Please commit the following to memory: One cup of boiling water spiked with two tablespoons of sugar and a drizzle of vegetable oil. One cup of sifted all-purpose flour spiked with a pinch of salt. Pour the flour into the water, stirring vigorously for a moment until combined. Place the entire hot, gummy mass in a plastic bag and cut a half-inch hole in one of the corners. Squeeze the bag to extrude portions of dough roughly the size of an adult human finger. Fry these pieces of dough until browned on all sides, and then dip in a mixture containing two parts sugar and one part high-quality ground cinnamon. Serve with… (we’ll get to that)
Now that we have the formalities out of the way…
My rational, waking self is quite convinced that no additional commentary is necessary. There is no elaborate back story to how I came upon this recipe. No inspiring moral lesson to be gleaned from a weekend morning prostrate on my couch dribbling coffee down my cheek while my shirt is covered in sugary crumbs.
But the contrarian in me is obligated to point out many churro recipes contain butter.I don’t believe it’s necessary. The dough already contains a little bit of fat, the frying process will add a little bit more, and the fact that the flour has gelatinized from the hot water means that the dough will already be chewy. As for flavor? Assume you will be dipping these into something intense. My advice? Skip the butter.
The nerdy side of me would also like me to mention that many recipes suggest you extrude the churros through a pastry bag equipped with a star tip. The star tip will create the signature dimpling around the edge of the pastry, which increases the surface to volume ratio and therefore creates a crispier texture – potentially important with a dough that might turn gummy. If you choose this step, make sure to lube up the star tip with a bit of oil. And bless you for having high standards.
The hipster in me would say nothing. But he would sneer at the fact that I am not serving these with cajeta, a Mexican goat-milk caramel renowned for its smokey aftertaste and nuanced sweetness.
But if I cannot listen to myself, I can at least listen to David Lebovitz. His recipe for Dulce de Leche is absurdly easy, especially given how tasty the final product is. I should point out that his “add a few flakes of sea salt.” is not a suggestion (the stuff really does need it). You can serve with caramel or hot fudge if need be, but, if it really matters (and it does), make Dulce de Leche. You’ll thank us.
By the way, like the logo? Lynne’ designed it.