What Is Deep-Fried Dough?

Angela Farrer

Deep-fried dough is an ingredient often used in deep-fried cooking to coat various foods before they are immersed in an oil-filled deep fryer. Many recipes for deep-fried dough are fairly simple and call for a mixture of all-purpose flour, water, softened butter, and baking powder. Some deep-frying enthusiasts also add small pinches of sugar or salt to taste. Once the deep-fried dough is blended in a mixer and rolled out by hand, cooks then cut it into small pieces that they use to cover a wide range of foods to be dropped into the deep fryer. This type of dough recipe can also form the basis for deep-fried desserts such as doughnuts and pastries.

Doughnuts made with deep-fried dough.
Doughnuts made with deep-fried dough.

One of the first steps to making deep fried dough is to sift the flour and baking soda together until they are mixed thoroughly. The cook then mixes the butter, water, and white granulated sugar together before adding the dry ingredients. Some dough recipes also call for beaten eggs to be added for a fluffier texture. Other recipes for deep-fried dough may include other ingredients such as brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Deep-fried dough can be combined with many differ ingredients before being put in a deep fryer.
Deep-fried dough can be combined with many differ ingredients before being put in a deep fryer.

Cooks who enjoy deep-fried snacks generally have a wide range of choices for making treats wrapped in deep-fried dough. Deep-fried vegetables, fish, pickles, and even bacon are popular savory deep-fried snacks. Most cooks report the best results from using salt rather than sugar when mixing up the dough for these kinds of fried foods. Deep-frying can also be a favorite choice for many desserts and sweet snacks.

Sweet deep-fried dough is a favorite for desserts cooked in a deep fryer. Some cooks specialize in treats that they designate deep-fried everything, including cookies, chocolate candy bars, snack cakes, and even soda coated with dough and cooked in hot oil. Deep-frying some of these foods requires a dough that will stand up to the oil and prevent problems such as soaked cookies or melted chocolate stuck in the deep fryer.

Cooking these types of fried treats only takes one to three minutes on average once each one is dropped into the oil. Some of the most common types of oil used in deep frying are coconut and peanut oil. Most cooks who specialize in deep-frying note that a batch of treats is usually finished when the deep-fried dough turns a golden brown color. The fried foods are then lifted out of the oil with a fryer basket or large perforated cooking spoon and placed on paper towels that absorb any excess oil.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I talked to a guy who ran one of those deep-fried food trucks, and he told me that he spends a lot of time experimenting with different deep-fried doughs and batters. He has a sweetened batter for candy bars, and a more savory batter for meats and vegetables. He's also tried to batter and deep-fry fresh fruit, but the water content makes it difficult. He tries to come up with at least one new offering every year, mostly candy bars, but he also lets customers make suggestions.


I finally got a chance to try one of those deep-fried candy bars everybody has been talking about. We were at a street fair and there were dozens of food trucks in a row. I saw one called "We Can Fry That" and looked at the menu. They offered deep-fried bacon and deep-fried vegetables, but the thing that caught my eye was all of the deep-fried candy bars. I ordered a deep-fried Mars bar myself, and my friend got a deep-fried Snicker's bar.

The thing I noticed about battered and deep-fried candy bars was that the texture changes completely. Instead of trying to bite through a chewy caramel, it was more like a hot sundae sauce. The chocolate was more like a syrup, and the nougat tasted more like cream than sugar. I'd like to try some other deep-fried things, now that I know what to expect.

Post your comments
Forgot password?