Hawaiian Favorites: Malasadas, the Portuguese Doughnut Recipe
What is a Malasada?
To put it simply, malasadas are the most incredible, sweet, buttery, crunchy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, melt in your mouth Portuguese doughnut you will ever taste!
Malasadas, traditionally spelled malassadas, originated on the small island of Sao Miguel, which is found in the Azore Islands. This collection of islands are composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean.
This unique pastry has been loved by many people for so many years.
A favorite in Hawaii, you will find (without any trouble at all) many establishments who make these little pastry gems. At local fairs and carnivals, there will always be a booth selling malasadas. Because of it's popularity, people will wait in line for hours just to get their brown paper bag of warm malasadas.
In 1952, the grandson of a Portuguese immigrant opened a small quaint place called Leonard's Bakery and sold the first commercially produced malasadas. Sixty years later, Leonard's is still going strong while keeping the tradition of the malasada alive.
How to Make Mouth Watering Malasadas!
Anyone can make malasadas. They are a very simple pastry to make. Be sure to have all your ingredients and supplies handy. Once you start making malasadas, you will see just how easy they are, but your family and friends will think you had slaved in the kitchen for hours!
Preparation and Cook Time
Ingredients *(double your ingredients to make a bigger batch)
- 1 package yeast
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water, (approximately 110 degrees)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 6 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 6 cups all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup half-n-half
- coatings granulated sugar -OR-, (mixture of: sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg)
- coconut or avocado oil, be sure to use an oil for high heat
Equipment Needed for Making Malasadas
- Deep fryer or a large, deep pot, or WOK
- Electric mixer, with a dough mixing tool
- Rolling pin
- Slotted spoon
- Sharp knife
- Plastic wrap
- 1 Small mixing bowl
- 2 larger mixing bowls (1 that is lightly coated in oil)
- An open, flat surface for rolling the dough in flour
Step by Step Instructions
- In the small mixing bowl, combine yeast and warm water together, stir and set aside. In the large bowl (without oil coating), beat 6 eggs on medium-fast speed with electric mixer until they are light and fluffy. (Set beaten eggs aside while you replace your beaters with dough hook on your mixer) Place eggs back onto mixer and add the following: yeast mixture, ¼ cup melted butter, ¾ cup of sugar, 1-1/2 cups of whole milk, ½ cup of half-n-half, and salt.
- On slow-medium speed, begin mixing all the ingredients together. Slowly add the flour (1 cup at a time) until the dough begins to softly form into a large ball. Once the dough ball is formed, place it in the large bowl that is coated with oil. Tightly cover the bowl with saran (plastic) wrap. Place a kitchen towel on top for added warmth if you would need to speed up the “rising” process a bit. The dough needs to double in size and shape. This will take approximately 1-1/2 hours to reach the correct size. *(Rising process depends on how warm the area is where you place your bowl. Find a warm spot and remember to cover the bowl with a kitchen towel to help the dough rise faster)
- Once the dough rises completely, begin heating the oil in the pot, wok, or deep fryer until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. *Tip: Using a deep fryer is more convenient as it allows you to see the temperature of the oil and allows you to make sure the oil stays at the temperature while cooking the malasadas. It is also a little safer as they have baskets that can be lowered into the fryer which helps eliminate the risk of burns from oil splattering. I have always used a wok when frying my malasadas and have had no issues, however, you always want to wear an apron while deep frying anything, whether it is in a deep fryer, pot or wok).
- Spread flour on a flat even surface to make rolling the dough out easier. Roll the dough out to a thickness of a ¼ inch. Using a sharp knife, cut your dough into 1 inch sized squares. Drop the pieces of dough squares into the heated oil. Stir often to avoid them becoming stuck to each other or getting uneven spots of brown. Fry the squares 2-4 minutes depending on your preference of browning.
- If you are not using a deep fryer, remove the malasadas with a slotted spoon to help the excess oil drain away as you place them on a bed of 2-5 paper towels. Before the malasadas cool, roll them in the remaining white sugar (or sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg mix). Serve warm. *Tip (I also place 2 cups of sugar in a brown paper bag and place the warm malasadas in the bag to coat them. Easier and less messy!)
A Few Helpful Tips On Making the Perfect Masada
1. Be sure to maintain your oil for frying your malasadas at 350 degrees.
2. Be sure to mix your dough thoroughly until the consistency is smooth and without any lumps.
3. Three minutes is the most common time for deep frying your malasadas. The best indication is that a nice golden brown shade will develop on the outside which will indicate they are done. However, some people prefer their malasadas lighter (2- 2 ½ minutes) and others prefer a darker brown (4 minutes)
4. Be sure to role or coat your malasadas immediately after a quick draining on the paper towels.
5. Malasadas are the best when eaten while still warm, however, they can be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds (on High).
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Liz Rayen