I never had much luck with breads or dough. My yeast never did what it was supposed to do. It seemed my yeast was spoiled or my water was too hot. So I stopped trying. After scanning through cookbooks and seeing how EASY IT IS to make homemade pizza, I gave it another try. That’s when I learned that my problem wasn’t my yeast but that I didn’t wait long enough for it to activate. Anyone who knows me sees this as no surprise. I can be impatient.
So, with this new found knowledge I made Loukoumades, Greek honey puffs (doughnuts)! Below is the fasting (VEGAN) recipe.
· Dissolve ½ t sugar in ½ c lukewarm water in a large bowl.
· Sprinkle 1 packet dry yeast into large bowl and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
· In another bowl, mix 3 c flour, ½ t baking powder, ½ t baking soda, and ½ t salt.
· When yeast is ready, use a mixer to incorporate dissolved yeast, 1 ½ c lukewarm water and 1 t whiskey or brandy with dry ingredients. Using a mixer, mix for about 3 minutes to be sure there are no lumps. You might need more water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a bath towel and place in a warm location for 1 ½ - 2 hours, till dough doubles in size.
· While the dough is rising, make the syrup. Boil 2 c sugar in 1 c water. Add an orange peel and a cinnamon stick. Boil for 10 minutes before you add ½ c honey. You can also use this time to finely chop walnuts for the topping.
· When dough is ready heat 2 c canola or corn oil to a med-high temp in a 3Qt pot. I added 1 c corn and 1 c coconut oil. I like using coconut oil, but it has a lower heating temp, it gets hot faster. (I think they call it a lower boiling point; it’s been a long time since chemistry.)
· Using two spoons scoop blops of dough into the hot oil and watch it bubble. By “blop” I mean to describe scoop the dough with one spoon and push the dough off the spoon and into the hot oil with the other. If the oil is hot and deep enough, the dough will puff up and move freely around the pot. You can fit 6-8 blops of dough at one time.
· Turn the blops using a slotted spoon and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove the blop, now turned puffs, to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil. When they are all cooked, dip the puffs in the warm syrup with a slotted spoon and place in a platter. Sprinkle with the chopped walnuts and cinnamon and serve immediately. And there you have it! LOUKOUMADES!!
I read you can leave the dough in the fridge for a few days, which is great because if you want to surprise your dinner guests with a great dessert, make the dough early and after dinner, heat up the oil and syrup and fry the dough.