When we lived in Oklahoma, I decided to try making sopaipillas from scratch. I tried a couple of very different recipes and chose the one that worked best and tasted good. I made them a couple of times soon after and then completely stopped. I don't have a good reason, I just stopped. I decided to give them another shot this week. It's probably been about 7 years since I made them, but they still turned out pretty good!
The recipe is from a cookbook we inherited from Josh's grandparents when they passed away. It is a New Mexico cookbook filled with all kinds of yummy things that I grew up eating in Albuquerque. I haven't tried very many recipes, but I'm glad we have it in our cookbook collection. It's a little piece of Josh's family and my family bound together.
When I posted on facebook that I made sopaipillas from scratch, I got this response from my friend Rachel:
"Mmmmm like, New Mexican sopaipillas??? The light fluffy ones with holes that you put honey in? Here in Lubbock, sopaipillas are flat, crispy things with ice cream...yuck."
Has anyone else had this experience? Sopaipillas are very different in certain areas of the country and vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some are flat, some have ice cream on them, others are covered in cinnamon and sugar or whipped cream. I'm sure they're all perfectly yummy, but they're just not what we grew up with in NM. We like ours puffy so you can eat the corner off and pour honey inside. That's what this recipe gives you.
I'm going off memory on this recipe, so forgive me if I have to come back later and alter it!
Sopaipillas (New Mexico style)
1 1/2 c. scalded milk (cooled to about 115 degrees F)
1/4 c. warm water (again, about 115 degrees)
1 package of yeast (~ 2 1/4 tsp.)
2 tsp. sugar
4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix scalded (cooled) milk and warm water together. Dissolve yeast in the milk/water mixture. Sift the sugar, flour, and baking powder together. Stir in milk/water/yeast mixture. Knead dough about 15 times on a lightly floured surface. Cover the dough and let it rest ~ 20 minutes. Heat oil to about 350 degrees. (use a deep pot or deep fryer)
Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness. Cut the dough into triangles or squares about 2-3" wide. Cook the sopaipillas in the oil for about 1 minute on each side or until just golden. Enjoy while hot with honey!
Makes about 3 dozen sopaipillas.
Some tips I have learned:
-Scalding means heating the milk to just below boiling, and yes, it does make a difference. Several recipes don't call for scalded milk, and they just aren't the same.
-If you roll it too thin, it won't puff when cooked.
-The dough can be refrigerated and used for several days. I think it actually works better (puffs more) after sitting for a day or two. Just be sure to put it in a greased bowl that is about twice as big as your dough ball since it will continue to rise. The pictures above are from day 2 dough. They puffed about twice as much as the first day batch.
-The shape of the sopaipillas doesn't really matter. I just roll out the dough and cut it into small sections. You can tell from my pictures that I'm not too picky about shape.
There you have it. Let me know if you try them and if you have any additional tips!
** Note: We were too impatient to pour the honey inside and let it coat the sopaipillas. We just poured the honey all over the top. Unfortunately, the honey just melted right off and pooled onto the plate. Still very yummy though!