How to make African puff puff | Chef Lola’s Kitchen

Puff puff is a deep-fried dough. They are made from yeast dough, shaped into balls and deep-fried until golden brown. It has a doughnut-like texture but slightly more chewy. It is a very common snack eaten by so many countries but with different names and a little bit of variation in the mode of preparation.

Nigerian Puff puff  Recipe

For West Africans, puff puff needs no introduction. It is a quick and easy recipe with a few low-cost ingredients but don’t underestimate how delicious it is because of its simplicity. Very few people can resist their allure.

Puff puff is an African classic, usually sold in street-side shops.  While working on this recipe, I unearthed some childhood memories that I’d completely forgotten about. When I was in middle school I use all my lunch money to buy puff puff, Buns, Meat pie, and doughnuts… I know there is so much nostalgia associated with the sight and smell of puff puff snack, and I am hoping that, with this recipe, your memories will re-surface and make you smile as well. 😊

How to make the African Puff puff

How to make puff puff

  • Proof the yeast: Both instant yeast or active yeast will work perfectly for this recipe. If you are using instant yeast, you can skip proofing the yeast. If using active yeast, it’s advisable to proof the yeast.
  • Make the batter: Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix well
  • Leave to proof: The batter needs to proof in a warm place for about an hour. A little more or less or till the batter rises about twice or thrice it’s original size.
  • Fry: Be sure to let your oil get hot before frying the puff puff. If the oil is not hot enough, the resulting puff puff will soak up the oil. You don’t want that.

We also have other variations of puff puff like the spicy puff puff, plantain puff puff, and Banana Puff puff.

Watch how to make it:

Tips to help you achieve the best puff puff ever

You almost cannot go wrong making this if the instructions are properly followed. However, there are some things you have to put into consideration in order to achieve the desired light, airy, and slightly chewy result. Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Mix the batter very well. It is very important to do this so that the gluten can be well-formed.
  2. Give the batter enough time to rest it to rest in a warm place. The batter should rise about thrice of it’s original size and the resulting batter should turn out spongy.
  3. Be generous with the use of oil and use a deep pan for well-rounded puff puff balls.

Puff puff stacked in a red bowl

Deep frying can be a little messy but the result is worth the cleanup. It can be eaten as is and you can also dust them with some sugar for a sweeter treat. These are really delicious, though not the healthiest of snacks but they sure taste good!

For those of you seeing these for the first time, puff puff is often eaten as a snack just the way it is, you can also sprinkle some granulated or confectioners sugar over it for a double load of sweetness. It can also b enjoyed with the African spicy sauce.

It is also called Bofrot in Ghana. There is a similar recipe in East and South Africa called Mandazi (fried dough). In French Beignet, in Italy Zeppole just to mention a few.

Other African snacks you might want to try:

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If you make this Puff Puff recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

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