Sopapillas—often called “little pillows”—are a true New Mexico staple. This quick bread actually originated in Albuquerque almost 200 years ago.
Like Southerners use biscuits, both sopapillas and tortillas are utilized as “sop” breads. Their purpose is to soak up the liquids in a dish, or to use for stuffing with the foods. These sop breads are so popular because they can be eaten without utensils.
Try this the way I learned to make biscuits. Alter ingredient measurements based on the way the dough feels.
Yields: 2 dozen
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 15 minutes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups warm milk
Vegetable Oil (for frying)
Blend the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening with a pastry cutter. Add the milk and mix the dough with a fork.
Flour your work area and knead the dough mass by folding it in half. Push down and fold again. Continue to push, punch, and fold until dough is soft but no longer sticky.
Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest 10-15 minutes.
Divide the dough in half, but keep the other half wrapped in plastic to avoid drying it out.
Roll the dough to 1/8 thickness. Avoid overworking—results in tough sopapillas.
Cut the dough into rectangles approximately 10×5″. Divide into a 5-inch squares, and then cut this into a triangle.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or a deep fryer. The oil should be about 400 degrees.
Submerge the sopapilla in the oil. It should puff. The puff makes the sopapilla a sopapilla. But if it doesn’t puff—don’t fret. “Unpuffed” is good, too.
Non-puffing—this is starting to sound like a cigarette commercial—indicates the oil temperature needs to be increased or decreased depending on the humidity or altitude where you live.
Let the sopapilla fry about 2 minutes per side and then turn with a slotted spoon for another 2 minutes. Once golden brown, remove the sopapilla to drain on a paper towel.
My favorite way to eat sopapillas is to drizzle agave over them while warm. They can be refrigerated and reheated at 350 degrees for 10 minutes in the oven.
This recipe makes approximately 2 dozen sopapillas.
How do you like your sopapillas?
For more recipes and behind-the-scene photos from Under a Turquoise Sky, visit http://www.pinterest.com/lisacoxcarter/under-a-turquoise-sky/.