? for those that make elephant ears

Junior Burger
2009/09/17 23:09:02
We've been asked to serve elephant ears with some other hot foods from our concession trailer at a kids event. We do have two double fryers, so I think physically it is possible, as long as we scale back our traditional menu to accommodate the demand that doing elephant ears will create.

The event is the 27th annual, and the parade draws about 3-4k people. The aftershow is two blocks from the end of the parade, with additional helmet safety stuff and other kid oriented happenings. They are expected to draw about a thousand of the people over after the parade. hours will be 11 -2pm.

We've settled on using a frozen white demi-loaf. They come 60 to a box and we have three boxes. We plan to cut each demi in half for portions, giving us a total of 360 pieces.

For those that have done ears, do you think this qty would be enough?

Can we pre-prep them ahead of time and how early can it be done (the day before?)

We plan to hand roll/stretch into about 10" sizes. What would be the best way to approach this?

Do you brush with butter then cin sugar? Or just dump in cin sugar.

Sorry for so many questions, but we figure at some point we should learn, even if it is not a regular offering for us.
Thanks for any help!!!
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/18 00:29:46
I think -but Im not 100%- that elephant ears dough has to "proof" before its fried. I do funnel cakes and dont have this problem. You may call Gold Medal and ask before you get started.
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/18 00:51:02
Ahhh...I think we have a different definition of elephant ears. Palmiers (cookies) are aka elephant ears aka angel wings. That is puff pastry rolled cut  sprinkled with granulated sugar and baked . Cannolis could be crooked and look like elephant trunks.
I do not know if the other elephant ears are more lke monkey bread or bear claws. I will go check and will return.
Filet Mignon
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/18 02:14:23
The elephant ears at fairs around here are usually made from "canned" biscuit dough or something similar which they stretch out by hand and fry in oil.  Most of the stands have their cinnamon-sugar mixture in a shaker like a flour shaker (an aluminum shaker holding about 2 cups, with a perforated screw-on lid and a handle).  After turning the "ear" over once, they grab it out of the oil with tongs, they hold it over the oil for a few seconds and then immediately shake on the cinnamon-sugar mixture over a pan to catch the excess (no brushing with butter).
Filet Mignon
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/18 09:53:29
We used to make our own dough, pre portion ... we would pre roll, but you can't pre roll and store for a long time. The day before is two long, a few hours yes......Pre roll and put between 12" butcher paper or parchment paper. We used to have a Elephant ear fryer with its own rack to lay the ear on and then put the other rack on top to keep from floating. We used to serve them on 12X12 parchment sheets, sand wrap wraps
we used a shaker to put the on cinn & sugar in a 2 inch pan to catch the excess the oil on the ear will keep on the cinn and sugar.
 This is in many ways is very close to a Indian fried bread. The Indian fried bread in restaurants are smaller donut size and served with a Raspberry jam..............

Junior Burger
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/19 12:15:51
yes  Billy B this is the type of ear we are talking about.

What type of oil do you prefer?
Do you use a dough press, sheeter  or hand roll with rolling pin?
Filet Mignon
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/19 12:52:28
I had my high school summer help rolling them out. I had a special counter set up for rolling out the dough. I don't remember the oil being anythng different than what I already used for Fries. Make sure you have some strong boys willing to Roll, Roll and Roll more dough for you all day long.........Like I said you can pre roll for an hour or so but I wouldn't get to far a head, or stack more than 10 high...............Good luck............Bill
Junior Burger
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/19 17:15:02
Thanks BillB! I appreciate the tips!
Junior Burger
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/27 00:02:50
neonlady,  i make elephanat ears in my concession ,  i just use regualr white bread dough instead of making my own,  it cheap and easy to buy at any store frozen section,   but the key is to let the bread thaw and rise , i bought some small buckets at wal-mart in the bakery for a dollar a piece with the lids and put a loaf in each bucket and spray with cooking spray to keep from sticking , and let it rise   and then i have a prep table that i put flour on and trn the dough out on the flour and roll it out ,   , 2nd i had a set of funnel cake rings that i took apart and just use 1 ring to cut out the dough ,then i stretch it to look like a elephant ear and then fry , u get 3-5 elephant ears per loaf ,   i top with powdered sugar  , or cinnamon sugar and this year i started putting pizza sauce and parmesian cheese on them and they taste and sell good
Junior Burger
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/27 00:05:58
oh yea and people love to watch u make them too
Junior Burger
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/27 22:06:47
So we had our event (two actually). The original event that asked us to make the ears was on Friday, and we did ok, but were not nearly as busy as we thought we'd be. We bought the demi loaves, 60 to a  box, three boxes, and probably only sold 30 ears. :-( . We used the fully demi, and charged $4. A bargain I thought. The event was just after a 27 year old parade that the town has, but this was the first year they had vending and activities afterwards. There were a reasonable amount of people taking advantage of the bike safety stuff, just not alot of food sales. I think we did about $550 in 4 hours. We sold mostly dogs  at $2 and $3 and pretzels.

