Yesterday was a busy day and when we all came home and P got F ready for bed I decided I needed a minute on the sofa. And then I got glued to it and couldn’t get myself to turn on the computer and write out the post I had planned. I’m delivering it today and in addition I am going to post something tomorrow. I want to accomplish my goal of posting five times per week during this Vegan Month of Food.
In German doughnuts are called Berliner Pfannkuchen (Berlin pancakes) which, depending on where you live, is shortened to either Berliner or Pfannkuchen. Some people also call them Krapfen. What a weird word. It goes back to Old High German, which probably explains its weirdness. The first time I heard it was when I watched an episode of ALF. ALF tried to hypnotise the cat Lucky to eat him. (I was horriefied by that thought. Sure I would eat a sausage made from pigs. But a cat? What a terrible and crazy thought! We had cats. We wouldn’t eat them.) You probably know that in Germany all non-German TV-programmes are synchronised. So I heard ALF say “Du bist ein Krapfen!” (You are a doughnut!), while trying to hypnotise the cat with the help of a watch. I always wondered why they chose the word Krapfen to translate doughnut. Maybe because Kennedy already had decided he was a Berliner? I guess we’ll never know.
This was my first attempt at frying doughnuts. We don’t have a deep fryer and it was still simple. You just have to heat the oil in a large pot to 180°C (350°F), dump the doughnuts in and fry them for a minute on both sides. A candy thermometer works great here. Now you’re probably going to ask me, if you can bake these. You can, but then you’ll have a completely different product which is not called Krapfen or Berliner. There are not baked Berliner. What you will get if you bake these is called Buchteln and the recipe is here.
I made these Krapfen using the yeast dough recipe I already used for the Franzbrötchen. I made mini Krapfen instead of the regular sized ones and filled them with apricot jam. You can use any jam you like. There are different methods to glaze these: you can choose between powdered sugar, sugar, or sugar glaze. This is a hot topic, even in our family. P prefers powdered sugar on top while I love sugar glaze. I think I mostly love it for practical reasons. Sugar coated doughnuts get messy. You eat them and then there’s sugar all over your face, clothes, and the floor. Glaze is a bit more practical, I think. Which is not true, if you are a toddler. I tried to photograph these while I was alone with F. So I gave her one to distract her and tried to get a good shot. (Forget all those food photography tips. Forget that you need time and patience to get a good picture of your food. Not if there’s a toddler around! Be quick so she won’t tear the flat apart.) I made my pictures while F covered half our living room in sugar glaze.
Berliner (Yeasted and Jam Filled Doughnuts)
240 g (2 cups) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
120 ml (1/2 cup) luke warm soy milk
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
Frying: 1.5 – 2 litres of oil suitable for frying
150 g jam
100 g (3.5 oz or 1 cup sifted) powdered sugar
4-5 teaspoons water
To make the Berliner dough:
Combine flour, yeast, and milk in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add oil, sugar, and salt and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, place in the bowl, cover with plastic and let sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled (about 90 minutes).
Roll the dough out. It should be 2 cm (0.8 inch) thick. Cut out little rounds. I used a round cookie cuter with a diameter of 5 cm (2 inch). Place them on a piece of parchment paper, cover and let rise for an hour. Prepare the frying oil. Carefully slide the doughnuts into the oil and fry them on both sides. This will go pretty fast, they’ll turn golden brown in under a minute. Have some paper towels ready and place the doughnuts on the towels. Let cool.
To fill the doughnuts use a pastry bag with a pastry tip that looks like a long small tube. Use the tip to poke a hole into the doughnut and then pipe some of the jam into it. This takes a little experience but after a couple of doughnuts you should get the hang of it.
To glaze the doughnuts combine powdered sugar and water. Use the back of a spoon or a knife to decorate the doughnuts. Wait until the glaze has dried and serve.
These are really good! I was a little afraid because i rarely fry things, but they turned out wonderful. I used blueberry jam and dusted them with powdered sugar. I didn’t not have the right kind of tip to fill them, so i used a chopstick to carve out a cavity and a regular frosting tip to jam the jam in there. I am going to make them again later this week for my German class!
A chopstick sounds like a great idea. Thank you for making these!
lustigerweise sagt ALF im original ja “you are a bagel”. aber wahrscheinlich war ein bagel für die deutsche übersetzung damals noch zu “exotisch” :)
Das wusste ich gar nicht! Und Du hast bestimmt recht.
I’d love to make these this weekend, but I have one question, the soy milk… does it have to be un-sweetend? Or can it be vanilla flavored as well?
Thanks! Your photo’s look amazing by the way
I used plain soy milk which is slightly sweetened but has no vanilla flavour. Vanilla should be fine!
Great! Thanks :)
love your photo and I know what you mean about young children being unable to eat the simplest thing without mess – at the moment it is all over my 4 year old’s clothes as well as her face – argh! and also about the challenges of a simple photo while a child is demanding attention and wanting to photo bomb – oh and I love the doughnuts too
Yay for donuts!! For your first time they look perfect, I definitely prefer yeasted donuts to cake, the cake variety seem like donut wannabes to me.
I used to love ALF but was always weirded out by whole cat-eating thing.
Oh beloved ALF!
Some of my Buffy DVDs have an option where you can change the language to be dubbed in either French (earlier seasons) or German (later seasons), I always get a kick out of the voices of the actors they have chosen!
These look incredible. I am still living in a world of being too terrified to deep fry, but I am pretty sure that it will be doughnuts that will eventually help me out of this.
What do you do with the oil afterwards?
Good question! We re-used it for pakoras but after that I discarded it.
My dad would have loved these! My mouth is watering.
I’ve also never made donuts, but I LOVE them. I am scared of the frying and baked ones usually suck. But these look so good.
Also, I have the sense of humour of a 5 year old and krapfen is my favourite word I’ve heard today.
Krapfen! Excellent name! But really, they look like little pillowy delights of sugary and yeasty goodness. I appreciate your zeal for apricot jam! It’s my favorite.
They kind of remind me of the paczkis of my childhood. Yum!
“Maybe because Kennedy had already decided he was a Berliner?”
Hahaha I adore you! I love nerdy references to history! :)
These donuts look insanely good. I’ve never actually made donuts before. You are giving me a biiig to-do list of firsts!
ALF! Aw, I loved him! I even had a stuffed ALF without whom I refused to fall asleep at night :)
So yummy! Deep fried goodness! Yep, sugar glaze all the way.
Aww thank you for the shout out!
I can barely keep my blog running with nothing but work on my plate, I can’t imagine doing it with a toddler running about! You are miraculous!
I had no idea Berliner was short for something! And I love that they are Berliner *pancakes.* I wonder why that is?
They look delicious by any other name, pancake, Krapfen or Berliner!
Ooh, now these I’ve heard about! I think they’re known as “berlinerbollen” over here. I never tried one before I went vegan but yours sound so good. My boyfriend says the ones he’s had were always filled with pudding or pastry cream, but I like the sound of apricot jam as well.
Also, I’m loving your photos this month but now I’m even more impressed knowing that F. is constantly trying to distract you behind the scenes! :)
When I had Berliner bollen in Holland they tasted a lot differently than the German ones. But maybe because it was WK 2006 and they were orange glazed… And I think you can get berliner bollen with vanilla cream which is not done here.
That is good to know! At least I can make the German version at home now. :)
Toddler or not, you got the shot! I remember a friend telling me she gave her toddler a box of tampex so she could manage an important phone call. It worked very well, and you might want to keep a box handy for “emergencies.”
Um, would you believe me if I told you I already tried something like that before? It worked and we still have some tampon wrappers lying under the sofa, I think.
You are killing me with these krapfen. They do look terrific.
I still have mango curd, do you think it could be used as filling?
I think that sounds fantastic!
I am wetting myself over “Du bist ein Krapfen”. I’m going to start using that as my ultimate insult.
It’s going to work!
Ich trau mich nicht zu frittieren. Auch im Topf nicht. Aber essen würde ich sie natürlich trotzdem gerne.
Hab ich auch immer gedacht. Aber es war wirklich ganz einfach.
I much prefer yeast doughnuts over cake ones. It’s good to know that I can fry them on the stove if I ever get over my fear of dough :-P Though your recipes are so simple that I’m gettingthismuchcloser to overcoming my fear!
And despite the toddler running around, you got a gorgeous picture!