Monday, January 23, 2012

Potato Lángos (Hungarian fried bread)

Hungarian Lángos bread isn't the most photogenic thing to eat.  However, what it lacks in good looks is made up by it's flavor. Oh, that flavor!   Lángos is the Hungarian name of a flat cake that is deep-fried.   In Hungary, Lángos stalls can be found wherever there are people-- like weekly markets and fairs. Think of it as a savory version of our funnel cakes.  

In my last post, I shared my story about my trip to Hungary and my love affair with this bread.  It has been at least 25 years since I've had one.  I was given a copy of Culinaria Hungary  from a friend, and I was so happy to see a recipe for this long-lost bread recipe!


I scratched my head, a bit, because the recipe listed fresh compressed cake yeast.  Um, I don't use that.  I much prefer to work with instant yeast, or active dry yeast.   While researching other versions of  lángos recipes, I noticed that there are versions that use water, instead of milk. Some recipes didn't  use potatoes.  Ultimately, I decided to trust the recipe in the cookbook that I had. So, I cooked one potato and used my food mill to rice it.

The beauty of instant yeast is that I don't need to proof it with sugar.  Instead, I measured all of the dry ingredients into the bowl of my stand mixer...
The potatoes were HOT, and I added milk to it and gave it a stir, which cooled the mixture down really fast.

NOTE: If using active dry yeast, I'd suggest heating the milk to lukewarm, measuring out about 1/2 up of the milk with the sugar and adding 3 1/2 teaspoons of the yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, until foamy.   Once the potatoes are riced, let them cool, as active dry yeast doesn't like super hot heat.

Then, I added the potato-milk mixture and combine it. Last, I added some oil...

...then, realized I forgot to add some salt.  I let the dough knead for about five minutes.  The dough seemed a little soft and I wasn't sure if that was right.  One has to experiment, at times, right?

I set the dough in a lightly oiled bucket and checked the dough about 1-1/2 hours later...

Here we go.

The dough was so soft and sticky, that I had to add a handful of flour at a time and gently kneaded it in.  See, the original recipe called for 1 2/3 cups milk and 3 1/2 cups flour.  In the recipe card I'll post, I suggest decreasing the milk by 2/3 a cup--or you'll need at least another cup of flour!  At last, the dough stopped clinging to my hands.

I cut the dough into 8 pieces.  I found that if I lightly floured my hands, and patted the dough to be a little flat-- then grabbed the dough with my fingers and stretched it (sort of like pizza dough),  I had the shape similar to what I'd seen in Hungarian restaurants.

I heated about 3" of vegetable oil until hot.  Now the recipe doesn't say to what temperature, but 300F was too hot and the first piece got pretty dark brown.  So, I turned the temperature down to about 250F. 

I carefully placed the lángos dough into the oil, and it turned golden brown in just a little over a minute. I turned it over, and it took no more than 3 minutes to be golden brown.

I let the oil drain off, well, before placing the Lángos on paper towels.

As soon as the lángos was set on paper towels, I added a little kosher salt and generously rubbed a clove of fresh garlic all over it.

I couldn't wait to see if my first attempt at making this worked!

Even Craig got in on the garlic-rubbing action.

TASTING NOTES:  While I didn't make the prettiest lángos, I'll have a few more chances to improve on that. I say that, because these were the BOMB, and I'm definitely going to make them again!  I was so happy with how the bread had a very light and tender texture, and they were thoroughly cooked (thank goodness).  They weren't greasy, either. Craig loved the bread, as well, especially the rubbed garlic.  I've read that some folks love  lángos with sour cream and grated cheese, and that does sound good.  However, I wanted to recreate that moment when I first had  lángos with Gulyas Soup at that restaurant in San Francisco.   If I do say so, myself, I did it!  I cannot wait to make these for my brother, who literally ate himself sick on them when I first introduced these savory treats to him.  I'll just dole them out carefully to him, so he can enjoy them. Trust me, two are plenty.

Oh, the next day, I removed the leftover refrigerated dough (I only made four of them the first night).  I formed four more lángos, and they turned out great.  These really are best fresh and hot, but if you reheat them in a toaster oven it's second best. 

A printable recipe card is at the end of this post.  I hope you try them. They are a special treat!









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23 comments:

Rosita Vargas said...

Una masa exquisita me encanta este pan es una delicia,abrazos hugs,hugs.

Joanne said...

I am SO glad you shared this recipe because I was super curious when you mentioned it! I don't usually fry anything...but this just has to happen.

Chocolate Shavings said...

I love the look of that fried bread !

Joshua Alan Burgin-Eaton - "Just Eat!" said...

Yum! I had a Hungarian exchange student here last semester, I wish I would have known about this sooner lol! It sounds delicious!

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Making these sounds like a little too much work for my lazy butt, but I'd sure love to eat them! Will have to go to Budapest soon and try some there =)

Becki's Whole Life said...

Sounds wonderful and it would taste wonderful alongside your Gulyas Soup...love the concept of rubbing the garlic on the flat bread. I have to say though, I know these are savory but they would taste yummy with some cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar, too....is that wrong?

bellini said...

This does seem like the perfect accompaniment for a hearty wintry soup!!!

Matt @ RecipeLion said...

This dish looks great! I would love it if you linked up this recipe to my comfort foods blog hop for a chance to win a Wilton donut pan: http://bit.ly/yMcu5R

Aarthi said...

Delicious...Totally Yummy..

Aarthi
http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Mmm...Hungarian pizza fritte! :-D Looks really good.

You know what's weird? A while back I went to the store looking for yeast and all they had was cake yeast and not active dry. I NEVER had seen cake yeast in a regular supermarket before. I remember when I used it the smell was kind of icky.

beti said...

I love anything that has potato in it, they look perfectly crispy and sound delicious!

Marcellina said...

Wow! Fried potato bread rubbed with garlic! That has got to be good! My family would love this! I am printing off the recipe as I write! Great recipe, great blog!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering at the thought of this amazing bread with a bowl of goulash soup. I don't remember having this bread when I was in Hungary but can imagine how delicious it is. Do the market vendors serve it with any kind of topping or sauce?

Danielle said...

Those look so darned good! I've never heard of potato langos but I sure do want to try one.

Kim said...

These look dreamy, Debby! I think I'd be like your brother and eat myself silly.

Alice said...

This is a dangerous recipe, lol!

Allie said...

These look a little labor intensive for me but probably well worth it. I wish you lived a little closer so you could share :) YUM!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm not familiar with this bread but bet it tasted fantastic with the garlic rubbed on it.
Sam

jeralyn said...

Wow I'm going to try these on my cheat day ;) definantly worth the splurge.

Thibeault's Table said...

There was a restaurant for many years in Vancouver that served Hungarian fried bread with a garlic dip as an appetizer. It was wonderful. The dip was just fresh garlic in what appeared to be a light broth or water. Sooooo Good!!
Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Mary said...

Debby, this looks wonderful. I love fried bread of any type but a savory version moves right to the top of my list. I must give this a try. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Monica H said...

These kind of remind me of Navajo fry bread, which I've been craving. So good!

Joe Kay said...

Foodiewife, I made these following the recipe, but somehow they ended up way heavier than the ones I first tasted at a Hungarian fest. How can I make them lighter? Maybe ussing more potato? Also, I saw a video of a hungarian lady handling the dough, shaping them and frying them, and her dough looked remarkably elastic, almost impossibly so. But this might have just been because she was making them waaay bigger than me...