In Hungary, the Carnival season is known as Farsang.

Today marks the beginning of Busójárás, a 6 day celebration that begins the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and ends with Farsangtemetés (“Burial of Farsang” the day before Ash Wednesday). Masks are worn (traditionally to scare away Winter and the Turks) and the days are filled with parades, music, dancing, and food. Farsangi Fánk are Hungarian doughnuts popular during Farsang. The doughnuts are often named Szalagos Fánk for the white ribbon that forms during frying. The dough is lightly seasoned with rum and lemon zest. They are best served the day they are fried, sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with jam.

Make sure the oil is thoroughly heated before adding doughnuts. I heated it to 350 degrees using the medium setting on the stove. Adjust as needed to keep them from getting too dark. Make an indentation in the center of each doughnut right before they go in the oil. I didn’t poke all the way through, so there would be a little bit of dough remaining to hold the jam.
For the particular batch I photographed, I rolled the dough a bit too thin. They got the ring around the middle, but didn’t rise enough to get it around the edge. Make sure you roll the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Once you place them in the heated oil (no more than 3-4 at a time), immediately cover with the lid. They fry quickly, so flip as soon as they become golden and fry the other side without the lid.

Apricot and raspberry jams are most popular to serve with the doughnuts. I used apricot and strawberry. Place a bit of jam in the indentation made with your thumb.
Farsangi Fánk (Hungarian Ribbon Doughnuts)
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 2 minutes
15-20 doughnuts
  • 300 milliliters (1 1/4 cups) lukewarm milk (105-115 degrees F), divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (40 grams fresh yeast)
  • 500 g (~3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) bread flour
  • pinch salt
  • 50 grams (~1/2 cup) powdered sugar
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rum
  • 60 grams (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • vegetable oil for frying
Powdered sugar
Apricot or favorite jam
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/2 cup of the lukewarm milk. Stir to combine. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade or a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix in the yeast with milk, eggs, and rum. Slowly add remaining milk, then butter until a soft dough forms. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and let rest until doubled, about an hour.
Flour a large work surface and add dough. Roll the dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick. Cut out the doughnuts with a 2 1/2 inch circle cutter and place on baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover and let rise until doubled, 15-30 minutes.
While the doughnuts are rising, pour vegetable oil into a large pan until it is 1 inch deep. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Right before placing in oil, stick your thumb into the center of the doughnuts to create an indentation. Place a few, being careful not to overcrowd, indentation side down, into the hot oil and immediately cover with a lid. Fry just until lightly browned, about 40 seconds. Remove lid and flip to fry other side just until golden, keeping lid off. Place on towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining doughnuts.
Serve sprinkled with sugar and topped with jam.
Adapted from Marzipart
Photo and article source: www.tarasmulticulturaltable.com