Allow me to share with you a terrible, wonderful recipe. It comes all the way from the magical island of Newfoundland.
The recipe is as follows:
1 – Make bread dough
2 – Instead of allowing it to fulfill its life purpose by baking/rising in the oven, instead beat the shit out of it. Then fry it in pork fat.
3 – Because life is too short, top this delicious monstrosity with products that are either 80% fat, or sugar or both. Molasses is classic. Butter is also an option.
. . .yep, that’s about it.
I decided to share this newfie culinary secret with the crew at Sweers the other day. Because I’d never actually made toutons before (though I’ve nommed the fuck out of many in my day), I decided to have a quick look at recipes and the like online. If you’re looking for a more in-depth recipe than the one I’ve shared above, you can check out this one off a blog called Missing the Rock, step 8 of which is this:
“8) Shape into a ball and place this in a greased bowl, turning the ball to grease the top. Now my Grandma Browne used to make a sign of the cross over the dough with her wedding ring, as it had been blessed. You don’t have to do that part, but her bread always came out perfect.”
Not hard to tell Newfoundland has a heavy Irish Catholic population.
We did ours Sweers batch of toutons with our usual bread recipe and they came out delightful. I can’t be entirely certain, but I think it may have been this ingredient that made the awesome:
I also greatly enjoyed what this very impartial Wikipedia contributor had to say about the dish:
“A touton is a piece of fried bread dough. While that may not seem particularly appealing, it is an age old culinary tradition in Newfoundland whose virtues are universally enjoyed by all who have known it.”
UNIVERSALLY ENJOYED BY ALL WHO HAVE KNOWN IT.
Well now you have to try them.
Bonus: I realized after making this post that I was actually wearing an ‘NL (republic) chic’ tee that my mother sent over while making the toutons. I truly didn’t try that. Winning at being newfie.