A malassada - from the Portuguese "mal-assada" or under-cooked - is one thing Azoreans look for when they go home. Call it fried dough, or a Portuguese doughnut - they are hot and tasty. You can buy them at a fair, and on street corners - fried and coated with granulated sugar. The traditional malasadas are simple - have no fillings, and are often enjoyed this time of year - up to Ash Wednesday.
In the 1870s, Portuguese came from the Azores came to Hawaii - bringing the malassada. Much like Azorean sweetbread - it became a big hit - and part of the local cuisine.
The same happened in Rhode Island and South-Eastern Massachusetts, as well as in the Bay Area of California.
Tim Fonseca, Executive Pastry Chef of the Four Season’s Hotel in Boston, offered this recipe from his grandmother Lucy on http://thepastrychannel.com/malasada/ :
Lucy’s Recipe for a Malassada.
1 1/4 c. warm milk.
1 T. sugar.
2 1/2 t. salt.
1/4 lb. margarine or butter.
1 package dry yeast.
6 large eggs, slightly beaten.
6 c. flour.
3 1/4 c. olive-oil.
3 c. corn-oil.
To start this recipe for Malassadas, scald 1 cup of milk in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar, salt and butter and remove from the heat. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the remaining 1/4 cup of milk. Remove from the heat and sprinkle on the yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes then stir until the yeast is dissolved.
In a large bowl, combine the two milk mixtures with the beaten eggs.
Gradually add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until stiff. Move the dough to a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Form dough into a ball and place in bowl coated with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Turn the dough so that it is lightly coated with the olive oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rise in a warm place until it is double in size, approximately 2 hours.
Meanwhile, in a deep pot, heat the remaining 3 cups of olive oil and the corn oil to 350 degrees. Break off golf ball sized pieces of the dough, stretch to an oval/round shape and fry, in batches, in the hot oil until golden brown, turning once. Drain the Fried Dough on paper towels and sprinkle with granulated sugar before serving.
This recipe makes 3 dozen “malassadas”.