Hojaldres are a type of bread from Panama. The dough is made from basic ingredients like wheat flour, sugar, salt, oil and water. It’s then portioned out into small pieces, shaped into discs and fried.
Though hojaldres are a bread, they are not made with yeast. The leavening agent used is baking powder but the bread is not very airy. Its texture is similar to a flat bread, such as pita. Hojaldres do not have a particularly strong flavor on their own. The mild flavor makes is suitable for sweet and savory toppings and fillings.
There may be some confusion about what exactly Hojaldres are. The word Hojaldras translates to puff pastry. Depending on the Spanish speaking country and region, hojaldres are in indeed puff pastries. In Panama, hojaldres are not a buttery, flaky multilayered puff pastry, but rather a fry bread. Colombian hojaldres are a deep-fried pastry which resemble thick chips. In Mexico, hojaldres is a bit more general and it can be a filled pastry, puff pastry or a bread.
There are several Hojaldres variations. Some omit the sugar entirely, giving it a neutral flavor. Others are made a little sweeter. Some recipes include eggs which makes the hojaldras fluffy. Hojaldres are typically eaten for breakfast and as street food. Popular toppings for Panamanian hojaldres are stewed sausage, cheese and fried eggs.
Origin and Significance
Panamanian cuisine is diverse compared to other Central and South American countries due to many foreign influences. At its roots, Panamanian cuisine is Native Indian which was later influenced by Spanish settlers, African slaves, Chinese laborers, Caribbean and American cuisines. This may be why the origin of Hojaldres are unknown. In Panama, hojaldres are an essential part of a typical Panamanian breakfast.
Panamanian Hojaldres Recipe
- Flour – 2 cups
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Baking powder – 1 tbsp
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Water – ½ cup
- In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
- Make a well in the center then add the oil and a little water.
- Mix until dough begins to form. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, if it is dry, add more water.
- Knead the dough well until it is fairly smooth.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it rest for a couple hours. You can also leave it refrigerated overnight.
- Cut the dough into equal pieces and roll into small balls.
- When you are ready to make the hojaldres, heat a pan or skillet with the appropriate amount of oil for frying over medium-high heat.
- Take a ball of dough and stretch it by hand until it is roughly 6 inches in diameter.
- Drop the stretched dough into the hot oil and fry until it is golden brown, turning once. The dough will puff up and parts of the hojaldre will be crispy and parts will be bready.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1318mgCarbohydrates: 104gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 13g