I've searched around for various versions of this kind of flatbread sweet dough. This recipe has come the closest to matching what people from Ottawa would recognize as a Beaver Tail.

Really, the lemon over top is amazing. Other variations include a hazelnut spread like Nutella.


  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 tsp dry yeast
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • cup oil
  • 4 ½ - 5 cups all purpose white flour
  • oil, for frying
  • granulated sugar, for dusting
  • cinnamon


1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Allow to stand a couple of minutes to allow yeast to swell or dissolve.
2. Stir in remaining sugar, milk, vanilla, eggs, oil, salt and most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead 5-8 minutes (by hand or with a dough hook), adding flour as needed to form a firm, smooth, elastic dough. Placed in greased bowl.
3. Place bowl in a plastic bag (or cover with tea towel). Let rise around 30-40 minutes. Gently deflate dough.
4. Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of dough. Roll out into an oval and let rest, covered with a tea towel, while you are preparing the remaining dough (actually I cook ok, and roll one at the same time assembly line fashion).
5. Heat about 4 inches of oil in fryer. Temperature of the oil should be about 385 F. Test by tossing in a tiny bit of dough and see if it sizzles and swells immediately. If it does, the oil temperature is where it should be.
6. Stretch the ovals into a tail - thinning them out and enlarging them as you do. Add the beaver tails to the hot oil, 1-2 at a time.
7. Turn once to fry until the undersides are deep brown. Lift beaver tails out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
8. Fill a large bowl with a few cups of white sugar. Toss beaver tails in sugar (with a little cinnamon if you wish) and shake off excess. To make it like a real beaver tail, you should squeeze fresh lemon over top (like a piece of fish). It sounds weird but after you taste it you'll see!


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