Kroštule - sweets with many names & variations
Sweet, crunchy, and delicious dessert - these are the words that perfectly describe kroštule! Oh, and not to mention their sweet sugar coat which amazingly combines with the dough. Need I say more?
Kroštule, hroštule, "poderane gaće" (thorn undies, yes!), and fanjki are 4 different names for only one delicious dessert. To put it simply, kroštule are traditional sweet bread with an interesting knotted body. They are fried in oil and then covered with powdered sugar. They are actually quite simple to make, you only need a few ingredients and imagination for knotting! But before we get into cooking, let's talk more about this traditional dessert!
Each region - New Recipe
Kroštule came from Italy and in the past, they were famous only on the Croatian coast and islands. From then until now, kroštule have conquered the world. Every country, region, and cuisine have its own recipe, we can almost say that every household has its own traditional recipe! Each region and cuisine added something new, something different, specific, and unique which made kroštule their gastronomy heritage.
Croatia alone has a lot of recipes that differ with just one or two ingredients, the way of the preparation, or cutting shape.
Brač's kroštule are made with a touch of acid (kvasina), while Istrian kroštule have a bit of white wine in the dough. Kroštule from the island of Hvar are made with brandy and traditional Dalmatian ones are made with limoncello-flavored dough. A lot of variations and a lot of different names, but in the end - all of them present a sweet and crunchy dessert perfect for snacking throughout the day!
Secret for preparing perfect kroštule
I must admit immediately- this is a total clickbait title! With so many recipes out there, it is hard to say which one will suit your palate the best. But what I can tell you, is that it is best to start with a traditional base. Then, and once you've made kroštule for the first time, you can always add some new ingredients and mix everything up.
But the traditional base and recipe are quite tasty, so no worries! Just because it is the basis of all the variations, it is still a must-try!
The key to preparing amazing kroštule is firstly the dough. It needs to be rolled out thinly so the kroštule are crunchy in the end (even though the crunchiness comes with a bit thicker dough too, but then the frying takes a bit longer). The second important step of making kroštule is the shape. Now, you can make classic knots (my favorites!), little pillows, squares, or some other type and shape. Use your imagination, there aren't any rules for shaping, so make kroštule with your own signature!
Okay, now that we all know a bit more about kroštule, fanjki, "poderane gaće", and hroštule, let's cook!
What You'll need
- 1 vanilla sugar
- 1/2 baking powder
- 5 tbsp sugar
- 5 tbsp butter
- 5 eggs
- pastry flour
- a pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp brandy
- 2 tbsp rum
- powder sugar
First, melt the butter. Take a bigger bowl and mix sugar and eggs. Add the melted butter, baking powder, sugar, vanilla sugar, and a bit of flour. Mix all the ingredients.
Once you get a nice yellowish mixture, add salt, rum, and brandy. Mix everything nicely.
Keep adding flour and mix the ingredients until you get a firm dough.
Once you get the dough, remove it from the bowl and knead it on the floured countertop. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for at least 2 hours.
Put the firm dough onto the floured countertop again and roll it out thinly. Take a small roller with a decorative pattern or a knife and cut the dough into strips. Then, cut the strips in half and start making small knots (in case you want a different shape, you can skip these instructions and cut the dough the way you like it).
Put the oil into a pan and heat it up. Once it is hot, start putting kroštule into it. It should take just a couple of seconds until they are done. Make sure to lay freshly fried kroštule on the paper napkin so they get rid of the extra oil. After that, just sprinkle them with powdered sugar, and enjoy their sweetness!
What more to say?
Kroštule are a delicious treat, snack, and dessert. They are simple to make and in case you add some additional or different ingredient, hey, you may have a new recipe!
The best advice for making your first kroštule is to go by this simple, basic, and classic recipe. Make sure to thinly roll out the dough and when it comes to the cutting, use your imagination and make kroštule in the shape you want. My favorites are definitely knots because I grew up with knotted kroštule, but since there are so many variations of the recipe, you certainly won't do anything wrong if you make them in your favorite shape!
Enjoy your sweets!