Bulgarian Fried Dough

| October 26, 2009 | 3 Comments

This weekend my friend (who is also vegan) and I partook in one of his favorite childhood memories—fried dough for breakfast.  Being an American, my breakfast childhood memories (which were “pre-vegan” for the record) center on weekend trips to IHOP; pancakes; waffles; bagels with cream cheese, lox, and whitefish salad (thanks to those Jewish roots); and grits (I’m a Jersey gal, born and bred, but my Dad, for some unknown reason but a glorious stroke of good luck for me, is a big fan of the grit and so he made them for me often).

However, my friend’s Bulgarian roots have him experiencing different breakfast memories.  Although Americans (and most people in general, cultures aside) do love most anything fried, I would normally advocate that avoiding fried foods in general is the best course of action.  But life is about embracing risk and stepping out of our “normal” routines to add some excitement and gustatory stimulation every now and again.

And if an exception (and all exceptions in moderation of course) were going to made, I’d have to say—now that I’ve been privileged to this culinary and bountiful Bulgarian breakfast brouhaha—that a great Indian Samosa and Bulgarian Fried Dough are the two exceptions that ought to be made!  They are both vegan, of course.  Do not think for a second that veganism doesn’t have “exceptions” or taste bud tantalizing delights!  It does, and this dish proves it. Furthermore, making Bulgarian Fried Dough is FUN!  I’ll take you through the steps with visuals to guide you along the way.  My friend’s hands make their Purposeful Palate debut!

Step One:  Make the dough.  Given that my friend grew up watching his mother make this stuff, he wasn’t so sure about exact measurements, but the dough came out perfect.  That being said, I’m going to give you approximations, and you can fine tune as needed. Mix flour (all purpose flour works best, but feel free to use whole wheat flour or gluten free flour to make it a bit healthier or to avoid the gluten—just remember that certain flours impart certain textures and the fried dough may be either less doughy or more doughy given the type of flour you use) with some cornmeal flour; a ratio of about 85% flour with 15% cornmeal.  Mix in water and a packet of active dry yeast.  Add salt to the dough if desired (or do like the Bulgarians do and add to the top of the Fried Dough upon eating).  Knead until dough is of dough-like consistency.

Step Two: Now that the dough is made, it’s time to get down to business.  Knead the dough with a rolling pin on a baking sheet (preferably a flat baking sheet to make the kneading process easier).

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Once you have the dough flattened to about a ½ to ¾ inch thickness, cut the dough into 2 x 2 inch squares. Expand, pull, and flatten the square of dough in your hands to make it thinner and more elongated.  Set these aside to get ready for some deep-frying.

Optional: Bulgarian Fried Dough is often filled with feta cheese to form a fried dough feta cheese pocket.  We decided to take a more vegan friendly approach and made fresh spinach and vegan Nacho Cheese (Follow Your Heart brand) pockets instead.  We fried some and baked some (to be healthier). So if you want this treat without all the oil then bake the pockets and the bread (which turns out like a flatbread—and then you can drizzle with olive oil or add some spices on top). Note:  When frying the pockets, be sure to turn down the temperature on the frying oil; otherwise, the dough will cook faster than the vegan cheese has a chance to melt (yes, it DOES melt!).   This happened to us (as evidenced by the picture), but it was still super tasty.


Step Three: Once the oil is bubbling and hot in your large sauté pan, drop the pieces of fried dough into the oil.  If you see air pockets forming in the dough, then you are doing it correctly.  Once the dough is golden brown, it is done and you can remove it from the oil.  Set aside to cool.


Step Four: Have a wonderful and tasty Bulgarian inspired breakfast!  Sprinkle salt on the Fried Dough for added flavor or feel free to do it the good ole American carnival inspired way and sprinkle powdered sugar and/or fruit on top!


  1. MyIndianFood says:

    I have seen few Samosa recipe were they fill it with panner and every time I attempt that the Samosas, the covering breaks up. Let me check how it works using your recipe.

  2. admin says:

    Hopefully, this recipe will solve your dilemma! Please let me know if it works and if you have any questions; perhaps we can figure it out together if necessary!

  3. Perfect tips. I always carry out your ideas and implement them.

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