menu choices but in the same location), doughboys are still the tradition!

I think that if Murphy and his dang law hadn't intervened this week, I would have gotten this post done sooner. But all that aside, it was pretty easy, and Misk and Minion 2 had fun helping me out.

The Recipe:

Rhode Island Doughboys

Thaw 4 or 5 pounds frozen bread dough and let it rise overnight in covered bowl in a warm place.
Tear off pieces and spread them with your hands to make a flat circle about the size of a teacup saucer. Deep fry one at a time in hot vegetable oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Shake in paper bag of granulated or powdered sugar, or sugar & cinnamon mix while still hot.

I think using fresh dough will work just as well, and clearly if you don't want a million doughboys, you would use less dough! Here's my classic dough recipe I've used for this and last week's pizza strips. It's easy to double or more if needed.

Pizza Dough:
1 pkg. rapid rise dry yeast
1 1/4 c. hot water
4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast on water and stir to dissolve. add 2 c. flour and salt; beat thoroughly (wooden spoon works well for this). Stir in remaining flour. Knead on floured surface until smooth (approx 5 min.). Place in clean, lightly greased bowl & cover w/dish towel for approximately 1 hour to rise. Knead down risen dough before use.

How It Went:

Due to some chaos in our life, my dough was a little more...tough than I usually experience, but that's what happens when you have to chuck it in the fridge because putting together furniture trumps cooking for your blog.

Here are the little "circles" Kate, Misk and I made prior to frying.

I learned real fast that poking a few holes before frying was a good idea with tough dough...the first batch ballooned up and were nearly impossible to eat!

Ahh, I love my little Fryalator it was very handy for this recipe. Here are some of the doughboys in it (I used regular vegetable oil):

And here's the result, with granulated sugar coating (in my opinion the best way to eat them!):

Of course we wanted to show you the top 3 ways, so here's another batch in powdered sugar:


Misk, Minion 2 and I all loved them. Minion 1 had to wait until she got home from her big field trip, but an hour after they were made, she claimed they were delicious. Of course, for the purpose of this blog I had to check, and sure enough, she was right! The minions preferred the powdered sugar batch over Misk's and my preference of the granulated sugar batch.

Needless to say, I will make these again, and they will come out even better because I won't have to worry about the chaos of furniture assembly at the last minute!


Cira's Attempt:

Oh how I love dough boys. LOVE I tell you. My mom would make them at home growing up. If there was a festival in town I was getting the dough boys. Not the candy apple, not the cotton candy - the dough.boys. With lots of powdered sugar and cinnamon. Now that I have kids I make them occasionally for the boys just as my mom did for me. My kids though? (Are a little strange.) Like they will not.ever. eat potatoes - no matter what - unless it happens to be a french fry. How these are my kids I don't know. Traditional dough boys? They come with powdered sugar - cinnamon - granulated sugar if you want. My guys? Eat them with syrup. No clue how that started, but that's what they do.

It's been while since I've made the kids dough boys so I was excited for this week... until Cissa mentioned making our own dough. In my opinion there are 2 things all self respecting Italians should know how to do.
  1. Make a red sauce.
  2. Make dough.
While I have spent years perfecting and making my own sauces... Confession time. I have never.ever.ever. made my own dough. Yup, I buy it at the supermarket or a bakery while secretly envying those who make their own. I don't know why I never tired. While working at Papa Gino's as a teenager I would run the dough machine. But that was making dough in bulk. And it was so not fun weighing it all out and shaping it. Took forever. Maybe that's what turned me off. Cissa assured me that she had a quick recipe so I took a breath and tried it.

OK, that breath may have been the start of a panic attack... but who really knows.

How It Went:

There I was mixing the ingredients and thinking "yeah this is so not going to work."

But then? It started to look like this!

And believe me when I say I was having a heck of a bad day. Suddenly I was enjoying beating the heck out of ... *ahem* I mean kneading the dough.

My littlest came in from playing after I had let the dough rise and was so excited to see what it looked like.

Beat Kneaded it again for a moment, heated up the oil (side note - I used extra virgin olive oil - I will no longer fry in vegetable oil - just not good for you), and started dropping in some dough.

And voila. Look how beautiful.

I sprinkled a little cinnamon and granulated sugar on all of them while they were still hot (shhh, don't tell my kids) and brought them to the table. To my surprise the twins opted for (more) cinnamon and sugar on theirs, while my oldest went with the syrup as usual.


It was a hit (as I knew it would be). My youngest told me this was the 'best dinner ever' and asked if I could make it every night. Being my pickiest kid, that was a big compliment. Must have been the home made dough.

Totally recommend this recipe. The dough boys can be as big or as small as you want and taste best when eaten hot, right from being fried (and momentarily drained on paper towels to soak up the excess oil). Success! And best of all? (Now I feel like I'm really a real Italian!)


Tune in next Wednesday when we bring you another Rhode Island dish!


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  1. These are called Elephant Ears or some such around these parts - when you can get them at all. Funnel cakes are king here.

    When I was growing up, my Italian grandma would make bread on Saturday nights, then pizza fritta on Sunday morning. She'd take the leftover break dough and pan fry (not deep fry) it. You can have it with powered sugar, but I always loved it with butter.

  2. My Dad Taught Me To Make Doughboys From Scratch and It Was Our sunday Morning Breakfast, He Would Rise The Dough In A Bowl Overnight Then Cut Pieces With A Knife, Pull By Hand Into Circles and Fry Like 4 At a Time. We Would Split Them And Butter And Jam The Middles, That's My Favorite Way Of Eating Them