Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bosnian Doughnuts a.k.a. Krofne

“I can resist anything except temptation.”

It all started when I noticed a new brand of fine-textured flour in the local grocery shop. The label read 'krofne'. I knew what they were but I didn't know that labels could tempt me so easily. I bought it right away, came back home, watched the video recipe below and made 'krofne'. Excellent! Later on, I learnt - after a few clicks - that the word krofne' comes from German 'Krapfen', and it is a variation of the Central European pastry, known as 'Berliner'. Well, the name and the recipe have slightly varied in the Balkans. Take a look at the names: 'krofne' in Bosnian and Serbian, 'krafne' or 'pokladnice' in Croatian and 'krof' in Slovenian. The video has no subtitles in English, but I translated almost everything in the ingredients and directions. 

2 cups milk
50 ml vegetable oil
40 g fresh active yeast
3 whole eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch of salt
5 cups flour
100 g powdered sugar for topping
10 g vanilla sugar for topping 
Oil for frying 
plum jam (or the filling of your choice)

1. In a large bowl, crumble the yeast and add in the warm milk, sugar, salt, eggs and oil respectively.
2. Whisk well until the yeast is completely dissolved and all ingredients are mixed.
3. Add in the flour and mix with a spoon until you get a soft and sticky dough.
4. Cover the bowl and set aside to rise in a preferably warm place for at least 30 minutes. The dough should double in size.
5. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and sprinkle some more flour over the dough.
6. Knead for a minute to get a soft ball. Sprinkle the surface and the dough with flour again.
7. Roll the dough out until it’s approximately 1 cm thick, a bit thinner.
8. Take a cup and use it to cut out the doughnuts. Once you’ve cut them out, leave them to rise further for 15-20 minutes. Remember to cover them.
9.  Fill a saucepan with enough oil for the doughnuts to float and be flipped.
10. Over medium heat, place a few doughnuts in the hot oil but do not crowd them.
11. When the doughnuts get golden brown on the bottom, flip them using a fork or spoon.
12. When both sides are done, (with a light ring running through the centre), transfer them into a container. You can also place them on paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

At this point, you are free to continue in several ways. The two most common ones are:
1. Mix the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar in a plate. Roll the warm doughnuts in the mixture. 
2. Using a piping bag, fill the doughnuts with jam, vanilla cream or any other filling you desire. Then, mix the powdered sugar and vanilla sugar and sprinkle the doughnuts with this mixture.