County Fair Fried Dough

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Hands-on time:
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Yield: 8 servings

Recipe photo

So, you think you need a deep fryer and some kind of special county fair chef expertise to make fried dough? Think again! This easy version uses a simple baking powder dough, and fries in just 1/4" of vegetable oil — no messy deep frying necessary.

County Fair Fried Dough

star rating (39) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Total time:
Yield: 8 servings
Published: 05/09/2012


  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, in 1/2" cubes
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • *See "tips," below, to make this recipe using King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour.

Tips from our bakers

  • Peanut oil is our favorite deep-frying oil; it has a higher smoke point, and neutral flavor.
  • Want to make fried dough with King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour? Omit the recipe's baking powder and salt; and decrease the water to 1/2 to 2/3 cup, enough to make a soft (but not sticky) dough.


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1) Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2) Work in the cold butter, using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a mixer.

3) Stir in the warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

4) Divide the dough into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin 5" round, about 3/8" thick.

5) Heat about 3/8" vegetable oil to 375°F in an electric frying pan, or in a pan over a burner. If you're using a 10" diameter pan, this is 2 cups of vegetable oil. If you're not using an electric frying pan, use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil; or guesstimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.

6) Pick up one dough disk, and carefully lower it into the pan. Let it cook for 60 seconds (it'll puff up on top and become light brown on the bottom), then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 60 seconds. You don't want to cook these too dark; they'll become overly crisp.

7) Remove from the oil and set on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you make the remaining fried doughs.

8) Serve warm, with maple syrup or cider syrup; confectioners' sugar, or cinnamon sugar; or the topping of your choice — some folks enjoy a savory version, with marinara sauce and cheese.

Yield: 8 servings.


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  • star rating 03/31/2015
  • lali g from marietta, oh
  • So easy to make. Always exactly what i want, to feel like im eating at a fair. Spot on perfect 10!!!
  • star rating 03/29/2015
  • Gina from Orlando, FL
  • I made this exactly according to the recipe, using my Kitchenaid mixer and mixing with the scraper attachment. I let it rest, then used a dough scraper to cut it into 8ths. I patted each piece out and then filled half with grated apple. Cooked at exactly 375 F and then tossed in cinnamon sugar. These were amazingly delicious and easy.
  • star rating 02/28/2015
  • Ani from Rock Hill, SC
  • I made the dough exactly as specified but divided it into tiny portions and wrapped them around some bite-sized sauteed chicken. I deep fried the dough balls for two minutes each then served them with a side of white country gravy. Did very well.
  • star rating 02/17/2015
  • Phyllis from Lansdale, PA
  • I am not a very good baker, however even I had great success with this recipe. A few small changes, used salted butter because that's what I had, added 1/2 tsp of sugar and made smaller dough pieces.
  • star rating 01/02/2015
  • SuePerior from KAF Community
  • So easy to make and a real fun treat that my whole family likes. I always weigh everything and KAF provides those weights that a lot of recipe blogs never do. For a change I mix brown sugar with cinnamon to taste and shake these in that mix. They come out tasting wonderful!
  • star rating 11/22/2014
  • wildekatza from KAF Community
  • I made this on a school morning for a fried donut type breakfast. The kids deemed it as worth a repeat but not on a school morning (powdered sugar on school clothes!) , so I made it again this morning ( Saturday) and it was well received!! ;) I think I personally liked it better this time around because I used the suggested 1 tablespoon of sugar in the dough. Either way, I don't see how some reviews could see it as a tasteless bread unless they were missing an ingredient or not tossing it in powdered sugar. We did ours in the sugar a d then in king Arthur cinnamon sugar and then a few in both at the same time. Dough fried up crisp on the outside with a fluffy interior. Very tasty and we will do these often on cold mornings on the WEEKENDS.
  • star rating 09/28/2014
  • Oltean from Exeter, NH
  • Edible, but far from a good, needs yeast instead of baking powder. First and last time to try in this version.
    I'm sorry to hear that this recipe didn't work out for you. A yeast based version may work better for your tastes! Jon@KAF
  • star rating 09/12/2014
  • Ari from Lawton, Ok
  • This was a great recipe. Top with a bit of re-fried beans, some cheese, a slice of tomato, chopped lettuce a dash of sour cream for an easy dinner. I noticed a few people thought there was too much baking soda. The recipe calls for baking powder, which might be what the issue was.
  • star rating 07/26/2014
  • Drew from Vermont
  • Nothing at all like the real thing.
    We're sorry this recipe did not meet your expectations, but appreciate your feedback. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 07/10/2014
  • piniki from Boston
  • I tried the recipe, seems that 2 teaspoons of baking soda is too much..i had to throw the rest of the .dough, sorry!
    Sorry to hear that this recipe did not work out for you. Two teaspoons seemed to work well for our Test Kitchen, but feel free to use less. Also, please feel free to contact our Baker's Hotline so that we can troubleshoot. Jon@KAF 855 371 2253
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