The other day, whilst clearing up the shelves, I found one of my mother's old recipes which dated back to the late 70s: "Ricetta per Krapfen". My heart, all of a sudden, sank.
The recipe was neatly handwritten and it instantly brought back memories, memories of a happy childhood, of a deliciously sweet childhood. My mother was a great cook and to these days, she still is.
Krapfen is the name for doughnuts in German and this is how they are known in Italy although some people call them also "Bomboloni" or big bombs! Infact they are big, soft, fragrant bombs with a delicious filling inside. They drive me crazy, they are so good!
In these difficult times we can learn to appreciate the little things in life again. When you are allowed to stop (and this is by all means a luxury), you can see things more clearly and realize what really matters in life.
Some people meditate, some do gardening, some read interesting books and some do lots of baking, like me. When I am in the kitchen, time stops for me. I can focus on exactly what I am doing.
My lockdown has been so far a cascade of different meals and experiments in the kitchen. I know we will all be a little larger in size when all of this will be over but hey, this is temporary and if you are lucky enough to be healthy and well, this is a good time to learn new skills and to try out new recipes. Let's enjoy what we have.
Today I made these fabulous krapfen. Homemade doughnuts are just a different thing altogether: a deliciousness made in heaven, so soft and so perfumed.
If you have time try the recipe, it won't dissappoint you!
This recipe makes approximately 15-17 doughnuts.
- Prep Time : 45 minutes
- Cook Time : 15 minutes
- Yield : 15
- Plain strong bread flour - 500 g - 3+5/8 cup + extra as needed
- eggs - 2
- active dry yeast for bread making - 7g (1 sachet) or 2,5 tsp
- sugar - 50 g or 1/4 cup
- lukewarm milk - 200 ml - 6.7 fl oz + extra for brushing
- butter - 120 g or 1/2 cup
- vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- lemon zest - of 1 unwaxed or organic lemon
- salt - pinch
- jam or chocolate spread - for the filling
- oil for frying
- powdered (icing) sugar - for sprinkling
In a bowl mix the flour with the yeast.
Add the eggs, the sugar, the lemon zest, the vanilla and the lukewarm milk. Mix well then add the salt.
Put the mixture onto a lightly floured worktop, add the softened butter and using your hands work the dough energetically for about 10 minutes until soft and elastic. Of course you can put it in a processor instead. If the mixture is too sticky you might need a little extra flour.
Form a smooth ball, put it back in the bowl and let it rest for at least 2 hours in a warm place covered with a towel.
After the resting time work the dough again for a minute or so and with a lightly floured rolling pin roll the pastry until is 3 mm or 0.11 inch thick. Using a round pastry cutter measuring approx 8 cm or 3 inch in diameter cut out the pastry.
Place a teaspoon of jam at the centre of half of each round, brush the edges with milk and place another round of pastry on top. Seal it well with your fingers and place it on a floured tray leaving some space in between each pastry so they don't stick together while they prove. Cover with a towel and let them rest for another hour in a warm place.
In a large pan heat up plenty of oil. It is important that the oil is neither too cold or too hot. To check if the oil is ready for frying, stick a toothpick into the oil and if you see many bubbles forming around it and they start to float up then it is ready. Fry no more than 2 doughnuts at a time, for about 2 minutes each, turning them on the other side as well until they have a nutty/brown colour.
After frying them, place them onto a kitchen towel so the extra oil with be absorbed then sprinkle them with plenty of powdered sugar.
Now sit down, make a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy this special treat! What a feast!
Breakfast on the terrace 🙂