One of Greece’s best known sweets/ desserts/snacks/street foods has to be Loukoumades. I knew that offering these sweet fritters up for my guests would be memorable. Every Greek has had them. Loukoumades are the Greeks’ answer to donuts and as one friend calls them…”the original Timbits”!
The first time I ate Loukoumades was during my introductory trip to Greece in 1974 at the Tottis cafe located at Thessaloniki’s Aristotelous Square. Every Greek’s had them, every Greek wants them but not every Greek can make them (or bother to make them).
Each cuisine has it’s sinful delights and Loukoumades are one of Greece’s sweet pleasures. Loukoumades are a deep fried dough which are then dunked in syrup, followed by a sprinkled of ground walnuts and dusted with ground cinnamon.
They are eaten warm or room temperature and the outside is sticky from the syrup but the delight in eating Loukoumades comes from the crunch one gets from biting into the walnuts, penetrating the fritter and then getting a little burst of the syrup which has penetrated the inside.
For the Dough
1 1/2 cups tepid water
1/4 cup sunflower/vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn starch
pinch of salt
1 cup of honey
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
- In a pot, add your water and sugar and bring up to a boil. Once aboil reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the honey, stir in and take off the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- In another bowl, add the tepid water, sugar and yeast and allow to rise for about 5 minutes. In another bowl, add the flour, corn starch and salt and mix with a fork and set aside.
- When the yeast has activated, add your wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix with your hands until incorporated into a wet dough. Set aside and allow to rise for about two hours (the dough should be spongy with bubbles).
- Pre-heat your a large pot with vegetable oil (or a deep fryer) and you want the oil to reach approx. 325-350F. Set up a frying station of your bowl of Loukoumades batter, a glass with water, a teaspoon and the fryer.
- Take a handful of dough in your palm and then squeeze it out onto a waiting spoon that’s been dunked in water, then drop it in the hot oil until golden brown. Fry off in batches until you’ve fried all your batter.
- Now dunk your Loukoumades into the hot syrup and allow them to steep in the syrup a3-4 minutes before removing. Place them on a wire rack with a pan underneath to catch dripping syrup (add back into syrup pot). Repeat until all your Loukoumades are dunked in the syrup.
- Plate your Loukoumades and then sprinkle some ground walnuts and ground cinnamon on top and serve warm.
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