Bite My Kitchen by Gordana

Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts

20 minutes

medium

12 krofne

Who can resist freshly homemade doughnuts that have come right off the stove? Especially when they are filled with jam? Definitely not me 😛. Doughnuts are extremely popular and enjoyed by everyone all over the world. In our little corner of the world, Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts are best when they are homemade and served with jam spreads. Sure, doughnuts can be covered in sprinkles and sugary glazes, but the Krofne from our part of the world are never made to be overly sweet. They are simply light and fluffy. The recipe for these Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts will give you a taste of the Balkans. With this recipe you will have no need for store brought doughnuts anymore! It is very simple to make and requires no special skill at all.

The real reason Krofne have a special place in my heart is because of the memories I have from my childhood. In our household my mum made these special treats for us year round. My brother and I would truly indulge. We were often allowed to have Krofne for breakfast and this is when we made them as a savory treat. Krofne simply remind me of cozy and comforting times at home.

Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts

THE INGREDIENTS

There are no special ingredients required for Serbian Krofne. Usually everything that is needed will already be in your kitchen. Flour and egg yolks will provide structure for the recipe while the milk and butter help soften the dough and provide richness. There is a dash of sweetness from the sugar in this recipe but not in excess. The fillings give enough sweetness. Flavoring such as lemon zest can be added, but this is a personal preference.

MAKING THE DOUGH

Working with recipes that require yeast can often be terrifying. But fear not, it is a very simple process. The very first step is to develop the yeast. Dissolve sugar into lukewarm milk and add the yeast. In roughly 8 or 10 minutes it will form into a foamy, bubbly layer on top of the milk. Stir the yeast in with the other ingredients and whisk.

Generally yeast dough should be mixed on a lower speed so that the gluten comes together slowly. This process only takes a few minutes using a dough hook in a stand mixer. You are looking for a dough that forms into shape but one that is also slightly sticky. When handling the dough, sprinkle some flour on your hands so that it is easier to work with. The dough should also have enough to time to rest and rise. Typically 45 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature should be enough. 

SHAPING THE DOUGH

The dough for Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts are relatively easy to form. After the dough has had enough time to rest and rise it is ready to shape. Cut the dough in half and with a rolling pin roll out into 0.5 cm thickness. Using a cutter, cut out even circles. Alternatively use any round object that will cut out nice and even shapes. I am still slightly ‘old fashioned’ and use my mothers way of cutting out circles with a cup. Old habits die hard 😛. Let these rest for a further 20 minutes before frying.

Serbian Krofne Ingredients

FRYING THE DOUGHNUT

Do not be afraid to fry doughnuts. It is not that much trouble and you can always remove any excess oil later on. Heat up oil in a pot of your choice. It is beneficial keep the pot covered throughout with a lid to ensure heat isn’t constantly escaping. The best way to know if the oil has reached a good temperature is to place one doughnut and see if it sizzles and rises to the top. If it does, you are good to go! Keep in mind if the doughnut turns brown too quickly then the oil is too hot.

When you transfer the dough to the oil – do so carefully. Place the bottom of the dough facing upwards in the pan. The doughnut will rise and expand, just be patient. Once you see a golden brown colour it is time to turn and fry the opposite side. An evenly cooked doughnut will be lightly brown in colour on both sides and pale on the inside.

REMOVING EXCESS OIL

While we all enjoy the odd indulgence in these delicious Serbian Krofne, you do not want to eat oil drenched doughnuts. Each time your doughnuts are complete, remove them with tongs and place on several layers of absorbent paper towels. Alternatively you can also use a clean dish cloth and let the doughnuts drain themselves of excess oil.

THE FILLING

Traditionally, Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts are served warm and filled with jam. You can also go for a chocolate spread or even a custard filling. But in our corner of the world, jam is the way to go! Either make individual holes and fill with jam or cut in half and spread generous amounts of jam.

Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts

Ingredients:

  • For the dough:
  • 200 ml lukewarm milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pack instant dry yeast (8 g)
  • 900 g self raising flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 300 ml milk
  • 40 g melted unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying (roughly 1 or cups of oil, depending on your pot)
  • For the filling:
  • Jam
  • Chocolate Spread or Custard

Instructions:

  • First, prepare the yeast by warming up 200 ml of milk until it becomes lukewarm. In a bowl add the lukewarm milk, 2 tsp of sugar and the sachet of yeast. Let this sit between 8 – 10 min in a warm area. You are looking for a foamy and bubbly layer to form on top.
  • In the mean time, in a separate bowl sift the flour and salt.
  • In a stand mixer, whisk the egg yolks on medium speed. Add in the caster sugar and whisk until the egg yolks have turned a lighter colour.
  • Add the melted butter and the risen yeast. Whisk on low speed for a few seconds.
  • Swap over to a dough hook.
  • Add in half of the flour and half of the remaining milk and combine.
  • Once this has mixed well, add in the remaining flour and milk and mix on slow speed until a ball forms. You are looking for a shaggy but formed dough to form.
  • Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for another minute until the dough has formed a ball.
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm spot in your kitchen until it has doubled in size. This should take between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Once the dough has risen, transfer back onto a floured surface and cut in half.
  • Roll each half of the dough into ½” thick circle. Using a round cookie cutter or any other tool, shape out the doughnuts.
  • Place the cut out doughnuts onto a floured surface or a baking pan lined with baking paper. Cover with a clean cloth and let sit for a further 20 minutes.
  • In the mean time, heat the oil in a pot of your choice. A wide medium depth pot works well. Cover with a lid so that no heat escapes.
  • Cook the Krofne, in batches, until they become golden on both sides, about 1 minute per side.
  • Transfer the Krofne onto a paper towel lined baking tray to drain and cool slightly.
  • Once the Krofne have cooled, fill with jam or any spread of your choice. You can also drizzle with some icing sugar.

Serbian Krofne are best when they are served fresh. However, if you need to, keep them in an air tight container overnight and enjoy them again the next day.

Serbian Krofne

I hope that these Serbian Krofne / Doughnuts recipe has introduced you to a taste of the Balkans 😊. Feel free to comment your thoughts below. You can also find me over on Instagram.

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