Resting time: 2 to 4 hours
Cooking time: A few minutes per batch
In Provence, these rectangles of fried dough are deliciously flavored with orange flower water, but you'll find them all over, with each region adding its own accent. In Languedoc, there's no sugar in the dough, but a little rum is added for flavoring.
In the past, housewives spread the dough out on their lap. Today they use a rolling pin or pasta roller because oreillettes should be as thin as paper. This ancient method gave these fritters the nickname of "lap doughnuts" which is found in old books.
(1) Depending on the recipe, you may find yeast as an ingredient. Some grandmothers have explained that it is yeast that differentiates bugnes from oreillettes. Since oreillettes, unlike bugnes, are flat, they probably shouldn't include yeast. However, just a touch of leavening creates some fun shapes, since the dough will puff up and become more crispy.
You can store these fritters for 3-4 days, wrapped in a cloth to prevent them from drying out.
- Melt the butter.
- Place the flour in a bowl and form a large well in the center. Add all the other ingredients except the icing sugar and the oil. Mix well and knead the dough energetically. The dough should be soft, not sticky, and should come away from the sides of the bowl. If it is too dry, add a spoonful or two of cold water. If it is too sticky, add a little flour.
- Divide the dough into 4 pieces.
- Let the dough rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge between 2 kitchen towels or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap so that the dough doesn't form a crust.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and leave for 10 minutes or so to come to room temperature.
- On a floured surface, thinly roll out each piece of dough with a rolling pin. You could also use a pasta roller to obtain very thin strips.
- Cut into triangles or rectangles with a cookie cutter.
Cooking and finishing
- Heat the oil in a large pan.
- Place the oreillettes in the hot oil and cook on each side until golden. Don't overcrowd the pan so that they'll cook evenly.
- Once they are nicely golden, remove with a skimmer and drain on paper towels.
- Once they are completely cooled and well drained, dust with icing sugar on both sides.
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