Fried bread, or parāoa parai, is one of my favourite things to spy at a weekend market. It’s easy to whip up a batch of these soft pillows of fried bread. Served warm with ice cream and blackberries, and drizzled with mānuka honey, they make a gorgeous dessert.
Makes 12-16 pieces
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1- 1 1⁄2 cups warm water
2 1⁄2 cups high grade flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Cooking oil, for frying
Ice cream to serve
Blackberries to serve
Icing sugar for dusting
Mānuka honey for drizzling
1. In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over half a cup of the warm water, stir gently, cover and leave to sit and froth for 5-7 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Slowly add the foamy yeast mixture and some of the remaining water, stirring with a knife as you go, until a scraggy mass forms. Mix with your hands in the bowl and keep adding water until a soft dough forms – you may or may not need all the water.
3. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and oil the empty bowl. With light hands, knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Transfer back to the oiled bowl, cover and leave to proof in a warm place for 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size.
4. Once the dough has doubled in size, pat out onto the floured surface and roll out to a 1-2cm thickness. Cut into squares or triangles and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
5. Heat 2cm oil in a large frying pan and fry bread until golden brown. Flip and cook until puffed up and fluffy in the centre.
6. Serve warm fried bread with ice cream and blackberries, shower with icing sugar and drizzle with honey.
For lovely soft pillows, aim for a slightly sloppy and sticky dough, which may be hard to knead, but it will firm up on rising.