I never made the connection until recently that elephant ears and the fried dough I grew up with were one in the same. We always used pizza dough for our “Pizza Fritte” what we grew up knowing as fried dough. The ingredients for the elephant ears are almost the same except that the elephant ears use a Crisco type shortening and the pizza dough uses oil. I always find it interesting that so many cultures have similar versions of the same recipe. Indian fry bread and Sopapillas are another example of culturally popular fried dough recipes with very subtle changes to their ingredients and preparation. I guess one thing we can be certain of that no matter what it’s called or what part of the world it’s from people are definitely united in their love of fried dough.
Elephant Ears (not real elephant ears, Horton)!
1 1/2 cups milk
Heat but do not boil milk, sugar, salt and shortening until shortening is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. Stir in flour 2 cups at a time, beating until smooth after reach addition.
Put into greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth, let rise until double. Dust hands with flour. Pinch off pieces of dough size of golf ball. Stretch into 6-8 inch circle. Drop into hot oil in pan large enough to fry 6-8 pieces. Fry until pieces rise, turn with tongs and fry until light brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with desired topping.