My dad absolutely loves fritule, it's something that makes him remember being a young boy and his mum would make him fritule, it was a treat that has left him with a fond childhood memory. My dad says his mum made fritule traditionally on Christmas Eve, but these days with how easy they are to make, I might sneak this recipe in a few more times throughout the year.
Recently my dad was in hospital and it was his birthday, so instead of a cake, I surprised him with a bowl of birthday fritule, he was so happy.
My family love fritule to, I find I love cooking traditional Croatian food for my family, it gives me joy keeping this traditional food going.
I used Croatian rakija to flavour the fritule, since that’s what I had to hand, but you could use brandy, I also added in lemon zest and vanilla sugar. Sultanas are optional, but my dad would not have them without them. Even I eat them in fritule, even though I don't really like sultanas. But if you don't like them, leave them out.
When dropping the dough use two teaspoons, I pick up the dough with one teaspoon, then use the other teaspoon to push it into the oil.
Now you may notice that my recipe actually comes from a Lebanese cookbook, I chose this recipe as being Croatian and Catholic and this being served on Christmas Eve, I needed a recipe that had no milk or eggs in them. There are so many recipes out there, but this one was one that ticked all the boxes from how my mum remembered them being made (she watched my grandmother make them when she visited Australia when I was a baby), I do wish I had a chance to eat my grandmothers fritule. I also have made a Beninese version called Yovo Doko using plain flour and they are equally as good. So although fritule are Croatian, there are variations of this recipe all over the world.
These fritule are so easy, you really need to try them soon.
Makes about 20
2 cups (320g) self raising flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 1/3 cups (330ml) warm water
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon rakija
1/3 cup sultanas, to taste
sunflower oil, for deep frying
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
Place the flour, yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl and mix together well, leave for 5 minutes. Mix in the lemon zest, rakija and sultanas. Cover with cling film, then two tea towels and set aside for 2 hours.
Mix together the caster sugar and vanilla sugar, set aside until needed.
Heat the oil over a high heat until hot, then reduce the heat to medium. Working in batches, carefully drop teaspoonfuls (if you want larger ones use tablespoons) of doughnut mixture, a few at a time-they will quickly rise to the surface and turn golden, you will need to flip them over a few times to cook them evenly, I use two forks to do this. If they are colouring too quickly, but are not cooked inside turn down the heat. Same goes for the opposite, if not colouring, turn up the heat. Carefully lift out with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the next batch. While still warm coat them in the caster sugar mixture.
Place doughnuts in a bowl. Serve hot or at room temperature. These doughnuts are best eaten on the day of making, which shouldn't be a problem as these are so addictive, try stopping at one.
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