Churros and Overcoming Fears

When I was in Spain, oh, eleven years ago, I ate churros everyday for breakfast. I had never had them before and it was like a revelation. I was in heaven. And since the bread and cake baking bug hit me, I have been desperate to make them. Only one thing put me off. The thought of pouring a litre of oil into a pot and heating it to a blistering 175 degrees celsius. But today, my desire to sink my teeth into churros overcame my fear of deep frying in hot oil. I’m so glad I pushed past that fear barrier because not only was the deep frying a total cinch, but they tasted AMAZING. And they are very economical to make too (economy in the kitchen has always been very important to me). The kids took a plate of them to the garden and polished them off in seconds. My husband and I took a plate of them to the shed and gobbled them equally as quickly.

Churros-smallThis recipe is based on Daniel Stevens’ version published in River Cottage Handbook No. 3: Bread.

300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
380ml boiling water
1 litre vegetable oil (or sunflower), at least, for deep frying*
Sugar, for dredging (isn’t dredging a wonderful word in this context?)
Cinnamon, for dusting (optional)

In a saucepan, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt then pour in the boiling water and stir to combine. Stir over gentle heat for a couple of minutes then cover and set aside for half an hour.

Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan to 175C.

I put the mixture in a piping bag with a nozzle about the size of my thumb and piped lengths straight into the oil, a few at a time. If you don’t have a piping bag, you could also drop pieces into the oil so they come out as crispy, oddly-shapen little balls. Fry for a couple of minutes, they will bob on the surface and be a lovely golden brown.

Remove with a slotted spoon and drain, then toss in a bowl of sugar. Serve while still warm, with coffee or a thick, rich hot chocolate for dipping. Mmmmm!

*Don’t throw out the oil. You can reuse it next time you make churros! Or donuts, for that matter…

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