Churros are a Spanish pastry made from fried choux dough. They are a typical breakfast dish but are also eaten as a dessert or a sweet snack and are most commonly dipped into hot chocolate. Churros come in two variations – a thin version which is sometimes knotted and a longer and thicker version.
No matter which way, the fried dough sticks are an absolute Spanish favourite. Restaurants, bakeries and street vendors basically sell them on every turn at any time.
Where Do Churros Come From?
It is not entirely clear where Churros come from and who invented them. One of the most common stories awards their invention to Spanish shepherds a few centuries ago. Since these nomadic folks were living high in the mountains where freshly baked pastry was not available, the shepherds created the churros which could easily be prepared in a pot over the open fire.
Other sources say that the Portuguese brought churro-like pastry to Europe from their journeys to the Orient. Since it was forbidden to share knowledge in Ming Dynasty China, the Portuguese were not able to copy the shape of the traditional Chinese dough pastry called You Tiao. For that reason, they allegedly modified the dish by forming the dough in the signature star shape of today’s Churros.
Unless you are going to Spain soon, give it a try yourself with this easy and authentic recipe:
- 500 g flour
- 500 ml water
- 35 ml olive oil
- 1 tea spoon salt
- 3 tea spoon baking powder
- 1 l olive oil for frying
- Sieve flour in a large heat-proof bowl.
- Mix water, 35 ml of olive oil and baking powder in a small pot and heat it.
- When foaming, take it off the heat and pour it immediately over the flour mix.
- Mix it with a wooden spoon to produce a smooth dough.
- Fill the dough into a special churro squeezer or a pastry bag.
- Heat 1 liter of olive oil in a large pot.
- Squeeze 15-20 cm long churros directly into the boiling oil. Do not fry too many churros at once.
- Take the churros out of the oil when they are crunchy and golden and drain them on a paper towel.
- Besprinkle the hot churros with sugar and serve them immediately - preferably with a cup of hot chocolate!
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san churro by evilhayama, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0