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Churros


ExtraMSG
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I'm trying to recreate the Mexican street churros I've had in some Mexican cities. Unlike the kind you get in most panaderias or in a churreria like El Moro in Mexico City, the churros from these street vendors are shorter and fatter and lighter.

Okay, I've tried three recipes now:

1) Bayless's in One Plate at a Time, essentially water, sugar, salt brought to a boil and about an equal amount of flour to water stirred in thoroughly.

2) Ortiz's recipe in Mexican Cooking, essentially water, sugar, salt brought to a boil and about 1.5 times the amount of flour added to water and then 1 egg to every cup of water.

3) My adjustments on Ortiz's recipe, with slightly less flour than water and two eggs instead of one per cup of water.

The picture in the Bayless book looks exactly like what I wanted. But they turned out the most bready of all the recipes. The egg seemed to improve the recipe, but Ortiz's was too dry, imo. So I made my adjustments which seemed to help a bit. Anyone have a good recipe? Poore's book has a recipe quite similar to Ortiz's, but with a better description and equal parts flour and water.

One weird thing is how much mixing is necessary. Seems like you wouldn't want to build the gluten with all that mixing.

Also, if anyone knows where to buy a professional churrera, I would be very interested.

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Mr Churros has the commercial machines.

Cuban Food Market and Vermont Country Store have the home model, which I've seen on the Spanish websites. This has several extruders and one looks like it would make the fat kind of churro.

I have been surfing around and it seems there are a lot of variations of the recipe, and each latin country has a slightly different version. A lot of home recipes add milk and eggs. Good luck on this delicious pursuit--my mouth is watering just thinking about churros. If you need help translating from Spanish, just holler.

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Thanks, achevres. I'd seen the home versions (on those sites, too), but the pro version is a real find. Lots of cookie extruders can probably do a good job too for the home cook. Here's who I'd like to be:

churritos.jpg

I've already got the belly, just need a tan and a mustache. I did find this list of recipes last night.

http://www.lachurreria.com/formulas/formula8.asp

Edited by ExtraMSG (log)
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I have been surfing around and it seems there are a lot of variations of the recipe, and each latin country has a slightly different version.

Yes, and my personal favorite is the variety you get in Spain, traditionally eaten after sticking it into a cup of thick hot chocolate, around five or six in the morning following a fabulous night out on the town.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jaymes, have you been to Churreria los Moros in Mexico City? They have the narrower, long churros and several varieties of chocolate to choose from. I liked to both dip and dump the leftover fallen sugar into my chocolate.

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Jaymes, have you been to Churreria los Moros in Mexico City?

No. Que lastima.

But I do plan to spend some extensive time in Mexico soon. I'll have to put it on my list.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I wish I could help, I really love churros also! Any chance you'll keep us updated on which recipe is the ulimate and any tips you learn along the way......I'd be thrilled if I could make these for my Mexican freinds at work-I know they'd go crazy if I made them some.

Please and Thank-you!

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I use the Bayless recipe at least twice a month and they usually come out great, a little crunchy on the outside and soft/fluffy on the inside. We have them for breakfast dipped in a mug of Mexican hot chocolate.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I've been making churros for years for my daughter's Cinco de Mayo spanish class parties. My recipe comes from Betty Crocker's International Cookbook (1980) and I have no idea whether these are authentic (before they are fried they remind me of cream puff batter), but they fit your bill for being very light and airy. Anyway... we love 'em.

Churros

Vegetable Oil

1 cup water

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Heat oil ( 1 and 1/2 inches in large pan) to 360 degrees.

2. Bring water, butter and salt to a rolling boil in 3-quart saucepan; stir in flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute; remove from heat. Beat in eggs all at once; continue beating until smooth.

3. Spoon mixture into decorator's tube with large star tip. Squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into hot oil. Fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes.

4. Drain on paper towels. Mix sugar and cinnamon; roll churros in sugar mixture. Optional: Re-roll again after a couple minutes.

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TrishCT, that's very similar to a couple recipes I found online and very close to the one I made with modifications. It produces a much lighter churro than most. There are even some recipes that include baking powder. I'll be giving more recipes a try either tonight or tomorrow night.

FoodMan, the Bayless recipe (at least the one from One Plate at a Time) is fine, but it's a different style of churro than I'm looking for. I like those churros, too, but they're more bready like the ones you most commonly find in the US. They're also similar to the ones you find at El Moro in Mexico City. But occasionally on the streets you'll find these very light and airy versions that are my personal favorites. I imagine they're less traditional, but I really like them, especially when fresh.

Anyone know the reason why all churro recipes involve adding flour to boiling water? Is it good to develop some gluten in churros, because you're always supposed to beat the hell out of the doughs to get them to come together and be smooth.

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I've been making churros for years for my daughter's Cinco de Mayo spanish class parties.

"...for years"?

Sounds like your daughter is either a teacher of Spanish, or is having a very hard time passing the class.

Assuming it's the former... My daughter teaches Spanish, too. Simpatica otra vez, amiga!

:rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I've been making churros for years for my daughter's Cinco de Mayo spanish class parties.

"...for years"?

Sounds like your daughter is either a teacher of Spanish, or is having a very hard time passing the class.

Assuming it's the former... My daughter teaches Spanish, too. Simpatica otra vez, amiga!

:rolleyes:

Ha! My daughter is a sophomore in high school and she's been taking Spanish since 6th grade. We make churros for Cinco de Mayo...Spanish Night... Around The World Day....whatever pops up! She thinks I don't understand spanish...but I think I have a clue as to what "Mi madre esta' loca" means.

