Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Taming the Ho



Cinnamon Hojaldras Crisps, an interpretation of the light and crispy traditional ethnic treat, Hojaldras Fry Bread. | Recipe interpretation by www.BakingInATornado.com | #reicpe #bread

 I beat the Ho.
Well, I didn't so much beat it, more like kneed it. Well, kneaded it, anyway. One thing was for sure, that Ho wasn't going to defeat me. I decided I was in it to win it this time (also known as redemption, btw) whether it killed me or not. And it could have.

But ding, ding, ding, time for round 2. Not even so much for me, but in the hopes for the forgiveness of not only Mimi, who was kind enough to share her family recipe (which I then completely botched), but to make it up to all Panamanians and Columbians (including my niece, yikes).
I should mention that since I have to look up the spelling every time I use the whole word, and don't know if I'm pronouncing it correctly when I say it, I refer to these treats as "ho," the only part of the word I'm pretty sure I got right.

Before moving on, let's go back to the (painful) beginning. I wrote a post in the end of January called Ho Bread and Me, did you read it? If not, you should, not only for context here, but it's funny (in a laughing at me, not with me kind of way). 

So yeah, I didn't take Mimi's advice and get a bread machine. Truth is, with the Covid numbers climbing like Jack making his way up the beanstalk towards those golden eggs, I don't go out much. Not having that bread machine sentenced me to an excruciating (melodramatic much?) two sessions, 45 minutes each, of kneading. 

Turns out, that was way harder than it needed to be since I, you know, didn't add the water to the dough {{sigh}}.
Taming the Ho | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics


This time was different. I added the water first. I could hear the voices of everyone who ever successfully made Hojaldras asking me if I'd added the water. IRL, both College Boy and Hubs asked. College Boy actually asked twice.

I decided to press my luck and cut the kneading down to 30 minutes each time. I know, you're thinking "why is she screwing with the recipe when she's looking for redemption?" Yeah, well, that's just me. With a heaping helping of self preservation.

But a miracle was coming my way. In the first kneading session, College Boy actually offered to take over for 10 minutes. Since I left the kitchen, I don't actually know that he kneaded the whole time, just that he was working on it when I left and when I came back. What happened in the middle? I can't say, but the fact that he was nowhere to be found when it came time for the second kneading bodes well.
. . . moving on . . .

I went through the process and it came time to fry. I held my breath. Seriously. I took the course, did the homework, this was the final. And wow, I felt the sun shining down on me when they went into the pan and started to puff. Those air pockets formed, just like they were supposed to (can you see them in the picture?). I did it!!

Let me tell you, those air pockets make all the difference, they keep the Hojaldras light and crispy. The angels sing the first time you bite into one (or maybe I was just delusional when it finally came time to eat).
I sprinkled the majority of them with powdered sugar as recommended, but a mixture of cinnamon and sugar is also just as divine. Honey, caramel sauce, maple syrup . . . the options are endless. Next time I swear I'm going to top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and drizzle them with chocolate sauce. 
Wait, did I say next time? 
{{closing my eyes and starting to sway}}, I'm having a vision. I see a bread machine being delivered to our house sometime in the near future. I know Hubs won't be mad, he was elbowing his way towards that plate of Hojaldras with the rest of us. Note to self: along with the bread machine, have a football helmet and pads delivered to the house. They come in my size, don't they?

Cinnamon Hojaldras Crisps, an interpretation of the light and crispy traditional ethnic treat, Hojaldras Fry Bread. | Recipe interpretation by www.BakingInATornado.com | #reicpe #bread
Cinnamon Hojaldras Crisps
I mentioned in the first post that even though I was writing about Hojaldras, I wouldn't be sharing the recipe because it isn't mine to share. Since that time, Mimi did give me permission to share it. The one I'm posting has its base in Mimi's family recipe, but I changed one ingredient, added another, and worked out my own instructions.

I'm going to end this post not with the list of apologies (phew) like last time, but with gratitude to Mimi (and her ancestors). 

OK, to them, but also to my wrists and my shoulders, all screeching, but still functioning.

I really hope you'll try my version of this traditional ethnic treat. These things are to die for. 
Which, I almost did. 
P.S. I had a hard time naming this post. Beating the Ho? Conquering the Ho? Licking the Ho? Somehow none of my options quite sounded right. And probably would have gotten this blog some unfortunate unsavory labels.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Cinnamon Hojaldras Crisps        

                                                Recipe interpretation and directions by ©www.BakingInATornado.com

Printable Recipe

5 1/4 cups flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (not in the original recipe)
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
16 oz bottle Crisco vegetable oil, divided

OPT (the options for toppings are endless): 1/4 cup powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, honey, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, maple syrup 

*Whisk together 5 cups flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon (if using). Add the water, eggs, and 1/2 cup of the oil. Mix well, then flour your kneading surface with the remaining flour and knead for 30 minutes. Form a ball, cover the top with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 2 hours.
*Knead again for 30 minutes. Separate the dough into golf ball sized balls (I ended up with 32 balls) and let them rest for 1/2 hour. 
*One by one, place each dough ball on a piece of parchment paper and, using a rolling pin, roll out very, very thin. 
*Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. It's ready when you add a tiny piece of the dough and it bubbles.
*Using your finger, punch 2 vent holes into each piece of dough. 
*Place 3 into the skillet and cook until the bottoms brown, just a couple of minutes. Carefully turn over and cook until the other side is brown, another couple of minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. 
*Continue with the rest of the dough until all are cooked. You may have to turn the heat down a bit if they get too brown too fast.
*OPT: dust with powdered sugar or any toppings you'd prefer.


  1. Learning from past mistakes. It can be done...deliciously!

    1. I'm so glad I tried again (as is my family, I might add).

  2. Looks delicious! I don't bake sweets often it's not my favorite, but I like to try new things out for hubby who has several sweet teeth!

    1. These really aren't very sweet if you skip the powdered sugar dusting. Try them!

  3. Oh that sounds like something I would really like. I have a bread machine and love it.

    1. If you have a bread machine, these would be so much easier to make. And they are SO good.

  4. Congratulations!!! You did great.

    It always seemed to me that Mamita's insistence on kneading for that long was overdoing it, but you didn't cross Mamita. She was strong enough to do that much kneading and not feel the strain at all. When she was in her mid-eighties, she got mad at the people in her nursing home, picked up her walker and clobbered two orderlies and got out of the building and down the street before they could stop her. She ended up in another home...

    1. I think I both would have loved and never would have crossed Mamita.

  5. They look fantastic! I suspect your kneading burned off enough calories to enjoy several.


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