How to make Puff Puff
Chewy and pillowy soft, puff puff is a staple Nigerian fried dough. It is actually between a dough and a batter. I am yet to see a child or even an adult for that matter who doesn’t like puff puff or pass up on it. It has all the right elements of fried dough that are so appealing, yeasty, soft, sugary and fried, what’s not to love.
A song we used to sing as kids go Kulikuli makes children ***, puff puff gives them energy. This is because it is cheap and readily available, so no matter what, a child could easily get puff puff on the street or in the school shop. Mothers bought it as a gift for the children when returning from an outing.
Though we ate our puff puff behind my mother’s back, I remember the only one she used to buy for us was at the church bazaar. We so looked forward to those balls of pure delight. They fried them small enough for you to pop into your mouth, airy enough to squash up but with enough dough to fill your mouth and be satisfied. It wasn’t oily it was just perfect. No matter how many she bought, we always wanted more. I fry puff puff so regularly in my home.
Don’t overproof it or it will lose most of its air and when fried will surely soak up oil. There are variations to what flavours to use. This recipe is, as usual, a basic one. You can play with your spicing and add-ons to suit your taste and satisfy your sense of adventure e.g you can add overripe banana, vanilla essence, cocoa for chocolate puff puff, finely chopped onions etc.
To make Nigerian Puff Puff
2 cups flour 2 teaspoons active dry yeast ½ teaspoon nutmeg 2 tablespoons sugar ½ teaspoon salt 1∕8 teaspoon chilli powder 1½ cups warm water Vegetable oil for deep-frying Sugar for sprinkling
Mix flour, yeast, nutmeg, sugar, salt, and chilli powder in a bowl. Add water gradually and beat vigorously till dough has a sticky consistency.
Continue beating for a short while longer till it becomes very elastic. This is important to work up the gluten in the flour for the right texture of puff puff.
Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and put in a warm place away from draught, till dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Put oil in a deep-frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot enough, about 180°C, lightly oil hand and scoop 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter into the oil or use an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon.
Fry until golden brown all over.
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with sugar.
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