You’re probably asking yourself… what are Krofne? They are round Croatian doughnuts of sorts and a must-try food of the Balkans. Krafne are round like doughnuts as you know them, but without a hole in the middle as you might find with American or Australian style doughnuts.
These Croatian doughnuts are light and airy and are traditionally filled with a yummy center of apricot jam, but these days, krofne is also filled with chocolate, vanilla custard, and numerous types of jams.
In my part of Croatia, Slavonia, we don’t fill the krofne, but instead, we put a dollop of jam on the top of every doughnut. Either way, they are fabulous, and believe me, you will love and thoroughly enjoy them.
Croatia has held a doughnut tradition for a very long time. When the winter comes, usually mothers and grandmas make these delicious desserts to serve after Sunday lunch. You will also find krofne made on the last week before Lent – when the carnival festivities across Croatia begin. So, now you can start practicing making krofne and be a total pro before Lent arrives.
Depending on which part of Croatia you are from you can also see them being spelled as ‘Krafne’ – but no matter how you spell them, they are made as follows:
No Croatian Kitchen is complete without a krofne recipe. This is a simple and delicious one for you to try. We bet it's just like your Mama or Baka used to make.
- 500 g all-purpose flour (3 1/2 cups)
- 250 ml milk (1 1/8 cup)
- 1 7g pack of dried yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- 1 liter oil for frying
- Jar of apricot jam (or your favorite flavor) or a jar of chocolate spread (or both!)
- 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Warm up the milk and mix it with the yeast and sugar. Allow it rest for a few minutes, so the yeast gets activated
- Mix the flour, salt, and egg in a bowl along with the activated yeast mixture. Knead until you get a soft dough
- Leave the dough to rise (twice it’s size) in a warm place for at least 45 minutes to an 1 hour
- After it rises, place the dough on the floured board and roll it out to 1 cm (0.3 inch) thick
- Then cut the circular shapes with a 5 cm (2 inches) baking cutter or glass cup. Leave them to rest for 15 minutes
- Turn the doughnuts over to the other side and leave them to rest for 10 additional minutes
- Heat the oil in the deepest saucepan you have (this will make sure that they do not touch the bottom or each other) and add the krofne one-by-one. Important: Be sure to place each krofna into the oil with the side that faced the dusted board upward, also be sure that the oil is not too hot, because if it is, the doughnuts will burn. Cook one first to be sure you have the right oil temperature
- The krofne may flip onto the second side alone, if not use a slotted spoon and flip each one over
- Once lightly browned (approx 1.5 minutes per side), use the spoon to move each one to drain absorbent paper, this will help absorb the excess oil
- Repeat with the remaining krofne
- Serve topped with jam or chocolate. You can also fill them with jam or chocolate using a piping bag
- Finally, in the end, simply dust them with a little powdered sugar and serve with Croatian coffee
If you plan to use a piping bag, pierce the small side of the krofne.