Malasada (Fried Dough Recipe)

What a great recipe! A Malasada (or Malassada or Malasedes or Portuguese Filhos) is a fried Portuguese confection.

Essentially a Malasada, in American speak, is a donut. This recipe for Malasada was first created by the inhabitants of São Miguel Island, part of the Azores. A Malasada looks like an egg-sized fried dough ball that’s coated with granulated sugar.

In the United States, Malasada is cooked in many Portuguese or Portuguese descendant homes on Fat Tuesday. It is a tradition where the older children take the warm Malasada / fried donuts and roll them in the sugar. And the eldest woman, mother or grandmother, cook them. Many people prefer to eat the fried dough hot. Malasada can be reheated in the microwave. But then they will have absorbed the sugar, providing a slightly different flavor and texture.

Here Tim Fonseca, Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Season’s Hotel in Boston, gives us an up close and personal look at the real deal; his grandmother Lucy’s recipe for Malasada. This same recipe for Malasada / fried donuts is also published in the Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer article.

Lucy’s Recipe for Fried Dough (Malasada).

  • 1 1/4 c. warm milk.
  • 1 T. sugar.
  • 2 1/2 t. salt.
  • 1/4 lb. margarine or butter.
  • 1 package dry yeast.
  • 6 large eggs, slightly beaten.
  • 6 c. flour.
  • 3 1/4 c. olive-oil.
  • 3 c. corn-oil.
  • Granulated sugar.

To start this recipe for Malasada / fried donuts, scald 1 cup of milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar, salt and butter and remove from the heat. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Remove from the heat and sprinkle on the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes then stir until the yeast is dissolved.

In a large bowl, combine the two milk mixtures with the beaten eggs.

Gradually add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until stiff. Move the dough to a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in bowl coated with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Turn the dough so that it is lightly coated with the olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it is double in size, approximately 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a deep pot, heat the remaining 3 cups of olive oil and the corn oil to 350 degrees. Break off golf ball sized pieces of the dough, stretch to an oval/round shape and fry, in batches, in the hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain the Fried Dough on paper towels and sprinkle with granulated sugar before serving.

This recipe for Malasada / Fried Dough makes 3 dozen “donuts”.
Malasada (Fried Dough Recipe)