Loukoumades are a special-occasion dessert and we enjoy them most at the monasteries of Theoktisti in Pygi and Mounte in Raches after the liturgy on several saints’ name days during the summer.
- Yield: 10 Servings
- 4 to 6 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 1 scant teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups warm water, or more as needed
- Olive or other oil, for deep-frying
- 1 to 2 cups Ikarian pine honey or Greek thyme honey, for drizzling
- Ground cinnamon
- Coarsely ground walnuts
How to Make It
- In a large stainless steel bowl, mix 4½ cups of the flour and the salt. Dissolve the yeast, honey, and 1 tablespoon of flour in ½ cup warm water.
- Make a well in the center of the bowl of flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Add the remaining 1½ cups water. Either by hand (wear thin rubber gloves because the dough is very sticky) or with a large wooden spoon, gradually work enough flour into the liquid to form a thick, viscous, sticky, loose mass. Add more water in ¼-cup increments if necessary to achieve this texture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place a large kitchen towel over it. Let stand in a warm, draft-free place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in bulk.
- Fill a large, deep pot halfway with olive or other oil and heat to 375°F (180°C). To Shape the Loukoumades Traditionally
- Lightly oil your hands with olive oil. Take up a handful of the dough about the size of a tennis ball; the dough will be loose, elastic, stringy, and yeasty. Clench your fist around it loosely. Have a cup of olive oil nearby to dip a tablespoon in. Squeeze out a knob of the batter between your curled-up index finger and thumb, scoop it up with the oiled tablespoon, then drop it carefully in the hot oil. Repeat with several more. To Shape the Loukoumades with 2 tablespoons
- Oil 2 spoons. Lift a little bit of dough up on one and push it off the spoon and into the hot oil with the other oiled spoon. Drop several balls at a time into the oil. Don’t overcrowd.
- As soon as the dough puffs rise to the top and are light golden brown, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the dough is fried. Replenish the oil if necessary.
- Plate about 10 loukoumades and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts. Serve.