Loukoumades look like zeppoles but have a completely different consistency, resembling that of doughnuts. The following Loukoumades recipe has been adapted to make it appropriate for Lent, as well as other fasting days throughout the year. Get ready to add a sweet finish to your meal!
Lenten Loukoumades (λουκουμάδες νηστίσιμες)
PREP TIME: 2 hours 15 minutes (plus about 2 hours rising time)
COOKING TIME: 15 to 20 minutes
MAKES: about 40 loukoumades
2 cups lukewarm water (about 100°F), divided
1 envelope (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Greek brandy (or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
Honey, for drizzling
Toasted sesame seeds, sliced almonds, or walnuts, for topping
Cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup lukewarm water and the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir until dissolved.
2. Meanwhile, in a large mixer bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, the yeast mixture and brandy until all of the flour is incorporated. Beat on medium speed until batter is smooth and free of any lumps. Remove from mixer, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dry kitchen towel, and place in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. (If you don’t have a warm spot in your home, heat the oven to 80°F. Turn OFF the oven, make sure the rack is not hot to the touch, and place the bowl in the oven to rise.)
3. Fill a deep saucepan with enough oil to reach 4 inches up the sides. Heat over medium-high heat until oil is hot but not smoking (350°F on a deep-fry thermometer). Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil temperature constant. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels; set aside.
4. Carefully drop 1 rounded teaspoon of batter (using another teaspoon to slide the batter off) into the oil for each puff (if the puff doesn’t sizzle, the oil isn’t hot enough). Add 4 or 5 more spoonfuls of batter, as space allows so they’re not crowded, to the oil. Using a slotted spoon, turn the puffs and fry until golden brown on all sides. Transfer, in a single layer, to prepared baking sheet to drain. When done, transfer the puffs to a swerving platter, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with sesame or nuts, and dust with cinnamon and confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Kelly Salonica Staikopoulos
Copyright © 2020 Kukla's Kouzina: A Gourmet Journey~Greek Island Style
More about Greek Orthodox Lenten cuisine can be found in our blog, Lenten Cuisine~A Faith Inspired Journey.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s Lenten dessert. Recipes for other Lenten foods can be found in our Meze and Spreads & Dips cookbooks. Stay tuned for future blogs on foods and customs relating to this Holy season of fasting and spiritual awakening.
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Kali orexi! Good appetite!
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