Edited to add: If you don't have a pastry bag and tip (or if you misplace it...) a ziplock bag, cut in one corner works well.

Edited by TrishCT (log)
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It does appear that the churro dough needs to develop gluten as all the recipes instruct vigorous stirring and a stiff dough. A lot of the home recipes are similiar to a pate choux or add milk, and this only makes me think that it may not be that easy for the home cook to make great churros just from water, flour and salt.

Since there are only 3 ingredients, I wondered about the type of flour used in Spain. From La Churreria.com: "La harina de trigo tiene que ser de una extracción al 75% aproximadamente, un tanto por ciento menor, produciría que la masa quede poco densa. La fuerza de la harina es de lo mas importante. "

They are recommending flour with at least 75% extraction and that it should be "strong" flour. And that the dough shoud be dense or stiff.

I looked up flour extraction on Google and baking911 was the most helpful and comprehensive. Extraction refers to the percent of the wheat that can be milled into flour. American all-purpose flour is about 75%, so that part is OK.

Strong strong flour is bread flour (protein 11-12%)

You may want to try bread flour.

Also, this site specifies sea salt and mild low-acid olive oil for frying. If the olive oil is strong they suggest mixing in sunflower seed oil. I know these two oils are produced in Spain and that olive oil is the traditional frying oil in Spain. But I'm sure they are not frying in olive oil in Mexico.

Keep us posted!

Edited by achevres (log)
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Here's a link to a recipe with different ingredients than those mentiioned so far.

Seems like the 'original' recipes would not have such 'rich' ingredients but maybe this would approach the end result you are looking for. The dough has egg yolks, baking powder and brown sugar in it! As a leavening agent, perhaps baking powder would yield the lighter, airier texture you are seeking...

from author jane milton

Looking forward to hear further of your experiments...

The closest things to churros that I've made are New Mexican sopapillas but freshly made churros at home with good hot chocolate sound divine. Unfortunately I've only had stale, old churros :sad: so making them at home may be the quickest way to obtain a great churro experience...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I actually use ziplocks 90% of the time when I'm piping stuff. However, the Bayless recipe I first used was so stiff that I broke the bag very quickly and then I set about extruding the dough by pushing it with my hands through the tip, etc. The other recipes with the eggs and lighter results were much easier to pipe. Next try I'll take some pictures so you guys can compare. Frick. I wish I lived in San Diego so I could just go to Tijuana and ask that broad...shouldered fella above what he uses. Wouldn't surprise me if it's a mix like you find all over the internet. Whatever it is, it works. Essentially we're talking about the difference between heavier, traditionaly caky doughnuts and Krispy Kreme. What's interesting, though, is I actually prefer traditional doughnuts to Krispy Kreme, but on churros I prefer these lighter versions. (What's sad, maybe, is I also like the cajeta filled traditional churros more than plain.) All of them are better hot out of the oil, though, which is why I don't mind hitting KK if they're fresh.

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Okay, I've got two recipes now that work excellent, exactly what I wanted.

First, I started with the Betty Crocker recipe with a 1:1 ratio of flour to water, 1/2 C butter!, and 3 eggs. (See recipe above.) I very much liked the texture of these. However, they're too eggy. You can really taste it. Also, I thought that some sugar and salt in the dough would help.

I decided to combine this recipe with the recipe I was happiest with the other day (3:4 flour to water, 2 eggs, salt, sugar). I did a 1:1 ratio of flour to water, butter, salt, sugar, and 2 eggs. This was quite nice, too, and rectified the overly egginess.

I decided to try one more thing for the hell of it. I decided to add a little cream to this recipe to thin it out slightly and see what would happen. This turned out great, too. Still crispy on the outside, but ... creamier ... on the inside. More moist. Either of these last two are great, imo, exactly what I wanted, light and crispy, non-bready churros.

I added the recipe to the RecipeGullet:

http://recipes.egullet.com/recipes/r1002.html

Try it out and if you make any modifications, post them.

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Hey, MSG, where's mine? I'm starvin'! I'm not that far away. Is that what I smell out the back door of the warehouse? (When the wind turns a certain way, it smells like a bakery outside. I can't figure out where it comes from.) They sound good! :biggrin:

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Well, duckduck, I do need to make some more Mexican antojitos for the upcoming class, so maybe it's time to get-together again. Churros for everyone.

One of the things I've been thinking about doing are churros and cachapas at the Portland Farmer's Market, much like chefrodrigo is going to be doing BBQ. They're two of my favorite Latin American items. I "perfected" cachapas last summer and now I have the churros. It's only like $35 to get a booth at the market, so if I just broke even, I'd be happy.

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That would be cool. Just what I need...one more reason to be at the farmer's market. Yum! Glad to see you pop into my regular little corner here. You know I'll show if you cook for the gang some more! Last time was great! One of these times I should get to bring dessert though. And I finally found the smell. I believe it's the Portland French Bakery on 68th and Marine Drive.

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Uploaded some pics:

i5831.jpg

When you stir in the eggs, it will become clumpy. You need to keep stirring until it turns out like the next pic.

i5832.jpg

i5829.jpg

More traditonal churros sink, but these lighter, crispier versions float immediately.

i5833.jpg

There are lots of star tips out there. This is the one that worked best for me.

i5834.jpg

A picture of churros, both insides and out, without the optional cream and without the cinnamon sugar coating.

i5835.jpg

These have the optional cream. They're obviously more browned on the outside, but hopefully you can see they're also more moist on the inside.

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