Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Szalagos fánk - Hungarian donuts

From time to time is nice to enjoy things created by others, especially by hubby. The "szalagos fánk" is his specialty, I would never dare to compare my fánk to his creations..
He promised, and made, us fánk for new year. Though he claims these were not his best, perfect, "fánk" (because not all of them had the one finger-thick "szalag"), I would mention in a side note that he is too perfectionist :). They all had lovely holes and spongy texture inside.
First the naming story.. Fánk means donut (ok, kinda..), and "szalagos" means ribbon-ed, because of the white ribbon (stripe like thingy) that runs around the middle. If you don't have the ribbon the fánk might still taste great, but if you are unlucky it can easily fall into the "szalonnás" category :), which means lardy, and I guess the name "lardy donut" is already suggestive enough that it can't be good..The inside remains sticky, a raw-ish..
The "szalagos fánk" is a typical "farsang" - carnival dessert, (held in February by Hungarians all over inside and outside the borders of Hungary), but is a treat enjoyed all year round.
Has a huge blemish though: makes your trousers grow small verrry quickly if enjoyed too often.
Yeah, you know, all the good things in life are either unhealthy, or lewd, or make you fat.
Ok, enough of stories, to the business..

500 g all purpose flour (more like bread, high gluten flour, we use King Arthur's all purpose flour)
pinch of salt
~300 ml whole milk (depends on the flour, needs some experience to adjust the right amount)
40 g fresh yeast, or 1.5 tsp dry yeast
50 g icing sugar
60 g butter, melted
3 egg yolks

1 - 1.5 tbsp rum aroma
1 grated lemon peel (finely grated)

1.5 liters oil for frying (the fánk should not reach the bottom)
Frying pan with a lid

Serving (all optional)
~100 g icing sugar
raspberry jam
apricot jam
whatever is you favorite jam :)

First in a small, but broader, bowl put about 100 ml hand warm milk and crumble the yeast to trot, with about half of the sugar. It takes only a couple of minutes, the surface should be covered with lovely bubbles. If it's not, just throw the whole thing away and start again, your yeast must be "dead".
Add the remaining milk add the sugar, the egg yolks, rum and lemon peel, mix it to help the sugar dissolve.
Add the flour to the liquid mix, work it well together in a very soft dough and adjust the amount of milk and flour if needed, until you get a dough that clings together and detaches from the walls of the bowl, but is still soft to touch. Last mix in the butter.
Cover the bowl with a cloth and let is rise for 30-60 min, depends on the temperature in the house, the dough should grow to at least 2-2.5 times bigger than the original size.
Dump the dough on a floured table, roll it out to about 0.5 cm, and cut them with a ~6 - 7 cm diameter cutter (or sharper glass).
Place them on a separate floured sheet and let them rise for another 15 minutes, covered with a cloth. They should again rise to about double size..

Meanwhile heat up the oil. It should be quite warm, but not too warm to burn the fánk too quickly 'cause it won't have time to grow the "ribbon". It is approximately on the half - to - two thirds scale of your burner, but this is something you will need to experiment with.. :(
When the oil is hot, and the raw fánk rested for 15 min, place them in the hot oil UPSIDE DOWN (the upper part of the fánk, which is more dry, goes in the hot oil) and put the lid on while you fry this side. Sometimes works better without the lid, but that's something you will have to see again for yourself..
Don't put more then 3-4 fánk at ones in the pan, it is more difficult to cope with the short frying time..
It takes only ~40 sec to fry one side.
When the side in the oil looks golden/light brown, remove the lid, turn the fánk in the oil, and fry the other side as well, this time without the lid. This is the time when, if everything went well, the fánk starts growing its ribbon.. It is such a rewarding sight. :)
Place the ready fánk on plates covered with kitchen paper to absorb excess oil, and when they cooled a bit sprinkle them with icing sugar.
Serve while warm. Enjoy!

PS. If you had enough of frying and still have dough leftover, no panic, put it in the fridge, before cutting it into circles though. Next day just let it warm up a bit, roll it out, cut the fánk circles and let it rest for 15 minutes and fry.


  1. These were wonderful! I had to give most of them away so I didn't eat them all myself. Love the addition of rum and lemon.

  2. I'm really happy you liked them and appreciate your feedback!