Warning: This is not low fat. This recipe will never have one of those Heart and Stroke foundation stickers on it. As a matter of fact, consult your doctor before making this recipe. Oh but if you can sample these delights, you will declare they are totally worth the potential myocardial infarct.
Now there are a number of different ways these babies are served. Some people eat them with the scrunchins, others without. Some people have them with butter, others serve them with molasses, and others with both. I like it with both, hey you may as well go whole hog here.
• 1 c 2% milk .
• 1 (16 g) packet traditional yeast .
• 2 tbsps shortening .
• 1 tbsp sugar .
• 1/2 c lukewarm water .
• 1/2 tbsp salt .
• 1/2 c cold water .
• 1 tsp sugar .
• 1/4 lb finely cubed bits of fatback pork .
• 5-6 c all-purpose flour
You will need a deep fryer with cooking oil for our family’s method. Though some people do it with oil in a frying pan or fry the toutons in the pork fat until golden on both sides. We do them in the deep fryer because it is safer and because the toutons come out lighter and less doughy.
We begin by making bread dough. If you have your own recipe and already know how to bake bread you can go to the front of the class and skip to step 9.
1) Dissolve 1 tbsp sugar in the lukewarm water. Sprinkle top with the yeast let this stand 10 minutes, then stir briskly with a fork.
2) Scald the milk; add shortening, stir until melted.
3) Add cold water, salt and 1 tsp sugar.
4) Make sure that the milk mixture is lukewarm then add yeast. Stir until mixed.
5) Add 2 c flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
6) Gradually add more flour until you have a moist dough that no longer sticks to the bowl.
7) Turn dough onto a lightly floured board & knead for at least 10 minutes.
8) Shape into a ball and place this in a greased bowl, turning the ball to grease the top. Now my Grandma Browne used to make a sign of the cross over the dough with her wedding ring, as it had been blessed. You don’t have to do that part, but her bread always came out perfect. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size. When it is almost ready, fire up your deep fryer.
9) And now for the fun part: punch down the dough a little (it might fart a bit but that is ok.- it is just air escaping). Then tear off pieces of dough (approximately 1/3 cup). We just pull it apart in sort of circular shapes, but some people who do them in the fry pan in pork fat pull them a little flat. It makes ‘em easier to cook in the fry pan I guess.
Now here is where the recipes diverge:
10 a) While you are doing this recruit another foolhardy soul to make the scrunchins- which is fried pork fat. I can just feel my arteries clog now as I write that. Cut up the pork fat into teeny tiny pieces and then fry until scrunchins are golden brown & crisp. Now as I said before, some Newfoundlanders do not use the deep fryer like we do. At this point they remove the scrunchins and fry the toutons in the pork fat. I don’t like it this way- but you might. If you do try it this way you can put some scrunchins on the touton after it has cooked in the pork fat and begin to eat. I have seen people use this as a side for baked beans instead of serving buns.
Non Scrunchins method:
10 b) Once you have torn a few pieces of bread dough off, carefully drop them into the hot oil. Careful not to splash yourself. Have a box of salt standing by in case something bursts into flames; remember you can’t use water on fat fires. The dough will drop to the bottom of the fryer, and pop up and then bob in the fat, turning a beautiful golden brown on the bottom. Flip them over and let the tops cook, and haul those babies out. Drop them on a piece of paper towel to remove some of the excess fat. Snigger- like that willl really make a difference. Now put a few on your plate drizzle with molasses and a pat of real butter. Yes the real stuff, not the plastic yellow poo euphemistically known as margarine. Take a moment to worship your creation, and then pop that sucker right into your mouth….ah…that’s it. Yes like that….ohhhhhh.
Repeat until stuffed like a turducken… (What is a turducken you ask? Well that my friends is another heartstopper we shall explore in the near future).