Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Bunuelos de Cordoba

These delicate fritters from southwestern Spain are popular throughout the Hispanic world in many different forms. In Mexico, they may be made as a flat tortilla or with cheese in the dough and shaped like doughnuts. In Cuba, yucca is added to the dough for a moist-textured bunuelo. Sometimes they are a little more like doughnuts, which the ones in this recipe resemble in shape only. It wouldn't be uncommon to fry these in a light-flavored olive oil in Spain, but vegetable oil will do just as well. Like many European fried pastries, these have no sugar in the dough, but rely for sweetness on the sugar in which they are rolled after frying.

About forty eight 2-inch round fritters

3 large eggs
1/4 cup light or pure (not extra-virgin) olive oil, preferably Spanish
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 quarts vegetable or mild olive oil for frying
1 1/2 cups sugar for finishing

Two jelly roll pans lined with parchment paper for holding the bunuelos before frying, and two more lined with paper towels for draining them

  1. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk in the oil and salt. Use a large rubber spatula to stir in the flour to make a soft dough.
  2. Scrape the dough from the bowl to a floured work surface and fold the dough over on itself, using a bench scraper to flip it, to make the dough smoother and somewhat elastic. Form the dough into a ball, flour the outside, and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour, or as long as overnight.
  3. When you are ready to fry the bunuelos, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece to a cylinder 12 inches long. Cut each cylinder into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough under the palms of your hand to a 3-inch length. Pass a rolling pin over the dough to flatten and lengthen it slightly. Moisten one end of the dough and join it to the other, pressing to adhere the two pieces of dough together, to make a circle. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, arranging them on one of the prepared pans, not touching each other.
  4. To fry the bunuelos, heat the oil to 350 degrees in a large Dutch oven. Fry 5 or 6 bunuelos at a time, turning them over once they have turned a deep golden color on the bottom. Remove and place on one of the paper towel covered pans to drain. Repeat with the remaining bunuelos.
  5. After all the bunuelos have been fried, put the sugar in a shallow bowl and dip both sides of the bunuelos in it.