Fritule is a festive Croatian pastry made particularly for Christmas. And for today’s article, I decided to change things up a bit and share with you some real Croatian flavor and tell you how to make Fritule like a Croatian
The Fritule, also referred to as “Croatian Donuts” are some of the best Croatian foods that you simply have to try at least once in your life. But chances are that if you try them once, you will just have to try them again and again and again. They’re that good and fortunately, they’re extremely easy to make at home.
These are actually some little doughnuts: most often during the Christmas time, you’ll find a plate of small balls in every Croatian household, even the most modest. And they’re there for a solid reason: once you try them, you can’t get enough of them! It’s one of the many delicious traditional Croatian foods – but probably the easiest to prepare.
This small fried cake typically in the shape of a ball or ring is prepared in all regions along the Adriatic coast. There are several versions of this delightfully simple dish but the differences are only minimal and won’t have a major impact over the end product.
In some parts along the coast like in Dalmatia, a cup of good brandy (or the local-made rakija) is usually added for flavoring the Fritule, while in Istria and Kvarner, instead of brandy, they add some white wine.
The common rule when making Fritule (Croatian Donuts or Italian frittelle) – is that the oil you fry them in must be heated well. The cooking time is very short but these little doughnuts still have to get that perfect tan before removing them from the hot oil.
It’s advisable to fry just a few balls at a time, shaped with two dessert spoons (teaspoons) as putting too many at once might see them stick together and ruin the shapes (but not the taste, fortunately)
Croatian Fritule Recipe
This traditional recipe is usually used along the Dalmatian coast and Dalmatian islands and it is by far my favorite. You will learn how to prepare it and how to serve it like a real Croatian: it’s one of the easiest things to prepare, actually and you simply can’t go wrong with it. This means that you can get a taste of Croatia anywhere in the world!
The main ingredients for the Croatian Donuts are:
- 3 packets of dry yeast
- 1 Kg of flour
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 small cup plum brandy (like rakija) or brandy of choice (100 ml)
- 2 – 3 spoons of raisins
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Grated crust of lemon or orange (make sure it’s organic or safe to eat!)
- 1 spoon of chopped almonds or nuts
- Powdered sugar
- Plenty of cooking oil for frying (1 liter)
First of all, before starting, you should place the raisins in a glass of water so that they get hydrated again. Alternatively, you can soak them into the brandy if you want them to have that flavor.
In a small pot, mix the packets of dry yeast with a bit of hot water (not boiling, just warm!) and a small quantity of flour. Make sure that you mix them together, then let it sit while you do the next step.
In a deep bowl, place the flour (it’s better if you can sieve the flour into the bowl) and make a hole in the middle, with your fingers.
Inside the hole, pour the yeast mixture and add more water to the mix. Start to mix slowly with a spoon to make the dough. Don’t add all the water for the dough from the beginning though!
Instead, add the brandy, mix well and afterwards add water until you have the perfect consistency of the dough. Make sure to also mix in the raisins, the grated lemon or orange jest, the almonds and vanilla.
Mix the dough well, until it can easily be removed from your hand and leave it in a warm place for an hour to rise.
Prepare 1 litter of oil for frying. We will deep fry these doughnuts, so you will have to warm it well before you start cooking the dough.
When the oil is ready, take a small piece of dough with a teaspoon and drop it in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown – but be prepared to quickly remove them as they’re usually ready in 1-2 minutes.
Remove them from the oil, place them on a napkin so that any excess oil is drained and sprinkle them with vanilla sugar, serving them while they’re still warm.
And that’s it!
As you can see, Fritule are so easy to make – but despite all these, they’re absolutely delicious. So give them a try if you haven’t done so already! Enjoy!