Make these 1 day ahead and store in an airtight container. They're great for a backyard barbgecue.
Serves: 4
Prep.Time: 30 minutes
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water -- at room temperature
4 cups vegetable oil for frying
Salt or cinnamon for sprinkling -- optional
Melt the 3 tablespoons of shortening and cool to room temperature. Into a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add remaining 1 tablespoon shortening and blend well with your fingers. Stir in 1/2 cup of the water, and add more as necessary to form a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly, 4-6 times. Quarter the dough and form each piece into a ball. Brush dough balls all over with cooled shortening. Let stand uncovered 25 minutes.
In a 10-inch heavy skillet (cast iron is best), heat 1 inch oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. With floured hands, pat each dough ball into a 7-inch round. Slip 1 at a time into hot oil and fry, using a wooden spatula to keep it submerged, until it puffs up. Continue to fry, letting it float in the oil, until golden, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle each round with a little salt (or cinnamon if using). Repeat process for remaining 3 rounds.

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Copyright 2002 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved