A Sopapilla is basically a golden brown pastry shell, that has been deep fried to perfection. Perfect Sopapillas should look like pillows and when you bite into one, you get the light crispiness of the dough and next to some amazing flakiness from the airy center.
Sopapilla is very popular Hispanic cuisine and is deep fried in oil and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. There is no secret ingredient in making these little delights. They are actually quite simple. The most important thing to remember is to keep the dough moist.
If it dries out, it will lose its elasticity and just fry up as a really big tortilla chip. If the dough is over-kneaded, too much gluten will form and you won’t be able to roll the dough out to the proper thickness either.
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup water lukewarm
- 1/2 cup whole milk lukewarm
- Vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup white cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
In a large bowl add dry ingredients: 3 cups of flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add shortening and using your fingers or a pastry blender, combine it with the flour mixture until it is fully rubbed in and the mixture resembles sand.
- Scoop a well in the center of the flour and shortening mix and add warm water and warm milk.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture until well combined.
- Once combined, use your hands to knead the dough, for about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining 1/3 cup of flour a little at a time. The dough should be just slightly sticky, easy to work with, soft and smooth.
- Knead the dough into a smooth ball. If needed, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface while you knead it.
- Once you formed a ball, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cover with a damp towel. Let it rest for 30 minutes. The dough can also be wrapped in plastic food wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours.
- After 30 minutes, cut the dough in 4, and roll each piece into a small, smooth ball. You can also skip cutting the ball into pieces, and just roll the entire piece, it’s just harder to work with it this way.
- Cut into 3-inch squares and arrange them on a tray that has been covered with parchment paper.
- Add oil to a deep pan, saucepan or deep-fryer. If using a pan/saucepan, you need to fill it with at least 4 inches of oil.
- Once the oil is hot, 375 degrees F, add Sopapillas a few at a time and fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Cook only until golden brown on each side. Remove and place on a cooling rack that has been placed inside a baking dish. This is done to drain any remaining excess oil.
- Add cinnamon and sugar to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Toss one by one, the still hot Sopapillas into the Cinnamon Sugar mixture or just sprinkle it on top.