It’s still snowing like mad!

I think this calls for the big heavy guns: a really nice coffee, followed by a few good cuppas to bolster me for a cozy day of creation.

*pompoms flailing* GO!! GO!! GO!! :D

I am thinking that we need some cinnamon buns in the house and maybe I should do a bread starter… Or just bread.

I am kind of desperately craving Good Bread(tm). Really Good Bread.

In fact, yesterday I was feeling so poorly that it was a struggle to even get out of bed. By the time I finally got myself into something resembling a human form, sustenance was required in a very major way and the only thing I knew that would fit the bill would be a good pot of Chinese rice porridge or what we call, in my family: joak (more commonly known as congee)

One of my absolute favourite additions to my bowl of joak is what can basically be considered a Chinese doughnut called youtiao. I haven’t yet mastered or even attempted making youtiao at home because I absolutely hate the smell of frying oil after cooking. Even strong cooking smells are extremely unpleasant to me when I can smell them at 2am when I get up in the middle of the night.

In the end, I desperately needed the doughnuts for my joak and came up with a more than reasonable compromise: frybread! Yes, it would still require me to deepfry, but I figured for a very tiny batch, I would deal with it.

The flavour of frybread is almost identical to that of youtiao, but the texture of it is certainly not the same. I admit, my skills at making frybread are nominal, at best, and so I could very well have rolled my dough way too thin than what is supposed to be normal for frybread. My frybread was more like nacho chips and not soft and squishy with a bit of outer crispiness like youtiao, but I am sure that is easily remedied by not rolling out the dough until paper thin.

Next time I make a batch of fry bread for joak, or I suppose we could call it “lazy youtiao”, I am going to make it in the traditional youtiao shape and see how it turns out — cuz if it works as beautifully as I am hoping it will in my head, I could be in serious youtiao heaven ^_^

Lazy Youtiao (aka Fry Bread)

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying

Mix together flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl.
Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir until it starts to form one big clump.

Flour your hands well & begin to mix the dough, trying to get the mixture to form a ball.

You want to mix this well, but you do NOT want to knead it. The inside of the dough ball should still be sticky after it is formed, while the outside will be well floured. Let rest 10-15 minutes.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces and form each into a disk of about 5-7″inches in diameter.
For a youtiao shape: take one of your pieces of dough & divide it in half, roll each piece into a snake about the length of a chopstick. Place the snakes, lengthwise, on top of each other and use a chopstick to press down on the middle of the snakes to seal them together.

In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F.
Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil. If making youtiao shape, stretch the dough slightly before gently dropping into the oil.
Press down on the dough as it fries so the top is submerged into the hot oil.
Fry until golden brown, and then flip to fry the other side.
Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Enjoy warm in your favourite bowl of joak.

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