Kurentovanje is also known as the time of the year when people munch on delicious treats called “krof”. Krofi are also known as doughnuts, traditionally filled with marmalade and covered with sugar. They look a lot like fried dough balls, which smell amazing and bring joy to everyone during the festivities.
With Kurentovanje and the Carnival festivities happening in full swing, one cannot miss the opportunity to grab a bite of these delicious Carnival doughnuts or as we call them “krofi”. We can almost smell the festive delicacies right now.
Origin of Carnival doughnuts or krofi
The origin of doughnuts goes back to imperial Vienna, where court chef Cecilija Krampf was the first to start making them. Cecilija’s recipe gradually spread throughout the entire monarchy meaning the recipe also made its way to Slovenia.
Slovenian doughnuts were somewhat different from the ‘imperial’ ones according to the method of preparation, size and fillings. While doughnuts were fried in melted butter in Vienna, our ancestors fried them in lard and later in oil. Original doughnuts were of irregular shapes with protuberances like claws, from which they got their name. They were also called “fanclji”.
The recipe for krofi or Carnival doughnuts
- 600 g white flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 5 egg yolks
- 80 g sugar
- 80 g butter
- 30 g yeast
- 200–300 ml milk
- 1 tablespoon of rum
- grated lemon zest
- apricot jam for filling
- icing sugar
First crumble the yeast and mix it with 1 tablespoon of sugar taken from the entire amount of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Over the mixture add some flour. Put the remaining flour into a bowl and make a hole in the middle into which you pour the yeast mixture. Cover it with a cloth and leave it for a few minutes so that yeast mixture rises.
Separately mix lukewarm milk, melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest and rum, and pour this mixture into the flour. Knead into a soft and supple dough and leave it to rise at least for an hour in a warm place.
On a surface covered with flour, roll out the dough until about 1.5 cm thick and cut out circles measuring 5 to 8 cm in diameter. Cover the circles or doughnuts with a cloth and leave them to rise again for at least half an hour.
Heat up the oil for frying in a pan and put the risen doughnuts in the oil with the upper side facing down. After few minutes, turn the doughnuts quickly over and fry them on the other side until they are golden brown. Take the doughnuts from the oil with a skimmer and lay them on a paper towel to drain the access oil.
Use a syringe to fill doughnuts with apricot jam. Put the doughnuts on a plate and dust them with icing sugar.
The recipe for Carnival fried dough balls
If you find the preparation of the doughnuts too complicated, you can try out an easier dessert – the fried dough balls (miške). The same as doughnuts, the balls are made of leavened dough to which raisins or finely chopped apples are often added. Like fanclji in the past, miške are also of irregular shape, but are nevertheless very delicious. Try out our recipe.
Recipe for fried dough balls
- 300 g flour
- 15 g yeast
- 30 g sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 60 g butter
- 150 ml milk
- 30 g raisins
- oil or lard for frying
Knead a softer leavened dough, add in raisins and leave it to rise. With a buttered spoon, scoop the dough and put it in hot oil. Fry until golden brown.
Scoop the fried dough balls from the oil and dust them with sugar (optional).