These crisp and golden savoury Langoshi doughnuts are not for the faint-hearted. Our Hungarian heritage couldn’t get more delicious, although we do have other Hungarian culinary wonders that are strong contenders for the title.
The Langoshi used to be served for breakfast on the days when the bread was taken to the village bakery to be baked. The recipe is based on a standard bread dough, but the preparation makes all the difference. Using a little more water than usual, and a lot of oil when shaped and fried, this snack prepares you for a busy day ahead.
Langoshi are very popular in the west of Romania, in a region known as Banat, which has a fascinating story. Banat belongs to three countries: Romania, Serbia and Hungary, and is a melting pot of people with many different cultural backgrounds and religions. In all three countries you will find not only Romanians, Serbs and Hungarians, but Germans, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Croats, Jewish people and Romani communities. However, its historic capital is Timisoara in Romania, a city probably better known for its active role played in the 1989 revolution.
The Romanian Banat is a charming region of mountains, soft hills and marsh land. It is well-known for its prosperity, industrious people and beautiful villages. The houses boast intricately carved wooden gates, famous for their traditional motifs. The region has a rich supply of produce, along with good wines and brandy. The people are known for ‘cooking cleverly and drinking wisely’.
Ingredients (make around 6 medium ones)
For the dough
250g plain flour
1 sachet dried yeast
1 tsp salt
For the filling
125g cheddar cheese, grated
100ml vegetable oil
Make the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in water and leave for 10 minutes until it bubbles. In the meantime, sieve the flour in a bowl, and add the salt and sugar, mixing well. Add the yeast, and mix using the dough hook. You will be looking for a consistency that is quite wet, just a bit firmer than a batter mix, just firm enough to hold together.
Put in a warm place to proof, around 20-30 minutes.
Heat the oil: if you have a deep fryer, that’s ok, but if like me you don’t and will never have one, then a frying pan is very good, too. Heat the oil until smoking hot.
Make the langoshi: Oil your hands really well. Oil a big round plate or baking tray, to form a thin layer of oil. Tear a small portion of the dough, egg size, and using your fingers, spread it on the oiled plate. Take a little grated cheese and chives, place in the middle, and bring the sides of the dough together on top. Flatten and spread with your fingers again. Lift quickly (don’t worry if the dough stretches, it doesn’t have to be perfectly shaped), and put in the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, turning the heat down if it gets too smokey.
Serve: take the langoshi out of the pan and rest on a paper kitchen towel for a couple of minutes. Put on a plate, spread a little cheese and chives on top and serve. You can add a creme fraiche dip on the side.
Tip: don’t worry about the wetness of the dough. It will be sticky and the whole process is a bit messy, but just enjoy it and have fun. The end result is crunchy and golden on the outside, and incredible gooey inside.