|Munkki, then salad, then munkki and sima. What can I say? Vappu comes but once per year!
Hauskaa Vappua! Happy May Day!
|Glazed Donuts & Sugar-coated Donuts
I’ve written about the Vappu celebration a year ago in my post about Sima, the traditional drink consumed on this day. Today I give you the natural companion to Sima: Munkki.
A munkki is simply a donut. Since we’re in Finland, most donuts have cardamom added to them, which is a wonderful addition because it adds a depth of flavor to the donut, so I highly recommend it. The Munkki is a Vappu tradition – on the eve of May Day, you’ll see them for sale all over the place in grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, and little pop-up stands.
|Up close and personal. Couldn’t eat just one…
I couldn’t get Vappu Munkit out of my mind yesterday. I went to the gym first thing in the morning, and doubled my cardio because, I thought, if I was going to make a batch of fresh donuts, there was no way I was going to stop at just one. I had no idea how good these would be fresh out of the pot.
I had never actually made donuts before, but it turns out that the process is long in time, but short on effort, with the exception of the actually frying time, which requires attention otherwise your donuts will burn and no one will be interested except the neighbor’s dog. But don’t worry – these are actually very easy to make.
One thing to know before you start: the first donut out of the pot must absolutely be consumed by you. You see, it’s a test donut of sorts: has the dough risen enough? Is the oil hot enough? and – will you have enough energy to complete the frying process if you don’t eat at least one to keep you going? My first test donut was a “donut hole” – which you’ll naturally have if you make the “rinkkilä” – the donut with the middle cut out. My donuts were mostly the full round ones because I thought I might want to fill them with jam. In the end, I didn’t, because after coating half in sugar and the other half in glaze, I felt they were sweet enough, but you certainly can. Vanilla or chocolate custard, or a raspberry or blueberry jam were at the top of my list should the need to fill the donuts strike me. If you try that, let me know how it goes!
|Trying to add a little virtue to a evening of donut decadence
Onward to the actually donut making process. This recipe makes a big pile of donuts – roughly 30. After eating three by myself, I quickly realized it was imperative that I reach out and share the love, so H&S and their boys were happy to help us work our way through the remaining heap, washed down with a glass of sima.
It’s not over yet! You still have time to make these donuts.
Vappu Munkit / May Day Donuts
This recipe is an adaption of two donut recipes: Munkkirinkilät from Yhteishyvä Ruoka Toukokuu 2013 and Crispy and Creamy donuts from allrecipes.com.
15g / 2 (.25oz) bags of dried, active yeast
1 dl/ 1/2 cup water
3 dl / 1.5 cups 2% (kevytmaito) warm milk
1 dl / 1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
50 g / 1/2 cup butter
12 dl / 6 cups flour
Pour the water into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Allow the water to absorb the yeast for 5 minutes. Add the milk, maple syrup, salt, cardamom, eggs, butter, and 3 cups of flour. Mix with the flat beater in a stand mixer until well-combined or with a regular hand-held mixer.
Continue to add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl. If you are using a hand mixer, you will need to finish this process by hand, on the counter, kneading the remaining flour into the dough. Be careful here: your goal is a nice soft dough that is slightly sticky. You may not need all of the flour – aim for between 5.5 – 6 cups total.
Once the dough is smooth and elastic, grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, flipping it once to grease both sides. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place, until doubled in size: 30-45 minutes.
Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough out into 1/2″/ 1.3cm thickness. Cut out donut rounds using a cookie cutter or, as I did, using a small drinking glass. If you have a donut cutter – even better – you’ll be a lot faster than I was! You can reroll the dough scraps to make more donuts, or cut them into small pieces, roll them into little rounds, and let them rise, and them fry them like donut holes.
Cover the donuts with a clean dish towel and allow them to rise for 30 minutes. Prepare your donut toppings while the donuts rise.
Frying the donuts
Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set a wire rack over the top to of each to catch the drips.
Pour 1/2 liter/1/2 quart of oil into a 3 liter/3 quart heavy-bottomed pot (I used a cast iron pot). You can use a larger pot, but you’ll need to add more oil to get the right depth. You want 2-3 inches/5-8cm of oil in the pot. Heat the oil to 175°C/350°F. Fry a test donut to make sure the oil is at the right temperature. You’ll know it’s ready when a doughnut hole dropped into the oil browns in about a minute.
Fry 2 – 3 donuts at a time. Donuts take 1-2 minutes per side to fry, and are done when they are a dark golden brown. Flip, and fry the other side. Fry 2 – 3 donuts at a time. Using a slotted spoon, remove the donuts from and place on a wire rack. Once cool enough to handle, either toss the donuts in sugar, or dip one side in the glaze (see below).
Allow to cool to room temperate (if you can wait that long) and consume with sima or coffee.
Makes approximately 30 donuts. Best consumed, with friends, the day they are made, but can be frozen.
While the donuts rise, prepare your donut coatings. I chose two options. The easiest is simply granulated sugar, in a plastic or paper bag, or in a small bowl, for coating the donuts. If you put the sugar in a bag, you can add the hot donuts, fresh from the oil, and shake it. If you choose to put the sugar in a bowl, you can quickly turn the donut in the sugar, effectively coating the whole thing. Whatever works best for you!
The glaze, straight from the allrecipes.com donut recipe cited above, is something to talk about. So good! And dead easy. This recipe will coat all of your donuts, but I halved it and it worked well.
In a small pot combine:
60g / 1/3 cup butter
4 dl / 2 cups powdered sugar
Bring to a simmer over low heat until the sugar and butter are well-combined and just beginning to simmer. Add
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water
Stir well with a spoon until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be runny like a syrup. Pour the mixture into a small bowl to make dipping the donuts easier.
If you want to add sprinkles to your donuts, it works well with the glaze. Pour your sprinkles onto a plate or into a bowl. Dip the donut into the warm glaze, then into the sprinkles, and set on a wire rack to cool and dry.
|On the way to H&S to share the love.