North Carolina Sea Grant

November 3, 2014 | Vanda Lewis

By Vanda Lewis

As a blogger and photographer for Mariner’s Menu, I enjoy preparing many recipes from Joyce Taylor’s resource book Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas. Here, I’m going to share a family recipe for fabulous fried bread that comes from my mother-in-law. She always serves this bread along with seafood stews, such as conch stew, oyster stew and stewed hard crabs.

As with most of her recipes, she uses a handful of this and a pinch of that. Learning how to make her turn cakes involved watching over her shoulder and estimating the amounts she used until I finally came up with the measurements below.

Of course, mine are never quite as good as hers!

Ruth’s Turn Cakes

Photo by Vanda Lewis

Photo by Vanda Lewis

  • 2 cups flour, self rising
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ½ cup warm water

In a medium bowl, combine flour and shortening by hand. Next, slowly mix in small amounts of water until a smooth ball of dough is formed. You may need to add a sprinkle of flour or water while mixing the dough, and be careful not to overwork the dough.

Cover and let rest in a warm place for 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Pinch off a golf ball-sized piece of the dough and roll between your hands until it forms a smooth ball.

Next, take the small ball of dough and slowly pull it out into approximately a 5-inch round shape.

In an 8-inch cast iron frying pan, add 1/2 inch of oil and bring to medium heat or about 350 F.

Fry the dough in hot oil on each side until golden brown. Be sure to watch while frying because the dough does not take long to brown.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat steps with each piece of dough.

Yields 8 servings.

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