Saturday was an  event at the sports park. We had a more expanded menu, one closer to our regular menu, with hamburgers, dogs (now $3 and $4) Philly steaks, pulled pork, fries, pretzel and ears. We were swamped, and sold out of many things. We began getting orders for elephant ears half way through the day. We probably sold 20 or so. This day was a $1200. day.
So here's my observations: Elephant ears offer a good margin, but require extra space and labor dedicated just for ears. I guess that helps to justify the price. Doing these in our concession trailer with a full menu is difficult. The first day we had three people working, the second two. But because determining an event true volume is difficult ahead of time. We way over bought for elephant ears and will be selling out our inventory for awhile. I do want to still be able  to offer them at various times, I just would like to look into using pizza blanks instead. I heard somewhere that they can be used, but can't remember where. Pizza blanks would allow us to eliminate the mess and extra labor / space to roll out the dough. I think a flat blank would defrost faster. It may be a little more expensive, but would offset that with the benefits, maybe.

If anyone here has used pizza blanks, I'd like to hear your experience.

Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/27 22:33:48
Did you ever consider zeppoles?
If you are at fried dough already...zeppoles are much easier (and less expensive than the pizza blanks) to produce.
I know...fried dough like elephant ears is popular there. If there is no competiton with the zeppoles they will be embraced by ex-pats from here or those who have visited and experienced them...a curiousity factor if nobody else does them...and much easier for you. Dough balls...oil...paper bag...powdered sugar...shake.
Filet Mignon
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/28 07:49:43
No way of knowing on the Demi loaves, you could have sold 30 or 300....you did get a chance to work with them and learn...I would look at Indian fried bread with a wild berry local jam.........They serve this at Kah-Nee-ta Hot Springs in Warm springs Or. It is also served in many other ways. you would take smaller flat pcs of dough and fry, hit it with powdered sugar and a small cup of wild raspberry jam..........IMHO pizza dough would be to heavy..............When we did the Elephant ears we had the back of the kitchen set up just for them............[/link] Navaho Taco is another idea[link=http://aolsearcht1.search.aol.com/aol/imageDetails?s_it=imageDetails&q=Indian+fried+bread&img=http%3A%2F%2Fi431.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fqq36%2F5blackdogsII%2FAPPYHOT%2FAD2BLGo51903AD2.jpg&site=&host=http%3A%2F%2Fonceuponaplate.blogspot.com%2F2009%2F05%2Findian-fry-bread-tacos-snack-size.html&width=137&height=136&thumbUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fimages-partners-tbn.google.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3AO_Hfqz8xqrVw3M%3Ai431.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fqq36%2F5blackdogsII%2FAPPYHOT%2FAD2BLGo51903AD2.jpg&b=image%3Fq%3DIndian%2Bfried%2Bbread%26page%3D3%26flv%3D1%26s_it%3DrboxImgDtls%26oreq%3Df24cc6f009c847859b313dd4232a3b92%26icid%3Dsnap-pic%26oreq%3D3d323eee51e04fff9e9c613e0a6d40f2&imgHeight=647&imgWidth=650&imgTitle=%3Cb%3EIndian%3C%2Fb%3E+Fry+%3Cb%3EBread%3C%2Fb%3E+Tacos+%7E+Snack&imgSize=109838&hostName=onceuponaplate.blogspot.com]

[link=http://aolsearcht1.search.aol.com/aol/imageDetails?s_it=imageDetails&q=Indian+fried+bread&img=http%3A%2F%2Fi162.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ft265%2Flefaga21%2FIMG_0662.jpg&site=&host=http%3A%2F%2Fcruisinkoolauloa.honadvblogs.com%2F2008%2F09%2F&width=137&height=103&thumbUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fimages-partners-tbn.google.com%2Fimages%3Fq%3Dtbn%3A26bqaaHfuUUoVM%3Ai162.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ft265%2Flefaga21%2FIMG_0662.jpg&b=image%3Fq%3DIndian%2Bfried%2Bbread%26page%3D5%26flv%3D1%26s_it%3DrboxImgDtls%26oreq%3Dee7af6b302d64476b515c10d2b76e3bf%26icid%3Dsnap-pic%26oreq%3D268fa037e2e24fd3840751db0974a139&imgHeight=480&imgWidth=640&imgTitle=Navajo+fry+%3Cb%3Ebread%3C%2Fb%3E+and+cover&imgSize=83381&hostName=cruisinkoolauloa.honadvblogs.com][/link]  what ever look you like even as a Navaho taco salad

There are many things you could do with fried bread ideas. if the dough doesn't get done in the center the put a small hole in the center so it cooks from the center out.............I have served these at Powwows in the Pacific Northwest over the years........I now serve them in our Cafe when it fits the menu.............Good Luck.....Bill

Curbside Grill
Filet Mignon
Re:? for those that make elephant ears 2009/09/29 09:09:59
Now I see something here, How soggy would those fry breads get from a say very thick sauce.  My area is into Biscuits and chocolate gravy, but that fry bread and a good chocolate gravy.
 They like, no they love fried and gravy in my area.
They don't need it but I'm not their Doctor either.
Alot of different, which they like.
post edited by Curbside Grill - 2009/09/29 09:24:20