Here’s a special recipe from my mother for Mother’s Day. These dense, fried doughnut-like rolls are a traditional recipe from Slovenia, the small Eastern European country where my most of our family is from. Krofi (kro-fuh) are brought out for special occasions – Easter, Christmas, bringing significant others home for the first time… We would always beg for them as special treats.
They’re usually unsweetened, although flavored with lemon, and they’re absolutely fantastic with ham and horseradish. But sometimes we do roll them in sugar, straight out of the frying oil for a chewy, golden and fragrant treat.
about 3 dozen, depending on size
1 package yeast
2 cups of milk
4 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter
7 cups flour. divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Warm the milk to lukewarm. Put in 1 teaspoon of sugar then sprinkle in the yeast. Beat in two cups flour until frothy. Cover for 1/2 hour. Let it rise and get bubbly.
Meanwhile, in separate small bowl beat egg yolks, egg, sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon rind.
Melt the butter to a liquid gently but don’t let it get hot.
Add the egg and sugar mixture to yeast and milk mix in the large bowl. Add the butter too. Start adding remaining 5 cups of flour one cup at a time. Knead 5-10 minutes until smooth. Cover and let rise for one hour. It will double in size.
Put about an inch of vegetable oil stockpot or electric frying pan and heat to about 350ºF.
Put the dough on lightly floured pastry cloth. Pat it down with your hands to 1/2-1 inch thick. Cut it in rounds with a glass or a biscuit cutter. (Take the scraps, knead together and let rise for 15 few minutes more.)
Put in hot oil as you cut them. Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Uncover, flip each one over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Cut the first one open and check to make sure that it’s not doughy.
Let them drain on paper towels.