Before you think I went out and hunted a bunch of beavers, cut off their tails and then fried them up, let me explain:
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- the nation's capitol. Isn't it purdy?
In Ottawa and other select Canadian cities (and the Canadian Pavilion at Disney World), there are restaurants called Beavertails that only sell beaver tails--a fried dough shaped like a beaver tail and then coated in cinnamon and sugar or other decadently sweet things. I only ever ate them once or maybe twice a year if I was lucky. It is a definite treat and a real taste of home. I hear they are similar to elephant ears, but I've never had one or seen one being sold here in the states.
Now, let me put some things in perspective for you: I went away to school in 2004 to Idaho where I met my husband. That's SIX years, people! We just recently moved to Oregon.
I've been away from home for a while. Of course we visit from time to time, but there's nothing like food to bring you back to the comfort of home. Beaver tails are one of those foods for me. Warm, comforting and reminds me of home. I remember going skating on the canal with my family and getting hot chocolate and beaver tails. By the way, the canal is the longest outdoor skating rink in the world, pictured below.
So for whatever reason, I was in the reminiscing mood and decided to make some beaver tails today. They are just so tasty and satisfying to eat. I've never met anyone who didn't like a fried piece of dough. Its just so good. There are very few recipes for beaver tails online and the ones I did find were for a huge crowd so I just made up my own recipe that only makes 8. You can store the dough you don't use in the fridge and fry them up another day. So, lets get frying! Its worth the wait!
1/4 cup hot tap water
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 package quick rise yeast (.25 oz.)
1 teaspoon salt
2-2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
any light colored oil for frying (such as canola, vegetable or peanut oil)
1. In large bowl pour in hot water and 1 teaspoon of the measured sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Set aside to proof, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in microwave safe bowl, heat milk, butter and remaining sugar to melt butter and dissolve sugar. Stir to cool--you want it to be a little warmer than room temperature, but not scalding to kill the yeast.
3. Pour butter liquid into yeast mixture and stir. Whisk in egg and salt. Stir in flour using 1/2 cup increments until it forms a dough. Knead dough 2-3 minutes until a slightly sticky dough has formed, adding more flour when necessary.
4. Place dough into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in a draft free, warm spot in your kitchen for an hour or so to let dough rise. Punch dough down and cut into 8 equal pieces.
5. Preheat oil in fryer or deep skillet to 350 degrees, or medium heat on the stove top. Roll dough out to be long ovals that are 1/4-1/8 inch thick...or should I say thin. And, they don't have to be perfect looking either. Mine weren't:
Carefully place in hot oil and fry 20-30 seconds per side. (See recipe tips at bottom)
6. Once beaver tail has finished cooking remove from oil and hold the beaver tail over the pan to let the excess oil drip off of it. Then immediately coat in cinnamon sugar--a classic combination for a beaver tail. You could also place on paper towels and then spread on nutella as well. Another favorite way to eat a beaver tail is coating it in sugar and then adding a little lemon juice. So tasty! Be sure to serve these warm and fresh!
Your oil should be hot enough to get a medium to lightly dark brown color on them within 30 seconds. The dough will puff up, so you may want to cut a slit in the middle to cook the dough evenly. You could also press the middle down into the oil using tongs.