The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Frying Dough

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CJRoman's picture
CJRoman

Frying Dough

I hope this is not a stupid question but I need some feedback from someone who knows there way around an oven *and* fryer.


I have a great pretzel recipe...but living in the South...its customary to attempt to fry...EVERYTHING.


I'm really curious how pretzel dough would fry but from what I recall, when water hits hot oil it explodes (yes?). The pretzel dough is wet from the baking soda/water bath.


Am I about to burn down my house or is this worth a try?

jcking's picture
jcking

Are you thinking deep fry ie. french fries or shallow like chicken fried steak? You could start with chicken fried and work your way up. Baby steps. I think a firmer dough would be a good start, then get wetter, and or deeper. Experiment and have fun. Watch you oil temp, an oil/candy thermo should be used.


Jim

kermitdd's picture
kermitdd

Let them sit on a wire rack or on a towel until they don't show any water droplets and then go for it. When deep frying moist foods there is always a little splashing but you should be fine as long as there are no 'puddles' of water on the dough

CJRoman's picture
CJRoman

The good news is...I did not burn down the house...


The bad news is...I destroyed a lot of oil...


I took your advice, let them dry off a bit...then sent them to the fryer.


As you recommended, I pan-fried in a shallower vessel.


The oil foamed almost uncontrollably.


Now I'm trying to find every cooking science website I can get my paws on to figure out what happened!


 

kneading's picture
kneading

My Swedish grandmother fried all kinds of bread dough and called them "scunnies". ( using a shallow vessel) We put honey or powdered sugar over them as a kid. In Arizona they call it Indian fried bread. I have never tried to fry pretzels and find  the thought interesting but I   think they would taste just like fried bread. Good luck.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Dear CJRoman,


1.  There are no stupid questions.


2.  "What happened" is that your dough contains water and when water meets high heat it turns to steam.  In the case of deep frying the oil temperature is so high that steam is generated essentially immediately (hence the "foaming" on the oil) and continues until the water is evaporated.  Anything placed into hot oil (french fries, bread dough, fritter batter, etc.) will produce the same result.

Dcn Marty's picture
Dcn Marty

Would it be possible to apply a coating of some type? Perhaps an egg wash and flour, similar to fried chicken? Just thinking outside the box.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

You could apply a coating, but it wouldn't eliminate the fact that water turns to steam when immersed in hot oil and that generates the "boiling" action in the oil.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

action greater because not only is steam being released but carbon dioxide as well.  That is why I suggested trying only a very small amount of dough into the oil (your second thread on this subject) to see what happens.  You could fry a french fry next to it to compare if you like.  Salt into an open fire will make it crack and spit too.  Salts contain Natrium (Na) or in English known as Sodium.  Wiki says this:



Above 70 °C, sodium bicarbonate gradually decomposes into sodium carbonatewater and carbon dioxide. The conversion is fast at 200 °C (392°F):


2 NaHCO3 → Na2CO3 + H2O + CO2




 


Throwing salt into a burning ceramic kiln at high temps will almost instantly mix with the free minerals and cause a glaze to rain down upon the pots.  But that has nothing to do with our bread baking at lower temps.  It would affect a WO that was stoked with salty drift wood  and brought to very high temps, those far beyond bread baking temps.  The point is: salt and soda are affected by heat and quickly break down and this can happen quickly.


Coating in flour will not doo much.  In a slightly oiled pan this would prevent some spitting but it mostly lies on the bottom of the pan and burns.


Mini


 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

 of this & the above information.  As I posted, not only was it a double post, but suddenly all the subsequent postings popped up.   


I would like to add that dropping a large soda soaked pretzel into hot oil is not on my list of "things to do."  I have seen what dropping a teaspoon of soda into hot water does.  It foamed up like champaign in a tall glass.  It could be worse with oil.  If you try it, do it with a tiny pretzel, the size of a small french fry or dime first.  Chase all the kids and animals out of the kitchen and be prepared for a foam over experience.  Salt is not good for ceramic stoves, may put out the flame on a gas stove (turn off the gas if it goes over) and hot liquid could run all over the place.  


Mini

sonia101's picture
sonia101

Maybe you could try parbaking and then frying?

CJRoman's picture
CJRoman

Thanks for all the great comments everyone! Here's what I've been thinking...feedback appreciated!


Many think its the water...but I was thinking it was the baking soda. Channeling Home Economics 100 here...but I've always been told to throw baking soda on a stove grease fire because baking soda destroys the oil. So I was thinking that the baking soda on the exterior was hitting the oil...causing it to deteriorate and foam...what do you think?


I understand the idea behind the water foam but I mean...it was FOAMING! Like, bubbling over like a cauldren foaming! I suppose it could be the water...I'm just not very knowledgeable on frying...


I was going to try a coating this weekend. I figure we get our chicken sloppy wet before dredging it and frying so perhaps that will work with the pretzel. I just *really* wanted it to work without adding flour on top of flour...


The par baking may be an idea...but I'm still feeling like its that baking soda that's killing it. What do you think?


 


I'd love to experiment with both but its sooo painful to see all that oil get thrown out the door!


 


Thanks everyone!

gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Baking soda extinguishes fires because as it is heated, it gives off CO₂, which smothers the fire. There is nothing going on that "destroys" the oil; though it is contaminated by soda and burnt residues.


As to this:



The bad news is...I destroyed a lot of oil...


The oil foamed almost uncontrollably.



I don't know what you mean by "destroyed". Please elaborate.


As to the uncontrollably foaming oil, I don't know your familiarity with fry cooking, and how much sizzle and popping you expect, but I'd suggest your oil may be too hot. Try reducing the flame until the oil/dough merely sizzles instead of roiling and popping. At least that's the temp I use to fry hot water cornbread (I think damnyankees call a similar bread journey or johnny cakes), and donuts; the cornbread in shallow grease, and the donuts deep fried. My donuts are made with biscuit dough, which has both baking soda and baking powder, so I doubt that is the issue. Try reducing the temp. Save the boiling oil for your fish fry, and for repelling invaders scaling the walls. ;p


cheers,


gary

sonia101's picture
sonia101

I fry my doughnuts all the time and never have a problem with foam, so my money is on the baking soda being the problem.


My doughnut recipe, so you can compare ingredients


2 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup Butter
5 cups all-purpose flour


 



 


I'm comfortable deep frying, I'll play around next time I make pretzels.

sonia101's picture
sonia101
gary.turner's picture
gary.turner

Ah, thanks for the link. That reinforces my sense that the OP's temp was too high. 350°F is a medium/low temp for frying.


cheers,


gary

Nick10213's picture
Nick10213

I think it was the baking soda and the water, but not in the way you're thinking.  I believe it's because of a microscopic network of cracks created on the exterior of the pretzel by the boiling process...increasing the surface area exposed to the oil probably by more than 100% (like putting multiple pretzels in at the same time).  So that's issue number one I see.  The experiment to test this would be to soak activated carbon in water for a short time, have a pot of oil around 350 (OUTSIDE!!! Away from gas/propane flames...it's going to be hot, foamy, oil) and see if it foams many times more than it should.  The other thing is the baking soda itself.  It will initially cause the same problem...You allowed them to fully dry?  So now you have a microscopic network of minerals that increases your surface area...increasing the amount of steam and bubbling oil.  I only think that's the case because you can fry normal dough, and that doesn't happen.  In fact, even putting flour on it would be counterproductive, as now you'll have individual grains of flour (essentially microscopic bubble machines in hot oil) getting distributed throughout.  Just my point of view.