No, I did not choke.. that is the word for this delightfully wonderful fried pastry that I ate growing up in Austria. “Bauernkrapfen” is a rustic version of a doughnut, with less sugar than the American equivalent. Traditionally, it is brushed with Apricot jam and dusted with powdered sugar, but you can use any jam you wish- strawberry or red currant jam would also be very good choices. I woke up this morning thinking about the Bauernkrapfen, so I called my Mom for the recipe she had from the friend who first introduced us to them. A “Bauer” is the German word for “farmer” – “Krapfen” is the German word for “doughnut” (usually the jelly filled type without a hole in it). These are easy to make, though a little time consuming, and my kids enjoyed them too, but would have preferred a different type of jam on them.
Bauernkrapfen (Austrian Farmer’s Doughnut)
Yields: 15-20 recipe translated from German into English – it is an authentic recipe
- 6 oz milk
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 yeast packets
- 3 cups all purpose flour (400 grams)
- Apricot jam (or strawberry or red currant)
- powdered sugar
Pour milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is steaming. Turn off the heat and add the butter and allow it to melt in the milk, stirring a few times. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar to the milk mixture and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature (100-110) Add the yeast and egg yolks. Stir to combine. Add the flour about a cup of it at a time, stirring to incorporate it to a dough. Add a little more flour if it is sticking to the bowl, just enough to get it to release (I only had to add another tablespoon of flour, but it may vary depending on the size of the egg yolks you used). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 1 hour. Form the dough into 15-20 balls, roll each ball in a little flour and cover with a tea towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.
Stretch each ball a little, similarly as you would pizza dough, a thin layer of dough in the center and a rim slightly thicker on outside.
Heat 3/4 inch- 1 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add 4-5 of the doughnuts to the oil and fry to a golden brown color on each side (this takes about 30-45 seconds per side). Remove the doughnuts to a cookie rack to drain Tip: I place my rack upside down on a cookie sheet that I have lined with paper towels, this allows the excess oil to be pulled away from your doughnut and keeps it from becoming soggy.
Heat the desired jam in a saucepan until it is slightly runny and warm. Glaze the tops of the doughnuts with the warmed jam using a pastry brush. Sprinkle a dusting of powdered sugar over the tops of the jam and doughnut. Best still served warm, but tastes okay at room temperature as well.