Loukoumades are a kind of fried-dough pastry made of deep fried dough soaked in honey and cinnamon, and sometimes sprinkled with sesame.
In ancient Greece, these deep fried dough balls were served to the winners of the Greek Olympics.
The Greek poet Callimachus was the first to state that these deep fried dough balls were soaked in honey and then served to the winners as “honey tokens”.
The pastry is called zvingoi by the Greek Jews, who make them as Hanukkah treats.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 pkg. (1/4 oz) dry yeast
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 cups corn oil
For the syrup
2 cups sugar
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 cup honey
Dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup lukewarm water and set aside.
In a medium to large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Mix well to combine.
Add the dissolved yeast and 1-1/2 cups water to the dry ingredients. Mix the batter making sure that there are no lumps in it. Cover it and let it rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour to rise.
How prepare the syrup
Add the sugar, cinnamon stick, water and honey to a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep warm.
Heat the 2 cups oil in a saucepan or deep frying pan until very hot but not smoking.
Fry the doughnuts
Using two spoons, carefully drop about a teaspoon full of batter for each puff into the hot oil. Turn the puffs using a slotted spoon and fry until golden brown on each side. Remove the puffs to a plate lined with paper towelling to absorb excess oil.
If you want them to have holes in the middle, use your fingers instead of a spoon. Take the dough in one hand and with the free one use the thumb and middle finger to make a hole in the middle of the small portion of dough. Then put this doughnuts in the pan to fry and go on like this.
The final touch
Dip the hot puffs in the syrup and then sprinkle with cinnamon, ground walnuts or even with confectioners sugar. Serve immediately.
If you like, you can pour hot chocolate on them or serve with a ball of ice cream aside.
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