Fried and gone to heaven

A hint of le­mon sets the Krofi apart from the crowd.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TASTE - By KIM ODE

NO mat­ter where your roots lie, eat­ing a krofi just might taste like go­ing home – or where you wish you’d grown up.

Cer­tain com­bi­na­tions of in­gre­di­ents and tech­niques cross any num­ber of cul­tures. Con­sider the culi­nary swath cut by mix­ing to­gether a dough of eggs, yeast, flour, but­ter and milk, then fry­ing it in dol­lops un­til golden.

Amer­i­cans call this a dough­nut, Ger­mans say Ber­liner, while the French say beignet. In South Amer­ica, it’s a sopaip­illa, while in Italy, it’s a zep­pole. In­di­ans make fried bread and Jews make suf­ganiyah.

We could go on, but you get the idea. Given the goods, hu­man­ity tends to evolve to­ward deep-fried dough.

In Slove­nia, they call such pas­tries krofi (KRO-fee). A hint of le­mon sets them apart from the crowd.

We dis­cov­ered th­ese while pre­par­ing for a re­cent fam­ily celebration on my hus­band’s side of the aisle, which has Slove­nian

Krofi (Raised Dough­nuts)

Makes about 16

Yummy: roots. (Slove­nia, for the record, is a small­ish na­tion tucked into the moun­tains be­tween Italy, Aus­tria, Hun­gary and Croa­tia.)

His el­derly fa­ther re­quested krofi from his childhood, but few mem­bers of the suc­ceed­ing gen­er­a­tion had kept up the tra­di­tion. So, we staged a Slove­nian re­nais­sance of this puffed dough. KROFI are best fresh, but keep well for a day, and so may be made the night be­fore and served for break­fast. Freshen by warm­ing them on a bak­ing sheet for five min­utes in a 120°C oven. In­stant yeast also is called “rapid-rise” or bread ma­chine yeast. The nut­meg is op­tional, but nice. This recipe is slightly adapted from More Pots and Pans, a cook­book of the Slove­nian Women’s Union of Amer­ica. 1 cup half-and-half (see note be­low) 6 tbsp un­salted but­ter, room tem­per­a­ture 1 le­mon, zest and juice 4 to 5 cups flour, di­vided 3¼ tsp in­stant yeast ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly grated nut­meg, if de­sired 3 eggs, room tem­per­a­ture 1/3 cup caster su­gar ½ cup sour cream 6 cup oil for fry­ing (canola or veg­etable) Ic­ing su­gar

In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the half-and-half with the but­ter un­til the but­ter melts. Set aside and cool to luke­warm.

Zest the le­mon, scrap­ing only the yel­low rind (you’ll have one to two tea­spoons of zest). Cut the le­mon in half and squeeze the juice, strain­ing out any seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk to­gether le­mon zest, 1 cup flour, yeast, salt and nut­meg (if us­ing). Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a pad­dle at­tach­ment, beat eggs with su­gar and sour cream un­til smooth. With the mixer on low speed, grad­u­ally add luke­warm half-and­half mix­ture and le­mon juice and mix well.

Add flour mix­ture and mix un­til smooth. Beat in three ad­di­tional cups of flour, one at a time, mix­ing well. The dough will be soft and quite sticky. Switch at­tach­ment to a dough

Le­mon zest and juice are the key, al­though my mother-in-law’s eth­nic cook­books noted fur­ther vari­a­tions with fill­ings of marmalade, jelly, even cus­tard, in­jected af­ter fry­ing with a squeeze tube or pas­try bag and noz­zle tip.

The barely sweet dough comes to­gether eas­ily, al­though it helps to have a stand mixer to knead the hook and knead dough for three to four min­utes, un­til smooth. It will re­main slightly sticky.

(If mix­ing by hand, fol­low the mix­ing process through adding three cups flour. To knead, turn the dough out onto a floured sur­face. Use a dough scraper (also called a bench knife) to lift and fold the dough, stretch­ing it as much as pos­si­ble as you lift with the scraper.

Flour as nec­es­sary us­ing the re­main­ing 1 cup flour, but use as lit­tle as pos­si­ble. Stretch and fold for sev­eral min­utes, un­til the dough be­comes smoother and firmer.)

Spray a large bowl with cook­ing spray. Place dough in bowl and cover with plas­tic wrap. Let rise un­til dou­bled in size, about 1½ sticky dough un­til it comes to­gether. But if hands are all you have, use a dough scraper (also called a bench knife) to lift and fold the dough, over and over, un­til it be­comes smooth and less sticky.

Once mixed, the dough is left to raise for an hour or two.

The del­i­cate dough is never rolled, but gen­tly stretched into to two hours.

Turn the risen dough out onto a gen­er­ously floured counter. Reach­ing un­der­neath the dough, gen­tly pull it out­ward from the mid­dle into a 35cm square. Do not roll the dough. You don’t want to de­flate it any more than nec­es­sary.

Dip a 7.5cm round cut­ter in flour and cut 16 rounds. Place them on a lightly floured cloth. Save the largest of the scraps; they’ll be odd shapes, but are like dough­nut holes. Cover dough with a cloth and let rise about 30 min­utes or un­til puffy.

While dough is ris­ing, pour oil into a heavy fry­ing pan or heavy pot with sides at least 7.5cm high. Heat to 185°C. a square, best done by reach­ing un­der­neath and pulling, try­ing to de­flate it as lit­tle as pos­si­ble.

The cut rounds of dough rest once more while you clean up and heat the cook­ing oil to 185°C. Main­tain­ing a steady tem­per­a­ture is the key to suc­cess­ful fry­ing, so un­less you own an elec­tric fryer, a deep-fry ther­mome­ter is a worth­while in­vest­ment.

A word about dis­pos­ing of oil: You’ll be able to re-use it once or twice again in other ways. Once cool, de­cant the oil into a con­tainer, leav­ing be­hind any flour residue, which you can wipe out with pa­per tow­els.

Use the oil for stir-fry­ing and such. If you want to dis­pose of the whole batch, pour into small con­tain­ers such as milk car­tons and dis­pose in the trash. Never pour large amounts of oil down the drain.

We en­joyed the krofi show­ered with pow­dered su­gar, and we also loved the look on ev­ery­one’s face as they tasted a bit of their her­itage. – Star Tri­bune/McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

Cover a wire rack with a cou­ple of lay­ers of pa­per tow­els.

Fry the dough rounds in the hot oil, care­fully plac­ing them top side down first and fry­ing for about 45 sec­onds, then flip­ping and fry­ing for another 45 sec­onds or un­til golden brown. You can fry three to four at a time, but don’t crowd them. With a slot­ted spoon, lift the dough­nut rounds onto the pa­per tow­els.

When they have cooled, dust with pow­dered su­gar and serve.

Note: Half-and-half is light cream with a fat con­tent of around 12%. If un­avail­able, make your own by com­bin­ing equal amounts of full-fat milk and heavy whip­ping cream.

Krofi (raised dough­nuts), a light and lemony fried pas­try from Slove­nia, are best fresh, but keep well for a day, and so may be made the night be­fore and served for break­fast. — Pho­tos Star Tri­bune/mcT

1. If you knead by hand, use a bench scraper to lift and stretch the sticky dough.

4. Gen­tly lift and pull the risen krofi dough into a square to keep the dough as airy as pos­si­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.