I have to admit, these sinfully delicious homemade fried dough bites are my absolute favorite tea time treat. And my kids and husband love them too.
I don’t just love eating these homemade fried dough bites, I love making them too. They are so easy to make, and require only 3 ingredients – flour, butter and sugar. No baking powder, no yeast and no fancy stuff, just 3 basic ingredients.
The dough is made using flour and butter and formed into a soft dough with water. It is then rolled, cut into small bite sized squares and triangles (and other shapes in between), deep fried, and finally coated with thick sugar syrup to make the simplest, most loved homemade fried dough treats.
How to Make Fried Dough at Home
This quick and easy homemade fried dough recipe makes sweet, deep fried dough with just 3 basic ingredients. All you need is flour, butter and sugar and you have a bowl of addictive, soft and delicious treats in no time all all.
Mixing the fried dough
- To make the dough, start by sifting your flour into a medium sized bowl and add butter to it.
- Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour. At the end of this process, your flour would look like breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the centre. Pour half of the water in, and use a metal spoon to bring the dough together.
- Add more water as you start mixing the remaining flour. At this stage, it is best to knead the dough with hands.
- If the dough appears too dry, add a bit more water. Similarly, if the dough appears too sticky, stop adding water.
- Knead the dough for a minute or two. At this stage, it will not be very smooth, and that is fine.
- Rest the dough for 5 minutes (covered) and give it a few rounds of kneading (just a few seconds). You will notice that it is a lot smoother at this stage.
Rolling and cutting the dough
- Pinch a handful of dough and roll it out thin. The dough can be a little strechty as you roll it, so keep rolling by lifting and and turning the rolled dough until it is really thin.
- Cut the dough vertically, and then horizontally into bite sized pieces.
- Deep fry the cut pieces until lightly browned. Remove from oil and strain on a kitchen towel. Repeat until the dough is all fried.
Making the simple sugar syrup
- To make the simple sugar syrup, add sugar and water in a large pan. Turn on the heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Let the sugar simmer until it thickens to a soft ball stage. You can continue to stir with a metal spoon every now and then. To test the soft ball stage, drop a few drops of the sugar in a shallow bowl of water. if the sugar holds its shape and dissolves as you move it with your fingers, it is done.
- Turn the heat to a very low flame and add all the fried dough pieces into the syrup.
- Mix them with a large spoon gently by pushing the spoon to the bottom of the pan and lifting and tossing the dough bites as you lift the spoon up. TH
- The dough bites are all puffy and crispy on the edges, mixing them hard will break these.
- Once all the fried dough pieces are well coated with sugar, turn off the heat and transfer the dough bites into a serving plate.
Enjoy these treat with your favorite beverage.
Homemade Fried Dough with Sugar – Recipe Notes
Here are my notes for this sweet homemade fried dough recipe. Reading these will help you understand the recipe and help in making any adjustments or variations if you wish so.
- I used salted butter in the recipe above. If you are using unsalted butter, add 1/8 tsp fine salt into the flour. You can also replace the butter with margarine, the results will be the same.
- Butter is best to be cold but not hard. Too hard a butter will make it hard to mix it into the flour.
Adding water to the dough
- When adding water to the flour, do it in stages. This is to avoid the dough from becoming too sticky. The water mentioned in the recipe above has been tested to be just sufficient to form a soft and pliable dough but it is always a good practice to add water in small increments when mixing dough.
Rolling the dough
- This dough can be a bit stretchy when rolling. The best way to roll it is to do it in small portions. Lift and turn the dough over as you roll it until you reach the desired thickness. Because of the butter int he dough, it should not stick as you roll it. if you find it too soft to roll, knead in a bit more flour.
- This dough bites are at their best when the dough is rolled thin. Too thick a dough will require longer frying time which can cause your dough bites to not be brown too much on the outside but under cooked on the inside (see the next section for images of the best thickness).
Frying the dough
- When making these deep fried dough bites, it is best to fry all the dough and then mix them in the sugar syrup instead of frying and mixing in syrup in batches.
Flavoring options for the simple syrup
- The sugar syrup can be flavored with orange and lemon zest for a light citrus flavored dough bites. You can also add some cinnamon powder to the syrup for cinnamon flavored deep fried dough bites.
Coating the homemade fried dough bites with syrup
- When mixing the fried dough in the syrup, be sure to use a large pan. It is a lot easier to mix in a large pan then in a small pan. If you do not have a large pan, mix the bites in batches, which means you would need to make the syrup in batches too.
- Also, when the bites in syrup, it is best to leave the heat on the stove on at a very small flame. That way, they sugar does not hardened. If the sugar starts to harden, your dough bites will start sticking to the pan.
Alternative to simple syrup
- Instead of sugar syrup, these dough bites can also be enjoyed with a coat of powdered sugar. Once the bites have cooled down slightly, toss them in powdered sugar (icing sugar) and serve.
Storing the dough and the fried dough bites
- The dough for this treats can be made ahead and refrigerated for a good 4 to 5 days without frying. Just bring the dough to room temperature before rolling and frying.
- These fried dough bites are best eaten on the day they are made.
Easy Homemade Fried Dough Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my homemade fried dough bites in simple sugar syrup recipe:
Homemade Fried Dough Bites in Simple Sugar Syrup
- 250 g plain flour
- 30 g butter
- 125 ml water
Simple Sugar Syrup
- 100 g white sugar
- 100 ml water
- Sift flour into a medium-sized bowl.
- Add butter and rub it into the flour with fingertips until the flour looks like breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the center. Pour the water, a little at a time and mix with a metal spoon. If the dough appears too dry, add more water. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead until it comes together as a dough.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
- Pinch a handful of dough and roll it thin.
- Cut it vertically into long strips and then vertically into smaller, bite-sized squares.
- Deep fry the dough pieces until they turn light brown.
- Remove from oil and strain in a kitchen towel. Continue with the rest of the dough.
- To prepare the sugar syrup, place sugar in a large pan and add water. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the sugar syrup thickens to a softball stage (about 112 degrees Celsius on a candy thermometer).
- Add the deep-fried dough all at once in the pan and mix until the dough bites are all well coated with the sugar syrup.
- Remove the sugar-coated dough bites into a serving plate and serve.
And that’s pretty much my quick and easy, homemade fried dough with bites in simple sugar syrup. Enjoy 🙂
See how I used the same dough to make easy peanut puffs here: