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tortas fritas (fried sweet dough)

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Vickie Parks
Renton, WA

These fried dough treats are a favorite indulgence in Argentina. Its history dates back more than a century when gauchos roamed the open lands, and their diet consisted mostly of beef and trail foods, and most would crave a sweet treat now and then. A simple recipe was created that could easily be prepared with limited equipment. Traditional recipes stick to the basics of flour, lard, water and salt, but will sweeten them with a little sugar or jam on top. Contemporary recipes made at home tend to use butter, milk or eggs in place of lard, and some include baking soda for puffier Tortas.

★★★★★ 1
serves 12
prep time 15 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Deep Fry

Ingredients For tortas fritas (fried sweet dough)

  • 2 cups
    all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 5 Tbsp
    unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup
    warm water (amount is approximate)
  • 2 cups
    vegetable oil, for frying (amount is approximate, it will depend on pan size)
  • 1/2 cup
    granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp
    ground cinnamon

How To Make tortas fritas (fried sweet dough)

  • 1
    Mix together the topping ingredients (sugar and cinnamon) on a small, shallow plate; set aside.
  • 2
    In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt with a fork. Form a well in the center, and add the melted butter. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly add the warm water a little at a time, and mix until the dough is well mixed and still moist but not sticky or "mushy". (You might not need the entire amount of water.)
  • 3
    Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 3 minutes or until the dough feels smooth and uniform. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each dough portion into a ball about the size of a large walnut. Allow the dough balls to rest on a lightly floured surface for 15 minutes.
  • 4
    Take a dough ball, flatten it with your palms, and use your palm and heel of your hand to form each dough ball into a flat round about 1/8-inch thick. Use a sharp knife and cut an X in the middle of each dough round (which helps them to cook evenly in the center).
  • 5
    Heat the oil in a deep skillet or a heavy-duty saucepan. The oil needs to get very hot to ensure adequate (quick but deep) frying with minimal absorption of the oil. If the oil isn't hot enough, the Tortas become greasy and dense.
  • 6
    Drop 2 to 3 dough rounds into the hot oil at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Let the dough rounds fry for about 45 to 60 seconds or until golden brown. Using a pair of tongs, gently flip the tortas and let the other side fry for another 45 to 60 seconds or until golden. (The oil will be very hot, so be careful not to splash oil!). Remove fried tortas to a paper towel to absorb excess oil. When cool enough to handle, roll warm tortas in the sugar/cinnamon mixture, and serve while still hot.

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