Fritule - the Croatian version of doughnuts - are a favourite Christmas and Easter treat among Croats! Because they are so easy to make, popular and perfect for any event, they’re made all year round, even during summer.
These miniature doughnuts are one of the most recognizable features you must taste if you’re staying in Dalmatia, Croatia’s coastal region.
Where can you try them?
Even though they’re part of traditional Dalmatian cuisine, they’ve become popular in many other regions, too. If you’re visiting Croatia during Christmas or Easter time, you can try out this amazing treat almost everywhere - on Christmas Markets, advent houses or while walking along the waterfront during summertime.
Once you’ve tried them, you’re probably going to want to fry them yourself. This is why we want to make it easier for you - we’re bringing you the best recipe for fritule!
A few tips for frying fritule
The key component when making fritule is the temperature of the frying oil! It must be well heated, while the actual frying time must be very short. You need to wait until that perfect moment when they get a golden-brown tan. Suggestions are to fry just a few pieces at one time. That way they won’t stick to one another and the shape won’t be ruined.
They’re being made in the shape of a ball or a ring, traditionally, but the shape varies by region. Even though there are some differences between the regions, they are minimal and don’t have an impact on the final taste of the dish. The most common version is the one from original Dalmatian recipes.
Some parts of Dalmatia added a special ingredient to their recipe to enrich the taste - local-made rakija or a cup of brandy, while in Istria people usually add white wine!
You’re going to need:
- 3 eggs,
- 3 tablespoons of sugar,
- 1 kg of all-purpose flour,
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence or 2 sachets of vanilla sugar,
- 40 g of fresh yeast (1 ½ cube) or 3 sachets of dried yeast,
- 1 dl of vegetable oil (for the dough), + more for frying,
- zest of 1-2 lemons,
- zest of 1-2 oranges,
- 2 tablespoons of grape brandy, loza or dark rum,
- warm water.
How to prepare them
Take a bowl and put the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and sugar in it and beat together for a little while with a wooden spoon. Add the raisins and the zest of lemons and oranges. If you’re using fresh yeast, melt it in 2 dl of warm water, add it to the eggs and then add the flour. On the other hand, if you’re using dry yeast, mix it in one part of the flour and then add it to the eggs.
Mix it all together with a wooden spoon until the dough stops sticking to it. Leave it to stand until it doubles in size (approximately). It will be warm, but make sure it’s not too warm when you start frying, otherwise, it can ruin the yeast. Put the oil in the pan. The amount of oil needs to be enough for the fritule to not touch the bottom of the pan. The oil has to be heated until it’s pretty hot.
To stop the dough from sticking to the spoon, dip the spoon in the oil first. Now you’re ready. Take a little bit of dough and squeeze it in the fist. Then, using a spoon, scoop off what comes out between the index and the thumb. Put it in heated oil and repeat - dip the spoon in the hot oil, squeeze the dough, scoop off and put it in the pan of hot oil. Frying time is short, just enough for fritule to get that irresistible golden-brown colour.
Finished? Great, now the best part - eating one of the best Croatian sweets!