Recipe of the best Hungarian doughnut ever

Hungarian doughnut

Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenI haven’t written about my dear friend, Meli, and it is really high time to do it. Meli is a very talented photographer who has a special sense of catching moments and recognize “the Human” in everyone. Not the person he or she wants to show but the real personality within. We met a couple of years ago when I asked her to take some pictures in my little restaurant, Bistro 181. It turned out immediately that we share a lot of things in common and also that being together the two of us means laughing without stopping. She passed by many times for a dinner or for a freshly baked croissant in the morning before she left to shoot a wedding. Later it turned out also that she is a real friend who was always beside of me when I needed her and also when I needed somebody to taste my new creation in the kitchen. I am really fortunate to know her and to be her friend. She was one of the key persons who motivated me to start learning photography. She didn’t praise my early works but criticized a lot…and let’s be honest in the first couple of years there were only things to criticize. But she didn’t allow me to give it up. Some months ago Meli started a very exciting project and because of that she was away for quite some time. She was many thousands of kilometers away, she was eating rice with rice and we didn’t have news from her very often, only when she found a very slow internet access. Still, she was following my blog and she longed so much for my hot beef consommé that I cooked on the blog a few weeks ago. Finally, after 2 months she was back and came to visit us. I had no doubt that I am going to cook consommé but I had work the day before and the day in the morning so 4 hours cooking time seemed to be impossible to manage. Áron’s mother saved the situation, she told me that I can easily precook the beef, then the next day add the chicken, the vegetables and spices and I can leave to work. Áron only needs to stop the cooking process in the agreed moment. So that is what we did.
The consommé got a beautiful golden colour, was exactly as spicy and tasteful as it should be, and the meat tender. I only needed to prepare the second course, which is one of my favorites and I was somehow sure that Meli will like it as well. Doughnuts. It is very typical for Hungary to bake doughnuts for carnival season, but I think it is such a delicious thing that it would be a sin to not to make it more often. Joyful big hugs, spoonfuls of soup that is eaten with enthusiasm, home-made apricot marmalade and soft and fluffy doughnuts which mysteriously all disappeared at the end of the lunch. This is the short summary of our day. Then Meli sent us into the middle of a colza field next to our village and she grabbed the camera. We were walking very carefully to not to damage any plant which seemed even more yellow in the partly gloomy, partly sunny weather. Meli was in her element. She was taking pictures, giving instructions, than finally for a photo she came to the other side of the camera. When I see these pictures I think that this day was for me like the pure essence of happiness. Friends, my loved ones including our dog, laughing, sunshine, delicious meals spiced with all my love in a beautiful place where the cherry petals fall from the tree and cover everything and where I only need to take a few steps and cut off some lilac to put them into a vase.
In the meantime it can be useful if you have some doughnuts and a camera by your hand. You know, just in case.

Meli and me Photo taken by Áron Varga following instructions of Melinda Egyed :)

Meli and me
Photo taken by Áron Varga following instructions of Melinda Egyed 🙂

Doughnuts according to my mother’s recipe
Ingredients:
400 g flour
20 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp and 1 tsp of sugar
2 egg yolks
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp rum
zest of 1 lemon
1 package of vanilla sugar
25 g melted butter
275 ml milk
sunflower oil for frying

Dissolve the yeast in 50 ml milk with a teaspoon of sugar and let it rest until it rises a little bit. Mix the flour, the lemon zest, the vanilla sugar, salt and the rest of the sugar. Add the yeasted milk alongside with the egg yolks, rum, butter and the rest of the milk. Knead it well with your hands or with a machine, don’t worry if it seems quite sticky. Knead it until it is flexible if you pull it a bit. Cover it and let it rest for an hour. There are two secrets of the light coloured ring around the doughnut. One is that you need to knead it well after it has risen to the double after an hour. The other secret will be that you need to cover them when frying, but let’s come back to the resting time! Put enough flour on a wooden board so the dough won’t stick to it and knead it well again. You will see that it won’t be sticky any more. Roll it out with a rolling pin to 1 cm thin. Using a cutter cut circles out of the dough. (my cutter is 6, 5 cm diameter) After that put together all the rest of the dough, knead it again, roll it out and cut it. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rest for another 30 minutes. Take a pan which is big enough for 3-4 doughnuts to fit but not too big so you don’t need to use too much oil. Heat up the oil but it shouldn’t be too hot because then your doughnuts get burned outside and remain uncooked inside. Use a doughnut which doesn’t look so nice (mostly the last one) to test the temperature. Oil should be bubbly when you drop in the dough. Cover it immediately and wait until one side is golden brown. Turn it and fry the other side as well, but uncovered. Put them on a tray lined with paper towel. When it cooled down, serve it with marmalade and sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar.

Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Hungarian doughnut from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

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