Loukoumades are a popular Greek sweet, balls of dough deep fried until golden then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. These delicious mouthfuls are impossible to resist.
- 1 packet (7 g/2¼ oz) active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 3 cups plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- vegetable oil
- ground cinnamon, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1–1½ hours
In a large bowl, mix yeast and sugar into half cup of the warm water. When mixture turns foamy, about 5 minutes, stir in remaining 1½ cups warm water along with the flour, salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Mix until batter is thick but smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1–1½ hours. (The dough should be very soft and bubbly.)
Pour oil into a deep fryer, or saucepan making sure there is at least 2 inches between the oil surface and the top of the pot. Heat the oil.
Working in batches, slide dollops of the batter (about the size of a heaped tablespoon) into the hot oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Dollops will puff up and float to the surface. Turning occasionally, until batter is a crisp, golden brown on all sides, about 3–4 minutes.
Remove carefully with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat as many times as is needed. Place drained puffs on warm platter and keep warm.
To serve, place 4 or 5 fried puffs into a bowl, drizzle honey over and dust generously with cinnamon.
Loukoumades are best if eaten warm, the same day they are made.