Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vegan Buñuelos

Tomorrow is grocery day so tonight's meal was all about throwing things into a tortilla: sauteed sweet onions, orange and yellow peppers; roasted jalapenos; and chickpeas. Tasty, but really just a variation of stuff I have blogged before. I thought we needed something special for afters so I made vegan buñuelos, a Mexican fried dough dessert (that usually has egg and butter). From what I can see, there are a variety of ways to make these so I am not sure there is a "correct" way. I made these like wee little doughnuts since there is no vegan doughnut shop anywhere near here. The dough is not very sweet (they aren't like a Tim Horton's doughnut) but are absolutely addictive. They taste best when freshly cooked so I have posted a recipe for 6. Double or triple according to how many you are feeding. Word of warning: I have never had a "real" buñuelo to compare these to, but to my mind these are awesome and taste and look like I think they should.

- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground anise
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp ground flax seed
- 3-4 tsp water
- 1/4 cup soy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance margarine, melted
- oil for frying
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, anise, and sugar in a medium bowl.
2. In a small bowl add ground flax with 3 tsp of the water and let sit for a minute. Whisk with a fork until mixture thickens. Whisk in soy milk and vinegar.
3. Add flax mixture to the flour and mix with a fork. As the dough begins to come together mix in melted margarine with the fork. Use you hands to bring the dough together, adding the final tsp of water if needed. Knead dough on a counter top (floured, if needed) for 7 to 10 mins, or until dough is smooth. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky.
4. Divide dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 mins.
5. Heat a few inches of oil in a pan to about 375 degrees (med-hi on my stove). Mix together sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. While oil is heating, poke through the centre of each dough ball with the end of a wooden spoon and insert your pointer finger to shape each ball into a ring.
6. Fry in oil for about 60 seconds, turning once, until it floats and is a nice golden colour. If you use a small saucepan, like I do, you may want to flip it a few times. They like to sit at the bottom of the pan for a bit before they float, so they can brown quite quickly when in contact with the bottom of the pan.
7. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels or paper bags. While still hit, toss each doughnut in the cinnamon and sugar. Enjoy right away.


lao80 said...

You are super evil. I'm totally making these. Probably tomorrow.

Jan Scholl said...

My inlaws are from Mexico and when I called Vita and asked about these, she was confused. The more I talked them up, the more she referred to another tasty treat. She calls them sopapillas. she serves them with honey and ground nuts on top. So I went looking and found this page. and ya know what? in Michigan we call them Elephant Ears! I can't wait to see what my relatives in Iowa call them-it was hard to get past the pop/soda thing with them.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

I don't know about the taste, but they do look perfectly right...

Vegan Dad said...

It was my understanding that bunuelos were fried pieces of dough, whereas sopapillas were more like a sweet fried tortilla. But, as the website you refer to points out, the names seem interchangeable. Whatever you want to call them, they are downright tasty!

Karina said...

Hi Vegan Dad,

Fantastic blog! I'm hooked! I tried out this recipe tonight - it worked out very well! I didn't have any flax seed powder, so used egg replacer instead (equal to one egg). Do you use it? I thought the end result would be a bit more fluffy, especially after using the egg replacer; my dough seemed tougher than I expected. I'll likely try these out again, perhaps with the flax this time.


Vegan Dad said...

I don't use egg replacer--it is basically several starches for binding and baking powder (I think) for leavening. Give the flax a try--I am always amazed how eggy it can be when whisked with water.

I think the look of the bunuelos causes some cognitive dissonace for those of us used to Tim Horton's or Dunkin' Donuts. These are really a fried dough dessert, but since it is not a leavened dough they are more dense than a donut (and not at all cake-y). They should still be tender, though. If the dough was too tough, try adding a splash more water. And, make sure you knead it long enough. You will feel the dough get smoother and softer as you knead. Lastly, give the dough a good chance to rest so that the gluten can relax. I made the dough right before dinner, ate dinner (and let the oil heat up), then fired them up after dinner for dessert.

Karina said...

Thanks for the tips! I will definitely take these into account next time. Good point re: cognitive dissonance - it's easy to expect a light and fluffy texture. :-)

CeciLiA said...

Oh my goodness! DONUTS DONUTS DONUTS! can you tell I really love DONUTS?!! sorry if I sounded like a weirdo to u! I have to make these... just a question, is it possible to bake these?! I hate the frying process ... thanks

Vegan Dad said...

cecilia (you're breakin' my heart),
These really aren't donuts, they just look like them. As for baking, I don't know. I suppose with a hot oven (450?) and a pre-heated baking sheet it would work. I also think you would need to spray them with oil to keep them from drying out. Hmmm. Sounds like I need to do some experimenting.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Have just stumbled upon your blog and have been lurking......I grew up between Mexico and South Texas and buñuelos were always something to look forward to during the christmas / new year holidays.....we made them similar to a sweet, fried tortilla sprinkled with sugar & cinnamon without eggs or butter but still plenty of calories ...yours look tasty like and like little doughnuts.

andrea. said...

they look quite nice ! but those aren't buñuelos -actually, before reading the title i thought they were donuts- !
buñuelos are fried flour tortillas sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or glazed with honey and are a usual holiday treat -at least where i live-, though, they're not seasonal in some states and sell them all year long : )

Chelsea said...

I am pregnant and have been craving something donut-like for the longest time, but I can't find vegan donuts anywhere! I know this isn't a donut recipe, but it looked like it would hit the spot :) So when I awoke this morning I made the dough while my hubby started cooking the rest of breakfast, but when I went to fry them, I realized I was completely out of oil!!

So... I am happy to say that baking produces a very un-donut-like product, but one that is nonetheless delish! I placed them on a well greased baking sheet and baked them at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 7 minutes. I then melted a tbsp of Earth Balance in the microwave and made the sugar/cinnamon mixture. I quickly dipped the tops and bottoms of the bunuelos into the melted Earth Balance and then into the cinnamon and sugar. They were divine and reminded me of something biscuit-y that my mom used to make for me as a kid! Thanks for the recipe!