Grandmother's Puffs - A Southern Fry Bread with Yeast
A family favorite for weekend breakfasts, this fry bread is great with a melty pat of butter and your favorite strawberry jam. Any leftover dough can be formed into rolls for an evening meal.
Course Breakfast, Side Dish
Keyword bread dough, fry bread, puffs
Dietary Restrictions Vegetarian
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Rising Time 8hours
Total Time 30minutes
2cupslukewarm waterabout 110° on an instant read thermometer
1rounded tablespoonvegetable shortening(Myne uses Crisco) about the size of an egg
1package Instant Yeast
4 1/2 - 5 cupsall purpose flour
To Make The Puff Dough
Add the yeast to a large bowl and stir in the water. Let the yeast dissolve and bloom for a few minutes.
Add the shortening and swish and break it apart in the water with your fingers.
Stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved.
Add flour a little at a time, kneading with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball.
Lightly grease or oil a large bowl with vegetable shortening and place the dough in the bowl. Flip the dough once or twice so it gets a light coating of grease (this prevents it from forming a "skin". Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and place in a draft free area to rise. (I usually stick it in a cold oven).
Let the dough rise for 2 hours or overnight.
To Fry The Puffs:
Place a wide, deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat and add about 2 inches of vegetable oil or Crisco. Heat the oil to about 350°-375°.
Pinch off a dime-sized piece of dough and stretch it, so that it's very thin (about 1/4"). Carefully place the dough into the hot grease. This is your tester-- and it will determine if your oil is hot enough. If the oil rapidly bubbles around the dough it should be the right temperature. Cook the tester for about 1-2 minutes until golden on the bottom, then flip it and cook an additional minute. The bread should be crisp and golden. You can eat this piece to determine if the oil should be hotter or if it's just right.
To make the puffs: Line a sheet pan with several layers of paper towels and set near the pan of oil. Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough and flatten it to a disc in your hands. Hold the edges of the dough and work it in a circle to stretch and enlarge the circle until it's about 3" to 4" in diameter. Carefully place the puffs into the oil (away from you to prevent splashes and burns). Fry for 1 to 2 minutes until golden, flip over and continue to cook for another minute or so until the puffs are crispy and golden.
Depending on the size of your pan, you can make 3-4 at a time. Transfer the fried puffs to the paper towel lined sheet pan and continue to fry the puffs in batches and keep them warm in a low oven until you're ready to serve -- or if you're like my family... just keep making them as they're being snatched off the tray.
You can also keep them in a warm oven and serve all at once, but they're really best served immediately.