mrs. vogel’s scherben

Michael Pollan made a suggestion that I thought was great: Eat all the fried food you want, as long as you fry it yourself. His hypothesis is that most people wouldn’t want to bother with the hassle more than once in a great while, so fried food wouldn’t be the norm in anyone’s diet.

The members of Tuesdays with Dorie seem to agree, because not many people were excited about the prospect of frying this week. People brought up grease fires, spilled oil, kitchens that smelled for days afterward. Caitlin went so far as to spearhead a bake-the-sherben movement.

Can it be that easy? Can we skip the pot of oil and just throw the sherben in the oven? That would make these cookies downright healthy too, for a dessert at least, since there’s only a pittance of fat in the dough itself.

I tried it. I baked a few sherben dry, a few brushed with oil on one side, and a few brushed with oil on both sides. I fried the remaining dough, and then Dave and I compared.

left to right: oil on two sides, oil on one side, no oil

About the dough baked without any oil, Dave said, “It’s like a breadstick covered in powdered sugar.”  The cookies that had been brushed with oil on one side and on two sides were virtually identical and were just slightly better than the dry dough – a little less chewy and a little more puffy.

But the fried dough, that’s where it’s at. Actually, where it’s at is in my belly, because I couldn’t resist them – light and crisp and coated in powdered sugar. And while there were no fires and no odors, Pollan is right – cleaning up the pot of oil is hassle enough to keep me from frying often. But these cookies were worth it.

Teanna has the recipe posted.

One year ago: Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins, Caramel-Topped Flan


  1. These look delicious, I def. love fried dough in many forms 🙂 The first time I deep fried things I tried to make french fries. I added too many in at once and all of the oil exploded covering everything in my entire kitchen (luckily I was wearing long sleeves at the time!). It took a solid few hrs to fully clean everything up. Ever since then I have been a bit more cautious about deep frying – I find a very large/deep enameled cast-iron pot and a thermometer that can hang on the side that you don’t have to mess with go a long ways. Each time frying gets a little less time consuming and easier, but Pollan is def. right – if you do all your frying yourself you definitely won’t eat fried food nearly as often!

  2. I have to admit to having a deep fryer…which makes regulating the oil temperature and storing the oil a breeze. It doesn’t really cause me to fry more often than I would, however, which is really only occasionally.
    These addictive little pieces of dough were so fun and easy I might have to change that!

  3. What a great policy! Only eating fried food you made yourself would definitley keep the pounds off. These look delicious!

  4. I love fried dough..these look delicious.

  5. That looks fantastic. So yummy.

  6. and…. where’s the recipe???????

  7. bridget says:

    hum! – The policy for members of Tuesdays with Dorie is that we do not all post the recipe. You can find it by clicking on the link in the last sentence of the post.

  8. That Michael Pollon has a great thought there, I must say 🙂 And sometimes, no matter how much you try to health it up, the taste simply doesn’t remain the same!