Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic. It has 5,637 kilometers of coastline and more than 1,518 islands so it boasts plenty of beaches.
The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. It is 44 miles long and there are 3 sets of locks of 33.5 metres (110 ft) width. It generates one-third of Panama’s entire economy and serves passage to almost 14,000 ocean-going vessels per year. The Panama Hat is actually made in Ecuador.
The Panamanian recipes I came across were Sancocho (local stew), Tamales (corn dough rolls) & Corvina (local sea bass). There were also a fair few different breakfast recipes, namely Arepas (corn flatbread topped with egg), Bistek Picado (chopped beef) & Salchichas (sausages). As it was the weekend and the kids were with us, I decided to cook these easy Hojaldras (doughnuts).
2 cups of flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of white sugar
1 tsp of salt
1 tbsp of oil
½ cup of water
Oil for frying
Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mound the ingredients and make an indentation in the middle.
Add the oil and one tablespoon of the water.
While kneading, add the water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to your hands.
Form dough into a ball, cover bowl with a cloth, and let it rest for two hours. (After the two hours, you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until the following day, if desired.)
When ready to fry, heat a few inches of oil in a pot over medium heat.
Form the dough into small balls (a little goes a long way), and use your hands to stretch them thin and flat, like pizza dough.
Carefully add the stretched dough balls, one or two at a time, and fry until golden on one side, then flip and fry the other side. (It helps to place a screen over the pot to prevent oil spatters.)
Remove dough, and allow to cool slightly.
Enjoy your hojaldras plain, or with powdered sugar, cinnamon, or even bacon