It’s bread. It’s fried. Fried Bread.

Hojalda or hojaldre, its a fried bread lovers dream

Hojalda or hojaldre, it's a fried bread lovers' dream

Admit it. We all have a love affair with fried dough. Doughnuts, beignets, churros, funnel cakes, the little Chinese ones (I don’t know the name). I venture to say that every country likely has a version of this marvel. It makes sense, it is mmmm, good! 

Here I share Panama’s version of this uber important discovery. Popularly known as hojaldres or hojaldas, you can’t have  a decent breakfast without one. One thing I find interesting about them, is that everyone in my little country seems to have a slightly different recipe for it. Some people add eggs, other use oil, no sugar, it goes on. This is how I’ve made them for decades. 

3 cps flour
2 tsp salt
4-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/3 cp water
Approximately 1 cp flour for kneading
Plenty of oil for deep frying 

Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar before incorporating the butter. You’ll want the flour mixture to look like wet sand. Gradually add water until you end up with very wet dough. I like making this by hand, it allows me to be aware of the texture and consistency of the dough; plus its like playing with your food. I’ve also used my mixer to do it and it worked just as well. 


Begin to add the additional flour and knead it in. You want the dough to feel soft, but not sticky. Turn it out onto your counter-top and knead it for about 5 minutes. 


Separate it into balls, whirl a bit of oil on the bottom of a mixing bowl before dumping the balls of dough in. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, the more they rest the more time it’ll have to bloom. 



Frying the hojalda: you can roll them out with a rolling pin and stretch them out like pizza dough just before dropping them in preheated oil. They fry VERY quickly, about 2 minutes per side, so don’t wonder off too far. 

They are perfect with anything you’d eat bread with. The hubby enjoyed sprinkling them with powdered sugar, I’m still recovering from this crime.

Comments ( 5 )

  1. ReplyAlmet Cousins

    Hey... about hojaldra. I went to "el trapiche" last sunday and noticed they had "hojaldra sandwich". You need to make this. Is basically 2 hojaldras filled between them with chicharron, lomo, chicken or steak.

  2. ReplyMarva Saunders

    I just returned yesterday from Panama. My first time was in 1984. Wow! what a difference. Well I had hojaldra for the first time. It is great. I visited your mom, whom I met for the first time. What a wonderful and talented lady. She gave me a lesson on how to make fondant. It was for free and she did it deep down from the heart. I am amazed at the wonderful and out of this world cakes that she designs and makes. She told me about your website and assured me that I will find the recipe for hojaldra. I will be making some for breakfast tomorrow morning. Do you also have the recipe for "ceveche" I am not sure the spelling is correct but it is shrimp cooked/soaked in a brine.

    • Replychefyourself

      Marva, sorry it took me this long to reply--I've been out of town. I'm so excited you visited with my mom! She's an amazing teacher, I think it is because she loves what she does and loves to share. I don't have a recipe for ceviche here, but will look for one and send it your way. How was my homeland?

  3. ReplyWenie

    I lived in Panama for a year and the fried bread is one of my favorites with sausage sold at Shell Gas Station in Eldorado. Your recipe looks great and looking forward to making it. How many balls did you make from the recipe and how wide did you stretch the dough. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.

    • Replychefyourself

      I tried replying yesterday, but somehow the response didn't post. Sorry. I think I end up with about 10 'bolitas' of dough, they're about the size of a golfball. When I stretch them, I like to roll them first, to about 4-inches in diameter and then I pull them like you would pizza dough. This way, you end up with a puffy hojalda, with thick edges. Yum!

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