Fried Breads


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Fried Breads (Yaniclecas) are fried, crispy and flaky breads that are sold at food stands (kiosks) along the beaches and marinas in Puerto Rico.  However, these fried breads originated in the Dominican Republic known as Yaniqueques.

While living in Puerto Rico, I would go to the marina in Fajardo and order some fish with these delicious flaky fried breads.  What a treat!  There are several variations of these savory fried breads from flavors to size to thickness.  The thinner the dough, the crispier it will be when fried.  Once the thin dough comes in contact with the heated oil, the dough starts to create these air bubbles.  My mother would makes these fried breads in the mornings served with a cup of strong Puerto Rican coffee!  The dough (pre-cut dough) can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer for future use.

If you were born in Puerto Rico, like my mother, during the 1920’s, these fried breads were known as Yaniclecas.   These fried breads are known today in Puerto Rico asArepas.”  If you travel to Ponce, Puerto Rico, they are known as “Domplines.”   Besides my cookbook (Aida’s Kitchen a lo Boricua),  you can also find a recipe for Yaniclecas in the cookbook – Cocina Criolla.   Therefore, based upon your age, country or region, these fried breads can be referred to as Yaniclecas, Arepas, Domplines and Yaniqueques.

Comparing the Difference of Yaniclecas and Arepas!

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As you can see, the Yanicleca is much larger and thinner compared to the regular arepa.  The arepa is much smaller in diameter and thicker, creating a denser consistency.  Even though the ingredients are mainly the same for both the Yaniclecas and Arepas, the method and style of preparing them will vary. 

NOTE:  The arepas originated in South America (Venezuela and Colombia) and are prepared with corn flour or corn meal.  In Puerto Rico, we prepare the arepas with white flour.

Preparing the Flour Mixture for the Fried Breads!

In a large bowl, let’s first add the dry ingredients:  4 cups all-purpose flour (I use the pre-sifted flour), 1½ teaspoons salt (low sodium), and 1 teaspoon baking powder.  Mix all the ingredients until well blended, using a whisk.

NOTE:  Some individuals prefer a touch of sweetness so they add a small amount of sugar to the flour mixture.

Add ⅓ cup of margarine made with extra virgin olive oil to the flour mixture. 

With a dough blender, cut margarine thoroughly into flour until it has a coarse meal texture.

The flour mixture has a coarse meal texture.  Gradually pour 1½ cups of chilled skim milk (or the milk of your preference).

NOTE:  Many recipes call for water, but I prefer to use milk.

Stir rapidly with a spoon until the dough is formed or holds together.

Kneading the Dough!

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Place dough onto a floured surface and shape dough into a ball with your hands.

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Start kneading the dough with both hands – pressing down onto the dough for approximately 2 to 4 minutes.

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When the dough becomes smooth and elastic, we are ready to start rolling out the dough.

Shaping the Dough into Dough Balls!

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I like to divide the dough into equal parts so remove a small portion of dough.

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With the palms of your hands, shape the dough into 1½ inch balls.

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Place them on wax paper sprinkled lightly with flour.   Repeat this process.   This recipe will yield approximately 20 to 24 dough balls.

Rolling Out the Dough into Circles!

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Place a dough ball on a lightly floured surface and gently flattened with the palm of your hand. 

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Once we flattened the dough ball, we are ready to roll out the dough.

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With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll each ball of dough into a 5-inch circle with a ¼ to ⅛-inch thickness. 

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Spinkle lightly wax paper with flour and place the 5-inch circles of dough on top.  

NOTE:  You can roll the dough into 3-inch circles, creating a more dense consistency.  The size and thickness depends on your preference.

Frying the Dough to Make Fried Breads!

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Heat oil to 365F, using an electric skillet or the skillet of your preference.  Carefully place dough into skillet and fry until golden brown on one side.   Once the dough comes into contact with the heated oil, the dough starts to create some air bubbles. 

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Turn them over to the other side and continue frying until both sides are golden brown.

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After a total of 5 minutes of frying, the fried breads are done.  Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  

The Fried Breads!

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After absorbing the excess oil for a few minutes, serve the Fried Bread warm.  It looks delicious!

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The Fried Bread is crispy and crunchy on the outside while the inside is soft and chewy.

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These Fried Breads (Yaniclecas) are great for breakfast with a cup of Puerto Rican coffee.  If you go to the coastal area of the island, these fried breads are served with fish.  They are also consumed with stewed beans.

NOTE:  You can prepare the pre-cut dough in advance and store them in the freezer for future use.

Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Fried Bread!

Recipe and Nutritional Facts!

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only.  Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.


Fried Breads (Yaniclecas)

  • Author: Aida's Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 20 Fried Breads 1x


Fried Breads (Yaniclecas) are fried, crispy and flaky breads that are sold along the beaches and marinas in Puerto Rico.  An excellent accompaniment with your meals!



  • 4 cups all-purpose presifted flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt (low sodium) or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup margarine (made with extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1½ cups chilled skim milk
  • Canola oil for frying


  1. Mix dry ingredients into a bowl and stir well.
  2. Add margarine and cut margarine thoroughly into flour.
  3. Pour milk into flour mixture and stir until dough holds together.  Place dough onto a floured surface and shape dough into a ball.
  4. Knead dough until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Divide dough into 20 equal parts and shape them into 1½-inch balls with the palm of your hands.
  6. Roll each ball of dough into a 5-inch circle with a thickness of ¼ to ⅛ inches.
  7. Heat oil in skillet to 365°F.  Fry dough until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Place the fried breads on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil
  9. Serve warm with a cup of strong Puerto Rican coffee or your favorite fish or meat.


Some individuals prefer a touch of sweetness and therefore, add a small amount of sugar.  The size and thickness of the fried bread depends on your preference.

  • Category: Breads and Snacks
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Puerto Rican

Keywords: Fried Bread, Arepas, Yaniclecas

Nutritional Facts Disclaimer



Category: Appetizers, Snacks, and Side Dish, Breads and Sandwiches, Recipes

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