Authentic-tasting gluten free sopapillas, the New Mexican or South American fried dough, are fried to perfection and drizzled with honey.
There are so many ways to enjoy these gluten free sopapillas, but my favorite is with a light drizzle of honey. In fact, I actually prefer to bite off a corner, and drizzle some extra honey right inside.
I spoke to someone recently who said that she likes to eat sopapillas stuffed with meat and cheese. Just split one open, and pile in the fixings. What a treat!
It's truly amazing how the dough puffs up into these little hollow pillows so quickly during frying. To achieve a uniform “puff” of your sopapillas, just be sure to roll the dough into a single, even layer.
Then, cut the edges sharply, leaving very clean edges. You can use a sharp knife, but a pastry or pizza wheel is easiest.
I am bound and determined to give you back allllll the foods you thought you'd never have again now that you're gluten free. Or your son is gluten free, like mine. Or your partner. Or your best friend. Or your mom. You get the idea.
If you follow these recipe instructions, and use these ingredients, you can have it all back. If you can't use all of the ingredients, I hope you'll find success using as many as you can.
Oh, and fear not deep frying! For plenty of frying tips, see the directions in this post. When you see those triangles of dough “pop” in the first few seconds of frying, you won't regret it one bit. So exciting!
Anyway, thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you baking with these different, foreign-sounding ingredients. Thank you for trusting me enough to take a chance. I promise the rewards are great. And we've only just begun!
Gluten Free Sopapillas
1 3/4 cups (245 g) all purpose gluten free flour blend (I used Better Batter)
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) Expandex modified tapioca starch (See Recipe Notes)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons (8 g) sugar
2 tablespoons (28 g) vegetable shortening, melted or neutral oil (like canola or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature (any kind, just not nonfat)
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) lukewarm water, plus more by the teaspoon as necessary
Honey, for serving
For information on where to find Expandex, please see the Resources page. I have not yet tested Ultratex 3 in this recipe, but if you would like to try it here, I recommend using 12 grams of Ultratex 3 in place of the Expandex (1/3 the amount of Expandex called for), and then making up the remaining 24 grams of weight in more all purpose gluten free flour. So it would be 269 grams all purpose gluten free flour + 12 grams Ultratex 3. Ultratex 3 is at least 3 times as strong as Expandex.
In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, Expandex, salt, baking powder and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the melted shortening or oil, milk and water and mix to combine until the dough comes together. With clean hands, squeeze the dough together into a ball. It should hold together well, and not be so stiff that it is hard to knead. If it is hard to knead, add more water by the teaspoonful, kneading it in after each addition, until the dough is pliable but still holds together very well. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Unwrap the dough and divide it into 7 equal portions. On a large, flat surface, roll each piece of dough into a ball and, with a rolling pin, roll into a round about 6 inches in diameter and about 1/4-inch thick, and cut off the rough edges with a 6-inch cake cutter. The lid of a pot in the proper size should work, too. It is important to roll the dough out very evenly, and for each round to have very clean, well-defined edges. This helps the sopapillas to puff up during frying. Using a pizza or pastry wheel, or a very sharp knife, slice each round carefully into 4 quarters.
While the dough is rising, place 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan or deep fryer. Clip a candy/deep fry thermometer to the side of the saucepan, and bring the oil to 375°F. Place the quarters of dough in the hot oil, taking care not to crowd them at all. Within the first few seconds, the should float to the top and expand as they fill with air. As soon as they “pop,” turn the over using tongs or chopsticks, and fry until lightly golden brown on both sides (30 to 45 seconds per side). Remove the dough from the oil, and place on paper towel-lined plates to drain.
Serve warm, with a drizzle of honey.
Adapted from the recipe for Gluten Free Flour Tortillas from Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread (reprinted here), and tips on the method from Use Real Butter.
Nicole, can the dough be used for empanadas?
Nicole Hunn says
Erica, it probably could, but I have a great recipe for empanada dough here on the blog. Just use the search function!
joan Wamsley says
Can this be made dairy free using coconut or almond milk?