Friday, 18 July 2014

Finnish Deep Fried Pulla - Finnish Doughnut - Munkki

It's time to deep fry the pulla! And it's going to be delicious!

In Finland the deep fried pulla is called munkki. In English munkki means monk. The word munkki is used of the ball shape version of the doughnut. We also have the ones with hole on the middle and that is called donitsi.

Doughnuts are eaten all round the year in Finland but especially in the First of May is the time to make pulla dough and dig up the deep fryer! Ok, you can also use a big pot and fill it with oil.

The First of May doughnuts are usually eaten with mead (sima) which is often prepared in 10 liter buckets at home. We make it almost every year too. Home versions have practically no alcohol (well at least if you make it such way) and they are usually suitable for children too.

People who are travelling to their summer cottages often stop by on a gas station or similar place to have a cup of coffee and in many times they also buy some sort of doughnut. It may be called "monk", "monk pig" or something totally different but all in all it has been prepared from the same dough - it just looks different and may have a different filling. And believe it or not even though they are made from the same dough they do taste a little different. I guess the amount of dough you are deep frying effects on the result. So big doughnuts and small doughnuts taste a little different. I know that the feet in the "monk pig" do taste different that the rest of that doughnut.

500 grams (1.102 lb) milk
50 grams (1.764 oz)  baker's yeast
1 egg
2 tsp salt
 150- 200 grams (5.291 - 7.055 oz) sugar
1000-1100 grams (2.205 - 2.425 lb) all-purpose flour
200 grams (7.055 oz)  melted butter
1 tbsp cardamom
(apple or raspberry jam)

1. You need lukewarm milk so heat it up. 
2. Take a big bowl and pour a little warm milk into it and add the yeast. Mix well.
3. Once the yeast has dissolved add the rest of the milk, the spices and the egg.
4. Add 7 dl of flour and keep mixing with wooden spoon. Mix as long as the dough starts to look like a runny porridge. 
5. Add another 7 dl flour. Mix now with your hand. Keep kneading/mixing it as long as you have a nice dough in your hands. Then add the melted and cooled butter and knead some more. Once the butter is well in the dough continue kneading on the baking board.  Remember to knead well. Once you have nice smooth  dough with good viscosity in your hands you can put the dough into a bowl and cover it with a baking towel and let it rise until it doubles. That will take an hour or so.
6. Put the dough on a baking board. Divide the dough into 24 equal size pieces and shape them into
buns or if you want smaller ones divide it to about 40 pieces. The bigger ones are easier to fill with jam.

7. Let the doughnuts rest under a baking towel for about 30 minutes before starting to fry them.

8.Temperature of the oil should be 170 - 180°C. (340°F- 360°F) I often use olive oil. Fry each one about 3 minutes or so. Watch the colour, that will tell you a lot. Remember to turn the doughnuts once in the middle of the frying. Fry only a few at the time so that the oil will stay hot enough. These are ready once they get nice golden colour.

If you want to make doughnuts with holes in them make round balls and put your finger through the center and make the hole and then circle you finger in the hole to shape the doughnut. You can also roll a rope and turn that into a circle - use which ever method you prefer. End results may be a bit different though.

Once you have fried the doughnuts, let them cool down a while and when they are still a bit warm, roll them in the sugar and they are ready to be eaten. These are great when still a little warm but still very good when they have totally cooled down. You can also fill the doughnuts with the jam. Use a suitable piping nozzle and bag.

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