Whole Wheat Fried Dough

One of my all-time favorite treats as a kid was fried biscuits from a can. I felt like they were something special my family did to approximate beignets because we were cajun but not great with the beignet-making. Ours never puffed up.

I've since learned that lots of people make them, but it hasn't lessened my enjoyment one bit. I've made them for other folks on various occasions, and it has won me undying devotion in certain circles. You think I'm kidding, but I'm not.

Of course, I don't think there's a single ingredient in a can of Pillsbury biscuits that Navah can eat. I still make them for myself sometimes, but fried dough is something she's never gotten to enjoy.

Until this past weekend.

When I made the honey whole wheat biscuits a few weeks back, I had a bit of dough leftover that wasn't big enough to make into a full biscuit. While the others were baking, I heated up some oil and plopped the little bit in and...Kabam! A little ball of puffy, fried dough!

So this weekend, I whipped up a batch of the biscuit dough - using a flax egg in place of the real egg, rolled it out, cut it into little squares and made us some fried biscuits. I sprinkled them with cinnamon and "sugar" (xylitol) to take the place of the powdered sugar that I would normally sprinkle on fried biscuits.

They look a little like chicken nuggets here, but I assure you they are not. They're sweet and delicious. I also recommend making them when you have friends around. Or only making a half batch. We had a little self-restraint issue, which led to a big food coma issue.

Honey Whole-Wheat Fried Dough
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (or 1 stick) cold earth balance
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tbps warm water)
3/4 cup almond milk (or soymilk or buttermilk if you can have it)
3 tablespoons honey

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands until it's a dry, crumbly mixture. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flax egg, almond milk, and honey. Then pour into the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and fold over onto itself several times to bring it together. A dough scraper is great for this, but if you don't have one, just use your hands.

5. Now's about the time to start heating up your oil. Pour canola (or other mild vegetable oil) about 1 inch deep into a pot. Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil until it's between 360 and 375 degrees. If it's too hot, the outside of the dough will burn before the inside gets cooked. If it's too cold, the dough will soak up the oil - not good, I promise. You'll have to monitor the temperature throughout, as it will fluctuate once you start putting the dough in.5. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's about 3/4 inch thick.
7. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into squares.
8. Depending on the size of your pot, drop the dough into the oil a few pieces at a time. Turn each piece over when it starts to get slightly golden on the top. 
9. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and place on a plate that's been covered with paper towels. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, or xylitol for a sugar-free version.