Krafne – a Traditional Croatian Carnival Donuts

Every year, on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, in Croatia we eat donuts. With marmalade filling or empty, donuts are our favorite dish to say goodbye to crazy carnivals and enter a period of fasting and sacrifice.

– 300 ml milk
– One tsp plain flour
– One tsp sugar
– 4 g dry yeast
– 500 g plain flour
– two tsp sugar
– finely grated zest of 1 lemon
– pinch of salt
– one egg + 1 egg yolk
– marmalade to fill
– 2 tbsp oil, plus about 1 litre for frying
– vanilla sugar

Mix yeast with warm milk and sugar until it dissolves and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, salt, lemon zest and vanilla sugar. Add eggs, oil and yeast mixed with milk. Knead dough with hands (or use technology if you can :)) The dough has to be soft and not too hard. When you are sure your dough is perfect, leave it under a cotton cover for another 45 minutes (in a warm room).

3. Prepare a table or working station, and spread some flour on it. Put a small part of the dough on it and roll it. With a knife or a glass make circles or triangles to cut out the dough. When the first batch is done, leave the cut dough for another half of hour, to ‘rest’.

4. Heat oil; it must be boiling. We Croatians ‘sacrifice’ one donut to see if the oil is ready.

5. When the oil is heated, you are ready to fry your donuts. Put few of them into the oil and leave them until you are sure that the doughnuts are done underneath (they must have a golden brown colour). After approximately 2 minutes, flip them and repeat the process. After two more minutes, take the donut out and put it on some paper towels to soak up the excessive oil.

6. After frying every single piece of dough, fill your donuts with marmalade and sprinkle with some vanilla/powdered sugar on it.